I don’t think there’s a lot of excuses, frankly, for not doing the right thing.”

Anishinaabe orator, author, economist and activist Winona LaDuke doesn’t mince words in her quest to light a path for us to “hang around another thousand years.” “Your ecosystem seems to be your mall,” LaDuke tell us. When I asked her where she comes from, her answer was “the real world. You can drink the water out of a lake!” Something to think about.

Winona LaDukeWinona observes that we are “doing things only addicts would do,” including sedating ourselves with a lot of information and television. The author of Recovering the Sacred told me we need a society that is “respectful, resilient, and ecologically and socially responsible.” Instead, “we have a society based on conquest, on consuming more than it needs.” We emphasize “quarterly profits over intergenerational responsibility.”

I was anxious to visit with her because, as she confirmed, “the tenets of a sustainable economy are found in indigenous thinking.” Our conversation ranged from rights, responsibilities and cultural baggage to economic growth, urbanization, sustainability and the qualities of a durable economy.

This is the fourth in our series of podcasts and radio programs. We post a new podcast episode every Thursday. Be sure to subscribe! You can find us at iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher, or sign up to get an email every Thursday with the newest episode. If you like what you hear, please support this project with a tax-deductible donation. Your comments are invited. If we’re not behaving in a way that will allow us to hang around another thousand years, do we need to change our thinking, our individual actions, and the system in which most of us must operate? Does one of these have to change first, in order to start the ball rolling? What do you think?

More About Winona LaDuke:

Winona is a graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities with advanced degrees in rural economic development. Founder and Co-Director of Honor the Earth, LaDuke has devoted her life to protecting the lands and life ways of Native communities. She is a leader on the issues of culturally-based sustainable development strategies, renewable energy and food systems. In 1994, Time magazine named her one of America’s fifty most promising leaders under forty years of age, and in 1997 LaDuke was named Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year. Other honors include the Reebok Human Rights Award, the Thomas Merton Award, the Ann Bancroft Award, the Global Green Award, and the prestigious International Slow Food Award. In 2007, Winona LaDuke was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

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