We had a change in plans and deviation from our schedule. AIR Programs had an extrodinary opportunity to meet and listen to Activist and Community Leader, Winona LaDuke, whose efforts has led to National changes on environmental rights, Tribal Rights, and support of many Tribal Nations through her Native Non-Profit Organization.
Winona activism led the developement of the White Earth Land Recovery Project to recover lands originally included in the White Earth Indian Reservation by an 1867 treaty. These lands had been allotted to individual households under the Nelson Act and later sold to non-Natives. The non-profit is also working on reforestation of reservation lands, and markets traditional products, including wild rice harvested by the tribe.
Winona LaDuke is required reading in many Polictial Science Courses that deal with Environmental Justice/Politics, including at San Diego State University.
We are very fortunate that this semester we have had a lot of great lecturer that included CILS Executive Director, USD Law Professor on Legal constructs of indigenous peoples, Professors from SDSU and USD on land issues and traditional foods, and even a few upcoming community leaders.