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Environmental Activist Winona LaDuke: 'We Have To Choose Upon Which Path To Embark'

Susan Bence
Winona LaDuke's speaking with a class at UWM on April 11, 2019.

Monday marked the 49th anniversary of Earth Day, the day founded by Wisconsin’s Gaylord Nelson to focus attention on environmental affairs.

Earlier this month, political and environmental activist Winona LaDuke visited the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to present her lecture, "The Next Energy Economy: Grassroots Strategies to Mitigate Global Climate Change, and How We Move Ahead."

LaDuke is based on the White Earth reservation in Minnesota and was also a two-time vice presidential candidate on the Green Party ticket.

She says that the driving force in her work is encouraging others to take a stand against climate change. LaDuke says, as food, energy, water and other resources become over utilized, most people "live in a society based on the idea that you can keep moving on."

She adds, "The reality is that Americans live in an artificial world. The arrogance of industrial society, the arrogance of America is not sustainable."

"This moment in time that we're all in now where you got a choice, it's called the Time of the Seventh Fire," LaDuke says.  "We're told we have the choice between two paths: One is well-worn, but it's scorched. The other is not well-worn and it's green, and we have to choose upon which path to embark."

Susan Bence entered broadcasting in an untraditional way. After years of avid public radio listening, Susan returned to school and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She interned for WUWM News and worked with the Lake Effect team, before being hired full-time as a WUWM News reporter / producer.