IAIA - Institute of American Indian Arts

Environmentalist and Political Activist Winona LaDuke Keynote Speaker at Institute of American Indian Arts Conference

Santa Fe, NM | Apr 2, 2012 –

Winona LaDuke, Ralph Nadar’s two-time vice presidential Green Party candidate, will highlight a student-led environmental conference at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in April.

LaDuke, an environmentalist and political activist who is a member of the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota, will be a keynote speaker for The Art of Change: Climate Justice and Indigenous Solutions April 20-21. LaDuke is program director of Honor of the Earth, a nonprofit that funds Native American environmental projects. LaDuke also founded the White Earth Land Recovery Project, an organization that revives and protects native seeds, animals, wild plants, and Native American tradition. 

Through dialogue, presentations and creative, hands-on workshops, conference participants will explore ways that Native American communities are responding to climate and ecosystem challenges, and threats to traditional ecological practices and culture. Workshops include: 

  • A panel with Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network director
  • Renewable energy in local Native communities and Native food movements
  • Permaculture, gardening and Native plant seeds
  • Cob building
  • Art and sustainable materials, and methods with Santa Clara Pueblo potter Rose B. Simpson

Annie McDonnell, chairwoman of IAIA’s Essential Studies Program, said hosting such a conference on campus will help IAIA build awareness for environmental justice issues that Native people face globally, and explore some of the practical and creative tools for change.  The event includes a recycled art show.

The conference is being organized by students participating in the Student Sustainability Leadership program, an internship that allows students to collaboratively build knowledge and skills to make the institution more environmentally responsible. As part of the internship, students have created a worm compost site and garden, and maintained a nature trail around campus. IAIA President Robert Martin has also joined other college presidents across the nation by signing the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, a compact to develop student environmental leaders and a plan to reduce harmful emissions from campus.

Conference registration is free for IAIA students and faculty.  Fee rates for the general public vary, depending on meal plan.

To register or for more information about the conference, go to:


For questions aboutThe Art of Change, contact:

Anne McDonnell
Essential Studies Faculty IAIACore Faculty
Work Phone: (505) 424-5733
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Leah Boss
Student Accounts and Collections Coordinator IAIAStudent Success Center (SSC)
Work Phone: 505.424.5732
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