Honor the Earth is a Native-led organization, established by Winona LaDuke and Indigo Girls Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, in 1993 to address the two primary needs of the Native environmental movement: the need to break the geographic and political isolation of Native communities and the need to increase financial resources for organizing and change. Winona continues to function as the Executive Director of Honor, and is available for speaking engagements, and consultations with tribes.
As a unique national Native initiative, Honor the Earth works to a) raise public awareness and b) raise and direct funds to grassroots Native environmental groups. We are the only Native organization that provides both financial support and organizing support to Native environmental initiatives. This model is based on strategic analysis of what is needed to forge change in Indian country, and it is based deep in our communities, histories, and long-term struggles to protect the earth.
We believe a sustainable world is predicated on transforming economic, social, and political relationships that have been based on systems of conquest toward systems based on just relationships with each other and with the natural world. As our mission states, we are committed to restoring a paradigm that recognizes our collective humanity and our joint dependence on the Earth.
In our 20+ years of operation, we have re-granted over two million dollars to over 200 Native American communities. Honor the Earth achieves our goals through two integrated programs, the Energy Justice Initiative, and Building Resilience in Indigenous Communities Re-Granting Initiative, which are both supported by our Transforming Thinking through Education and Outreach.
We are committed to the understanding that Indigenous peoples are key in the work to address climate change and energy justice -- from our teachings and wisdom of thousands of years living within our cultural practices, to our strategic position in terms of renewable energy and retaining agro-biodiversity in a time of climate change. Our work is in restoring these knowledge systems and practices, strengthening consciousness, and creating the durable energy and food economies for Native America. The reality is that building a renewable energy economy on Native lands (and restoring local, non-industrial food systems and foods themselves) will not only help mitigate the climate change crisis, but also address the poverty and social injustices that plague our communities. We will continue to oppose the fossil fuel and nuclear economy, with your help. And we will support our communities to restore the Indigenous knowledge, foods, and ways of living for the next generations. The technology and the wind and solar resources exist to transform a highly inefficient and exploitative energy production system into one that is safe and clean, a transformation that would signify an era of energy justice.
Click image below for videos taken by our good friend Keri Pickett of the first Honor the Earth Tour in 1994: