Winona LaDuke is one of the most impressive native environmental leaders alive today. She co-founded and currently leads the advocacy and action organization, Honor the Earth, which operates nationwide to combat issues ranging from sexual violence to fossil fuel expansion. She is a Harvard trained Economist and the youngest woman to ever address the United Nations General Assembly on Indigenous Affairs.
In 1985 she formed the Indigenous Women’s Network, and worked with Woman of All Red Nation to combat forced sterilization by the United States government. In 1989 she helped start the White Earth Land Recovery Project to help her native Anishinaabe recover lands that have been illegally taken through treaty violation or sold off out of desperation. The organization continues to work on reforesting lands and reviving the cultivation of sustainable food systems: wild rice, hominy, sugar syrups, buffalo and a host of traditional medicines. She’s also a key figure in transitional energy movements, a pioneer in wind and solar innovation while combatting fossil fuel expansion. 1994 she was named by TIME magazine as one of America’s most promising leaders. In 1998, Ms Magazine named her Woman of the Year for her work with Honor the Earth. In 1996 and 2000, she ran for Vice President of the United States alongside her long-time friend and associate Ralph Nader.
Nine Muses produced a short documentary, FOOD + WATER | EARTH, to profile Winona in the midst of a battle to stop the $7.5 billion USD SandPiper pipeline in Northern Minnesota while she harvested and preserved native foods. We debuted that film at the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, received a grant from the PARK Foundation, and showcased it again at the Commission on the Status of Women alongside Malala Yousafzai’s film. A year later, the companies responsible for the Sandpiper pipeline permanently put the project on hold, but within a week of marking an environmental ‘win’ in Northern Minnesota those same companies turned around and bought a 49% stake in the Dakota Access Pipeline -- same oil, same source. Winona and Honor the Earth have served as major proponents of the #NoDAPL battle since April, 2016 and are in large part responsible for the current 'pause' in construction.
Nine Muses is currently working with Winona & co. to develop an up-and-coming, must-see television series based on an intensifying battle to preserve what precious natural environment remains on earth. Please stayed tuned for more, we begin shooting our pilot with Winona, Tara Houska and Nahko Bear in early 2017.