37 Winona LaDuke Quotes from the American Environmentalist

Winona LaDuke, a Native American activist, economist and author, champions Indigenous rights, particularly over their lands, resources and traditions.

Born in 1959 in Los Angeles, she is of Anishinaabe heritage and was deeply influenced by tribal events in her youth.

After attending Harvard, where she intensified her commitment to Indigenous issues, LaDuke became principal of a school on the White Earth Ojibwe reservation in Minnesota and led a lawsuit for land rights.

Winona LaDuke

She co-founded the Indigenous Women’s Network in 1985 and the White Earth Land Recovery Project (WELRP) in 1989, focusing on sustainable development and Indigenous empowerment.

LaDuke also co-established Honor the Earth with the Indigo Girls and was Ralph Nader’s running mate in 1996 and 2000.

Recognized with numerous honors and awards, she remains devoted to Indigenous and environmental causes, exemplified by her current venture, Winona’s Hemp & Heritage Farm.

I have made a list of the best quotes by Winona LaDuke.

Top 10 Winona Laduke Quotes


I’m not a patriot to a flag, I’m a patriot to a land. ~ Winona LaDuke.


The only compensation for land is land. ~ Winona LaDuke.


Let us be the ancestors our descendants will thank. ~ Winona LaDuke.


I see a lot of damage to Mother Earth. I see water being taken from creeks where water belongs to animals, not to oil companies. ~ Winona LaDuke.


By snowshoe, canoe, or dog team, they moved through those woods, rivers, and lakes. It was not a life circumscribed by a clock, stamp, fence, or road. ~ Winona LaDuke.


There is no social-change fairy. There is only change made by the hands of individuals. ~ Winona LaDuke.


I would like to see as many people patriotic to a land as I have seen patriotic to a flag. ~ Winona LaDuke.


Native communities are focal points for the excrement of industrial society. ~ Winona LaDuke.


The thing about being an Indian person is that you feel most at home with your own people. ~ Winona LaDuke.


What our Seventh Generation will have is a consequence of our actions today. ~ Winona LaDuke.

Famous Winona Laduke Quotes


Someone needs to explain to me why wanting clean drinking water makes you an activist, and why proposing to destroy water with chemical warfare doesn’t make a corporation a terrorist. ~ Winona LaDuke.

The Anishinaabeg world undulated between material and spiritual shadows, never clear which was more prominent at any time. It was as if the world rested in those periods rather than in the light of day. Dawn and dusk, biidaaban, mooka’ang. The gray of sky and earth was just the same, and the distinction between the worlds was barely discernible. ~ Winona LaDuke.

Native people – about two-thirds of the uranium in the United States is on indigenous lands. On a worldwide scale, about 70 percent of the uranium is either in Aboriginal lands in Australia or up in the Subarctic of Canada, where native people are still fighting uranium mining. ~ Winona LaDuke.


The aboriginal peoples of Australia illustrate the conflict between technology and the natural world succinctly, by asking, ‘What will you do when the clever men destroy your water?’ That, in truth, is what the world is coming to. ~ Winona LaDuke.

Mother Earth needs us to keep our covenant. We will do this in courts, we will do this on our radio station, and we will commit to our descendants to work hard to protect this land and water for them. Whether you have feet, wings, fins, or roots, we are all in it together. ~ Winona LaDuke.

The essence of the problem is about consumption, recognizing that a society that consumes one-third of the world’s resources is unsustainable. This level of consumption requires constant intervention into other people’s lands. That’s what’s going on. ~ Winona LaDuke.

Another thing is, people lose perspective. It is a cultural trait in America to think in terms of very short time periods. My advice is: learn history. Take responsibility for history. Recognise that sometimes things take a long time to change. If you look at your history in this country, you find that for most rights, people had to struggle. People in this era forget that and quite often think they are entitled, and are weary of struggling over any period of time. ~ Winona LaDuke.


I’m interested in what kind of food we’re going to eat as the climate changes. I’m interested in what kind of economy we’re going to have in another 1,000 years. ~ Winona LaDuke.

I find that I have more allies on the left than on the right, and that is because the left is, by and large, filled with people who are challenging the present paradigm and power structure. I’m interested in totally transforming the structure that exists now, because it is not sustainable. ~ Winona LaDuke.

I used to go to some Harvard parties with my athlete friends, and they would introduce me as ‘Winona, the Indian activist.’ It made me uncomfortable. I felt like a novelty. ~ Winona LaDuke.

Water is life. We are the people who live by the water. Pray by these waters. Travel by the waters. Eat and drink from these waters. We are related to those who live in the water. To poison the waters is to show disrespect for creation. To honor and protect the waters is our responsibility as people of the land. ~ Winona LaDuke.

Best Winona Laduke Quotes


The difference between a white man and an Indian is this – A white man wants to leave money to his children. An Indian wants to leave forests. ~ Winona LaDuke.

In the end, there is no absence of irony: the integrity of what is sacred to Native Americans will be determined by the government that has been responsible for doing everything in its power to destroy Native American cultures. ~ Winona LaDuke.

America is so accustomed to some depiction of native people that is entirely racist, and there’s a perception that that is okay. ~ Winona LaDuke.

We are a part of everything that is beneath us, above us, and around us. Our past is our present, our present is our future, and our future is seven generations past and present. ~ Winona LaDuke.

Brothers and Sisters: Our ancient homeland is spotted today with an array of chemical dumps. Along the Niagara River, dioxin, a particularly deadly substance, threatens the remaining life there and in the waters which flow from there. Forestry departments spray the surviving forests with powerful insecticides to encourage tourism by people seeking a few days or weeks away from the cities where the air hangs heavy with sulphur and carbon oxides. ~ Winona LaDuke.

In the time of the sacred sites and the crashing of ecosystems and worlds, it may be worth not making a commodity out of all that is revered. ~ Winona LaDuke.


Our forests are not for toilet paper. They are worth more standing than cut. That deserves to be defended, not only by native peoples but also by environmentalists. ~ Winona LaDuke.

It is essential to collectively struggle to recover our status as Daughters of the Earth. In that is our strength, and the security, not in the predator, but in the security of our Mother, for our future generations. In that we can insure our security as the Mothers of our Nations. ~ Winona LaDuke.

Popular Winona Laduke Quotes

I would argue yes. In fact, I would question the inverse. Can men of privilege… who do not feel the impact of policies on forests, children or their ability to breastfeed children… actually have the compassion to make policy that is a reflection of the interests of others. At this point, I think not. ~ Winona LaDuke.

Ojibwe prophecy speaks of a time during the seventh fire when our people will have a choice between two paths. The first path is well worn and scorched. The second path is new and green. It is our choice as communities and as individuals how we will proceed. ~ Winona LaDuke.

I don’t understand all the nuances of the women’s movement. But I do understand that there are feminists who want to challenge the dominant paradigm, not only of patriarchy, but of where the original wealth came from and the relationship of that wealth to other peoples and the earth. That is the only way that I think you can really get to the depth of the problem. ~ Winona LaDuke.

Power is not brute force and money; power is in your spirit. Power is in your soul. It is what your ancestors, your old people gave you. Power is in the earth; it is in your relationship to the earth. ~ Winona LaDuke.

It’s time to transition beyond our fossil fuel addiction to a just economy based on green jobs, renewable energy, and local organic food. ~ Winona LaDuke.

There are many histories of North America. The experiences of successive waves of immigrants are distinct, as are – to a large degree—the histories of the different classes compromising the immigrant waves. The histories of the various peoples native to the continent are also quite distinct within themselves. The story of each of these groups holds a rightful claim to its own integrity, to its own place and fullness of meaning within the whole. To deny this is to distort. ~ Winona LaDuke.

If we build a society based on honoring the earth, we build a society which is sustainable, and has the capacity to support all life forms. ~ Winona LaDuke.

What we all need to do is find the wellspring that keeps us going, that gives us the strength and patience to keep up this struggle for a long time. ~ Winona LaDuke.

So these were the 37 powerful quotes about Winona Laduke.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Ella Baker quotes and Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar