Winona LaDuke was born in Los Angeles in 1959. Her father was Anishinaabe, from a reservation in Minnesota, and her mother was Jewish.
LaDuke was raised in Ashland, Oregon. She graduated from Harvard in 1982 with a degree native economic development, then became a high school principal on the White Earth Ojibwe reservation in Minnesota. While working on the reservation, LaDuke became involved in native politics, particularly the struggle to recover native lands. LaDuke went on to found The White Earth Land Recovery Project, the Indigenous Women's Network, and Honor the Earth.
LaDuke is the author of three books--Last Standing Woman (1997), All our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (1999), and Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming (2005). She has also appeared in several films, including the documentaries Anthem (1997) and The Main Stream (2002) and the feature film Skins (2002).
LaDuke has been honored with several awards, including Ms. Magazine's Woman of the Year (1997) and the Reebok Human Rights Award (1998). In 2000, she was the vice-presidential candidate on the Green Party's Nader presidential ticket. She is also the mother of five.