Last night, I went to CSU and saw Winona LaDuke speak. She was there as the keynote for our Native American Heritage Month celebration. As described on her website, “Winona LaDuke is one of the world’s most tireless and charismatic leaders on issues related to climate change, Indigenous rights, human rights, green and rural economies, grass-roots organizing, local foods, alternative sources of energy and the priceless value of clean water over a career spanning nearly 40 years of activism.”
I left her talk feeling both inspired and overwhelmed. The fact that it was all occurring on Election Day made it even more compelling. Everything she said felt so urgent and important and right. She talked about the clear and present danger to our food supply and our energy resources, arguing that our current path isn’t sustainable. She urged us to continue to make an effort, and that even though the world is on fire and we’ve made so many mistakes that we should live from hope rather than fear.
There were so many important things she said I wish I could quote here, share with you, but I spent my time listening instead. Here’s a quote I found today that closely matches her thesis for her talk last night, “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.” I know what I choose, now it’s just a question of keeping true to that choice in all of the smaller, daily choices I make.