We went to a talk by Winnona LaDuke at Berea College in Kentucky today. Ms. LaDuke is an Ojibwe Tribe member from the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. She is also the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project. [We had done research at this Reservation several years prior. And the thrust of the project is to buy back as much Reservation land as possible (from corporate farming concerns, etc.) and reintroduce organic farming, replant native trees, re-stock sturgeon in the waterways, revert to sustainable, Native American hunting practices…] When we were at White Earth, Ms. LaDuke (who has twice run as a vice-presidential candidate for the Green Party) told me the Tribe’s environmental practices stem from the belief this generation is spiritually responsible for the “next seven generations.” At the talk today, she said that if we don’t think we have to be reconciled with the natural world, “we’re pretty much in denial.” Ms. LaDuke, who attended Harvard University, said she is a “Rural Development Economist” who is interested in moving toward a society that’s based on equitable and just relationships. America, at present, isn’t there. For instance, Ms. LaDuke pointed out that the United States was developed on land stolen from the Native Americans, and the economy was initially built on the backs of Black slaves. “History books don’t hardly teach this,” she said. Current multi-cultural education, in fact, is primarily from an “anglo” perspective, “with a little spicing up,” Ms. LaDuke said… Ms. LaDuke said her interest is in”deconstructing oppression.” Some 90% of the White Earth Reservation is now held by other concerns (again, such as corporation farms). There is also a 65% unemployment rate at White Earth. And even though there is some job training, Ms. LaDuke went on, there are few jobs. In regard to all this, she scoffed: “You tell me to pick myself up by my bootstraps — but you’ve got my boots.” Part of Ms. LaDuke’s answer to this is to get back as much land as possible and make the Reservation as sustainable within the context of a decentralized micro-society. Note: Our platform calls for making tangible amends to the Native Americans for past atrocities, including giving land back in as many creative ways as possible. One of those ways, we believe, would be to help fund projects like the White Earth Land Recovery Project, and similar initiatives on Reservations across the country. And these amends can start — now.