Tracker Pixel for Entry

Winona Laduke to make appearance at Hotel Donaldson

by C.S. Hagen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Culture | October 24th, 2018

Winona LaDuke in her hemp field - photograph provided by winonashemp.com

FARGO – The introduction to Winona LaDuke’s Hemp and Heritage Farm describes how the world stands at the intersection between two paths.

“One path is well worn, scorched and leads to our destruction. The other path is new, green and leads to mino-bimaadiziwin (the good life).”

LaDuke, a lifelong environmental activist, founder of Honor the Earth, and two-time Vice Presidential pick for the Green Party, is also a writer, and she’s speaking about her book “The Winona LaDuke Chronicles” at the Hotel Donaldson this Saturday.

The book took her five years to write, too long, she said, because her house burned down halfway through.

“So I had all this trauma because of that, and had writer’s block,” LaDuke said. “At that time I was head of household for like eight, and I was running a large organization, so it was super challenging.”

Her speech – like her book – will focus on bringing the world away from the “scorched” earth to the “good life,” through agricultural and economical traditions the Anishinaabe and Indigenous tribes across the nation have known for more than 10,000 years.

She’s put her words into practice by becoming one of the first seven hemp growers in Minnesota. Now there are more than 40 hemp farmers. This year crops yielded high quality and after buying a diesel-powered decorticator for $2,200 from China, having it shipped home for a total of $355, and paying a President Donald Trump tariff of $500, she plans to be spinning hemp into yarn next year.

Her hemp has no THC levels, and it’s healthy for the environment, and for the skin. Nylon manufacturing creates nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Cotton takes approximately 5,281 gallons of water to make a single T-shirt and a pair of jeans. Cotton clothes also contain enormous amounts of residual pesticides.

Hemp clothing makes sense; the French word canvas came from the old Greek “kannabis.”

Primarily horses plow LaDuke’s land, she said, and she refuses to use any form of pesticide.

“Renaissance economy, enlightenment, where you move from what we’ve been grinding through, the extraction economy to reaffirming our relationship with the earth and sustainability, and with each other,” LaDuke said. “I love trade. I don’t like slave labor.”

She pointed to the fact that Indigenous reservations have the resources to trade, and have had since the early 1800s when the Hidatsas traded 500 horses to the Cree for guns and corn, or when in 1846 the Ojibwe sold 473,000 pounds of maple sugar.

Today, the “spiritual gift” Standing Rock gave during the 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline controversy still remains. The tribe is working on renewable energy, and the Three Affiliated Tribes have 17,000 times more wind power potential than they could ever use.

“Despite Trump, the next economy is going to have less carbon in it, because the world cannot afford it,” LaDuke said. “The future is going to be renewables. The future is going to be local food and hemp.

“By 2020, we can expect the next collapse,” LaDuke, who is also an economist after graduating from Harvard University in 1982, said. “This artificial bubble by deregulating everything is not going to last very long, and on the other side of it we are going to be far worse off.”

When fossil fuel proponents challenge her by saying that industries should take advantage of current oil supplies because resources will one day dry up, she snaps back with a light-hearted jibe.

“They didn’t end the stone age because they ran out of stone,” LaDuke said.

Most Indigenous people never bought into the fossil fuel money-making mindset, she said, as it is based on destruction of the earth they hold dear.

“Not only did we never get a piece of the pie, we actually didn’t like the pie,” LaDuke said. “I don’t want a piece of that pie. I want a different pie.”

The White Earth Reservation where LaDuke lives is also trading wild rice and maple syrup.

“I’m a sugar mamma, I’m producing maple syrup into sugar,” LaDuke said. She’s also involved with tribally owned Spotted Horse Coffees, roasting organic beans.

While North Dakota Native peoples are struggling to change post office box addresses to physical addresses after primarily the Republican Party attempted to suppress votes, Minnesota has its difficulties as well, LaDuke said. Just last week two young men were stopped because their tribal IDs had post office box addresses, but an advocate was able to work with the voting booth personnel and determine a GPS coordinate matching their addresses. What is more difficult for many Natives, however, is that people from reservations cannot vote in their areas.

“They drove 35 miles to vote, they got in there and were told their address wasn’t correct, they had a PO Box, and we had to have an advocate get them their ballots,” LaDuke said.

“It’s not just Standing Rock, White Earth as well. It’s a huge deterrent, and we are geographically disenfranchised.”

Despite North Dakota’s repeated attempts to crack down on activists from the Dakota Access Pipeline, despite the militarization of police, the coordination between private security firm TigerSwan and law enforcement, the failed legislative attempt to legalize running protestors over, LaDuke has hope for North Dakota, her neighbor. She believes the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling validating the state’s elimination of post office box addresses as valid for voting is an attempt to suppress the Native vote.

“I feel like North Dakota should evolve, and I’m hopeful,” she said. “We want North Dakota to come along, we all do. They’re doing this thing with all the convoluted steps you have to go through to vote now.”

The suppression, however, will backfire, she said. Many Natives are taking the government’s attempt as a challenge. The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and many non-Native people in the Bismarck area will be providing transportation to and from voting booths.

On White Earth, a water protector bus donated to Honor the Earth will be driving Indigenous people to the voting booths.

“It’s the Honor the Earth party bus,” LaDuke said. “I think we’re looking at this as a challenge, and am hopeful that by 2020 elections we will turn some of these things around. You shouldn’t have to drive 35 miles to vote.”

LaDuke’s book “The Winona LaDuke Chronicles” published by Fernwood Press out of Manitoba is available to purchase at Zandbroz Variety in downtown Fargo, online on her website, on Amazon, or in selected bookstores.

IF YOU GO:

“The Winona LaDuke Chronicles”

Saturday, October 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Hotel Donaldson

Recently in:

OGLALA, South Dakota – Hundreds of Natives at the Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation face life threatening danger after the Federal Emergency Management Agency refused to assist the tribe still suffering from a devastating summer…

Your operating system to be exact. That is Microsoft’s job. It is a tough job but Bill Gates signed them up for it many years ago. But Microsoft only supports each version of Windows for so long. For example, Windows 7 is…

November 8 – 11, Times VaryOak Grove Lutheran School, 124 North Terrace N., FargoSing along to your favorite Willy Wonka tunes at this delicious musical! Follow Charlie Bucket as he visits Mr. Wonka’s mysterious chocolate…

On Monday Dan Larson, a film student from Montana State University in Bozeman, swung by the office for an interview. This time I was on the other side of the questioning. Larson is currently working on a documentary about the…

Do Muslims and Christians have to wear gloves to play football?Gene and Matthew were both young teenagers when they realized they were gay. They finally met in the hallowed halls of Washington’s National Cathedral where leading…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

The Sons of Norway are once again saying Velkommen as this year’s holiday celebration is sneaking closer.The 14th Annual Traditional Norsk Christmas Event will take place on Friday, November 30th starting at 6pm. Hosted by Frode…

by Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.com With the kickoff of the holiday season (and the weather!) underway, it’s almost time for the annual holiday organ concerts at the Fargo Theatre. The concerts, put on as a partnership…

WARNING: The following review reveals plot information. Read only if you have seen “Suspiria”Luca Guadagnino’s ambitious reimagining of Dario Argento’s “Suspiria,” the first installment of the cult director’s Three…

by: Melissa Gonzalezmelissam.gonzalez@outlook.comFrom music, to sculpture, to grand scale murals, one local artist is working tirelessly to share his work with the community.The West Acres Mall is currently hosting its fifth…

by Stella Mehlhoffstellamehlhoff@gmail.com“Our mission is to invigorate civic conversation through intimate and transformative storytelling.” This statement posted on Theatre B’s website and tacked to their studio wall in…

Those who have been reading my articles for a while may remember when I interviewed Zachary Tooker about the Level Two Comedy Club at the Radisson in Fargo. While the club may have unfortunately closed, Tooker has not ceased…

Beer Snob

Warm up with a hot toddy

by HPR Contributor

by Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.com Fall is once again upon us. The leaves are turning, gardens have been pulled, and Summer’s heat has waned into Autumnal frosts. Along with the change of seasons comes a change of seasonal flavors.…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

Okay, against my better judgment, again, I'm going to weigh in on the 2018 election, just a week hence. Here goes.I told Democratic-NPL Congressional candidate Mac Schneider last week that if Heidi Heitkamp wins re-election to the…