Interview by Annie Nocenti & Dan Skye
"Some of my most poignant childhood memories," says Winona LaDuke, "are of going to anti-war marches with my parents."
A Harvard-educated economist, author and journalist, LaDuke likes to describe herself as a "citizen activist." The daughter of activist parents, (a Jewish mother and a Native American father) LaDuke is from the Mississippi Band of Anishinabeg (Ojibwe) of the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota. She has been an inspiring spokesperson for Indigenous Rights for more than 20 years.
Currently, LaDuke is fighting for the safe, clean, cheap, decentralized and renewable energy source of wind power. "We need to recover democracy," LaDuke wrote in 2003. "And one key element is democratizing power production… After all, who’s going to fly an airplane into a wind tower or stop a bunch of farmers and Native people from putting wind into the grid?"
LaDuke has some remarkable ideas, remarkable in that they’re so worthy, it is startling to find out they are just ideas and not reality. For instance, LaDuke believes that Indigenous Nations, since they fit the criteria for the definition of a nation state, should be represented at the United Nations. [See sidebar.] LaDuke also proposes an amendment to the US Constitution that would require all decisions made by man to consider the consequences on future generations. Her proposed Seventh Generation Amendment is based on the Iroquois Confederation’s belief that all actions must take into account not just how they impact on today, but how they will impact seven generations from now. LaDuke is also a proponent of the Precautionary Principle, which states that private interests should always be secondary to the common good. These are the kinds of ideas that makes one wish LaDuke could be sent back in time to have a talk with the Founding Fathers.
COMPLETE INTERVIEW IN FEBRUARY 2004 HIGH TIMES