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K-State Today

April 5, 2011



Activist Winona LaDuke to discuss empowering Native American women to take charge of the environment in April 11 lecture

By Julie Fosberg

Environmental activist, author and political candidate Winona LaDuke can soon add Kansas State University lecturer to her resume.

LaDuke, a Native American of Anishinaabekwe -- Ojibwe -- heritage, is speaking at K-State from 7-9 p.m. Monday, April 11. Her lecture, "Native American Women: Finding the Voice to Safeguard Mother Earth," is free, open to the public and will be given at Forum Hall in the K-State Student Union. A Q-and-A session will follow.

LaDuke is an enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg, who live and work on the White Earth Reservations. She's currently executive director of the nonprofit organizations Honor the Earth and White Earth Land Recovery Project, where she advocates, raises public support for and creates funding for frontline native environmental groups. LaDuke, a graduate of Harvard and Antioch universities, has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues, and was nominated by Time magazine as one of the country's 50 most promising leaders under age 40.

"Winona LaDuke is an amazing woman who not only has served as a U.S. vice presidential candidate in two elections, but represents Native American traditions and beliefs about the environment," said Cameron Piercy, senior in communication studies and political science, Comanche, Okla. Pierson is also the president of K-State's Native American Student Association and an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation.

LaDuke's visit is part of a collaborative effort between the university's Diversity Programming Committee, the Native American Student Association and K-State's collaborative communication and event planning class.

"Winona LaDuke's speech is pertinent to people with an interest in women's studies, American ethnic studies, Native American history and culture, and certainly those who are advocates of environmental protections," Piercy said. "We're very excited to have her come to K-State and share her passion and views with us."

More information on the Native American Student Association is online at http://www.k-state.edu/nasa.