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Aquinas College to host Winona LaDuke, Native American & Environmental Activist

November 8, 2013 - GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – Aquinas College is well known for its leadership and innovation in the area of sustainability, forging new paths in striving towards a more environmentally conscious society. In conjunction with the College’s Native American Heritage Celebration and in collaboration with organizations within the Grand Rapids community, the Aquinas Center for Diversity & Inclusion presents “Food Sovereignty: Environmental Justice in Native America.” On November 12, speaker Winona LaDuke will address the issue of environmental justice as seen through the Native American perspective.

LaDuke (Anishinaabe) is an acclaimed author, orator, and activist who has devoted her life to protecting the lands and lifestyles of Native communities. She is founder and executive director of Honor the Earth, a national advocacy organization that works for the development of a green economy in Native America, while also serving as an international leader on culturally-based sustainable development strategies.

In the context of celebrating Native American heritage month at Aquinas, LaDuke will add a new perspective to sustainability conversations as the College works to raise awareness of Native American tradition and history.

Latoya Booker, Director of the Aquinas College Center for Diversity & Inclusion, said that the event aims to raise awareness of how the non-native community has power to influence Native American communities through environmental policy decisions. “As we go about the daily work of being green and sustainable,” said Booker, “we hope to better recognize the Native history of honoring the earth in a sustainable manner, recognizing how much we borrow from their tradition.”

This event is co-sponsored by the Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center, the Aquinas Center for Sustainability, the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians, and the West Michigan Environmental Action Council. LaDuke will be available after the lecture for a book signing.

WHO: Native American and environmental advocate Winona LaDuke
WHAT: “Food Sovereignty: Environmental Justice in Native America”
WHEN: Tuesday, November 12, 7 to 9 p.m.