Saturday, August 29, 2009

Winona LaDuke speaks out for earth at annual Honor the Earth Benefit Birthday Bash

by Eric Hjerstedt Sharp
The Tall Timber Telegraph

LA POINTE, Wis. _ "Madeline Island holds a special spiritual significance," said LaDuke at Tom's Burned Down Cafe Thursday night.

Originally called Mooningwanekaaning ("The Home of the Golden Breasted Woodpecker") Madeline Island is the traditional spiritual center of the Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) people. LaDuke chose Tom's Burned Down Cafe in the town of La Pointe as the venue for her 50th birthday bash and the annual benefit for Honor the Earth, a native-directed and controlled organization of which LaDuke is the executive director. Honor the Earth's mission is "to create awareness and support for indigenous environmental issues and leverage needed financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable indigenous communities. Honor the Earth develops these resources by using music, the arts, media and indigenous wisdom to ask people to recognize our joint dependency on the earth and be a voice for those who are not heard," according to the organization's mission statement.

LaDuke and the staff of Honor the Earth urged participants to be aware of local food communities and to follow sustainable paths to help the earth heal after centuries of neglect and resource depletion.

Native rocker Keith Secola on guitar and others joined the celebration at Tom's Burned Down Cafe for an evening of music and dance. Secola was joined by Chequamegon Bay-area musicians including Laughing Fox (Michael "Scooter" Charette, flute), Marky Rossow (Marky Mark sax, banjo and drums) and others at the event.

Photos by Chad Lampson, The Tall Timber Telegraph photographer and technical editor

FLUTIST LAUGHING FOX from Red Cliff, Wis. constructs his own flutes. A poet and artist, he has taught people of all ages.

1 comment:

Eric Hjerstedt Sharp said...


LaDuke spoke at the Honor the Earth Annual Benefit Birthday Bash at Tom's Burned Down Cafe in La Pointe, Wis. on Madeline Island in Lake Superior on Aug. 27. She is executive director of Honor the Earth and a founding director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project. She lives on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota as an enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of Anishinaabeg.

Ralph Nader's running mate in the Green Party in 1996. In 1997, along with the Indigo Girls, she was named a Ms. magazine Woman of the Year.