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LaDuke steps down as director of Recovery Project

After 25 years of service to White Earth Land Recovery Project, Winona LaDuke stepped down as Executive Director for the organization. LaDuke will continue in the capacity of special projects associate for the organization. As the founder of White Earth Land Recovery Project the decision she made to leave the position was a very hard choice given her commitment to her community.

“After 25 years of service as the Executive Director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project I have chosen to step down from this position and the board of directors has appointed Robert Shimek as the new Interim Executive Director. This has been a remarkable part of my life, the majority of my adult years for sure, and in that time, we’ve seen the return of 1,400 acres of land to our people, including some 160 acres we continue to seek to return to specifically the White Earth Tribal Government,” she said. We have seen the development of Native Harvest, an entity which markets wild rice, maple syrup and other tribal products to national and international markets. We’ve seen our efforts to protect wild rice and the environment be a success.

“I will be working primarily on environmental and energy issues in the region, including the proposed expansion of the Alberta Clipper tar sands pipeline and the proposed Sandpiper line of fracked oil from North Dakota. To better serve my community and care for my family, I have decided to focus my work on advocacy, writing and renewable energy, as well as my horses and children. I will continue to work in tandem with the White Earth Land Recovery Project and hoping to continue some development and renewable energy partnerships. I remain with the Honor the Earth nonprofit organization for national work.”

Honor the Earth is Native lead organization established by Winona and the Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers in 1993 to address two primary needs of the Native environmental movement: the need to break the geographical and political isolation of Native communities and the need to increase financial resources for organizing and change.

“Based on my long standing relationship with Bob Shimek, I am very pleased with this development and the future of the organization,” LaDuke said.

Coming to the White Earth Land Recovery Project on an Interim basis is Robert Shimek, who most know in the community as Bob.

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