This blog originally appeared on humansandnature.org
By Winona LaDuke
I believe in place. Anishinaabe Akiing, the Land to which the people belong, that’s where I live. I live in the same area as my great-great-great-great-grandparents lived. Nimanoominike, I harvest wild rice on the same lakes, canoe to the same berry patches. I am eternally grateful to my ancestors for their consistency and their commitment to land, to ceremony, and to those who had not yet arrived, like myself. My lake, Round Lake, is where the so-called “last Indian uprising in Minnesota” occurred. And I am eternally grateful to the Skip in the Day Family for demanding justice on our Lake and for stopping the timber barons from stealing all of our great and majestic pines. In walking, riding horse, or canoeing these lakes and this place, I remember those ancestors. And I offer them food and prayers. Those are cool ancestors, great role models.
My mother is the artist Betty LaDuke, and my family on her side hails from the Ukraine. They were Jewish farmers who became union workers in New York City. My great-great-grandfather had a windmill to grind wheat,...