Native activist LaDuke resigns from environmental group

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Native American activist Winona LaDuke has resigned as executive director of the Indigenous-led environmental group Honor the Earth after the organization lost a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee.

LaDuke announced her resignation Wednesday in a Facebook post, saying she failed Margaret Campbell by not responding sufficiently to her allegations of sexual harassment by a coworker in 2014 and 2015. A Minnesota jury awarded Campbell $750,000 last week in the suit against Honor the Earth.

“I take personal responsibility for the mistakes made,” LaDuke wrote. “I was the executive director, and it was my job to create a good foundation to heal and move forward.”

LaDuke, 63, a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, is best known for leading opposition to Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 oil pipeline across northern Minnesota in 2021 and participated in protests against the Dakota Access pipeline near North Dakota’s Standing Rock Reservation in 2016. She also ran for vice president as Ralph Nader’s running mate on the Green Party ticket in 1996 and 2000. She founded Honor the Earth 30 years ago with members of the musical duo Indigo Girls.

LaDuke, who owns an industrial hemp farm, said she planned to take some time off and is already is busy with preparations for spring planting and maple syrup gathering.

Krystal Two Bulls, who had been co-executive director since December, will now lead Honor the Earth.