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Harper Distinguished Speaker Series

Annual lecture by a liberal arts leader


This annual free lecture series brings to Denver a prominent leader from a liberal arts field. Made possible, in part, by the Heber Harper Humanities Distinguished Lectureship Endowment.

Creating a Multicultural Democracy: Religion, Culture and Identity in America

Presented by Winona LaDuke

Tuesday, April 5, 2016
University of Denver
Davis Auditorium (Room 248)
Sturm Hall
2000 E. Asbury Avenue
Denver, CO 80208

Free. Light refreshments provided

Register below, or call 303-871-2425

5:30 p.m. — Reception (light appetizers)
7:00 p.m. — Lecture, Creating a Multicultural Democracy: Religion, Culture and Identity in America, presented by Winona LaDuke

In a country founded on religious freedom, Native religious freedom remains an unresolved problem in America. At this lecture, LaDuke will argue that there is a need for a new paradigm in America's legal, legislative and regulatory policy realms. Sacred sites and the reaffirmation of Native religions are the basis of Native religious freedom, yet U.S. legislature threatens that freedom even in the new millennium. For instance, sacred Apache land in Arizona was recently reappropriated to a mining company. By citing emergent international regulations and case studies, LaDuke will address broader questions of public policy to make the case that the US needs to reevaluate the rights of nature versus the rights of corporations.

LaDuke became involved with Native American environmental issues after meeting Jimmy Durham, a well-known Cherokee activist, while she was attending Harvard University. At the age of 18, she spoke in front of the United Nations regarding Native American rights and since has become one of the most prominent voices for American Indian economic and environmental concerns throughout the United States and internationally. She is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg, who lives and works on the White Earth Reservations.

LaDuke is the Executive Director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project and Honor the Earth, where she works on a national level to advocate, raise public support, and create funding for frontline native environmental groups.

In 1994, LaDuke was named by TIME magazine as one of America's fifty most promising leaders under forty years of age. In both 1996 and 2000 she was Ralph Nader's running mate in his presidential campaigns, appearing on the Green Party ticket.

A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities, LaDuke has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues. She is a former board member of Greenpeace USA and serves as co-chair of the Indigenous Women's Network, a North American and Pacific indigenous women's organization.

She is the author of six books, including The Militarization of Indian Country (2011); Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming (2005); the non-fiction book All our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (1999, South End Press); and a novel—Last Standing Woman (1997, Voyager Press). LaDuke continues to spread her message and is arguably the most well-respected authority on Native American culture in the world.