Winona LaDuke was born in 1959 and grew up in Los Angeles, California (Forefront Profile)
Her father was an actor in western films, as well as an Indian activist. Her mother was a Jewish art professor. (Forefront Profile)
She is a member of the Ojibwe Tribe (Forefront Profile)
A Graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities(Forefront Profile)
Received her degree from Harvard in 1982 in native economic development. (Forefront Profile)
Upon graduating from Harvard, Laduke moved to White Earth Reservation in a poor, rural part of northern Minnesota. (Forefront Profile)
She is the mother of three children (Forefront Profile)

White Earth Reservation was formally established in 1867, encompassing 1300 square miles, which was owned collectively by the Anishinaabekwe people. (Onaway Trust)
In 1889 the U.S. government violated this agreement and divided the land into 20-acre units to be owned individually.(Onaway Trust)

In 1982 upon arriving at the White Earth Reservation, LaDuke took a job as the principal of a local reservation H.S. where she became involved in a lawsuit to recover lands stolen from the Anishinaabekwe people. (Onaway Trust)
In 1989 she founded WELRP, or the White Earth Land Recovery Project through a grant for $20,000 that she received from the Reebok Human Rights Award. (Onaway Trust)
The main goal of the organization is to recover and buy back the ancestral lands of the Ojibwe people, that was taken by the U.S. government.
The purpose of the organization has grown to include:
Education Programs to assist local schools with Ojibwe language instructor
Circle Loan Fund: assistance program for tribal members

LaDuke also founded the Indigenous Women’s Network, which led to the United Nations Conference on the Status of Women in Beijing, China. ( Forefront Profile)
She is the Program Director of the Seventh Generation’s Fund, an organization that advocates on behalf of Native Americans and the environment. (Resurgence Magazine)
She was a former board member of Greenpeace.(Resurgence Magazine)

Laduke was Ralph Nader’s running mate in 1996 and 2000 for the Green Party
She is not only an advocate for indigenous rights, but supports a woman’s right to choose, is an activist for environmental protection laws, supports gender and homosexual rights, including the right to gay marriage and is a strong advocate of human rights around the world. (

1997- her first novel: Last Standing Women
Honor the Earth
All Our Relations
The Winona LaDuke Reader: A Collection of Essential Writings
Numerous editorials and essays which have been published in various journals and newspapers.
A book about her life and struggles was written by Michael Silverstone and Charlotte Bunch entitled Winona LaDuke.

1994 - nominated by Times Magazine as one of America’s fifty most promising leaders
1996-Thomas Merton Award
1997 - BIHA Community Service Award
Ann Bancroft Award for Women’s Leadership Fellowship
Reebok Human Rights Award
1998 - Ms. Magazine named her Women of the Year

“In the colonial alchemy, gold changes to scrap metal and food to poison. We have become painfully aware of the mortality of wealth, which nature bestows and imperialism takes away.”  (Resurgence Magazine, Winona LaDuke, “Indigenous Mind.”)