October 4, 2023
Stories from a tribal attorney, land defender and founder of the Giniw Collective.
Please join us to hear stories from the work of Tara Houska, a citizen of Couchiching First Nation and a devoted environmental and Indigenous rights advocate. Tara is conducting a two week campus residency at Dickinson College as the Recipient of the 2023 Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism. This event is free and open to the public.
The $100,000 prize is awarded annually to an individual or organization making a defining difference and advancing responsible action on behalf of the planet, its resources and people. Houska, who actively resisted the Line 3 oil pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline, is heavily involved in the movement to prioritize land defense, traditional knowledge and divestment to protect the Earth.
In addition to her environmental advocacy, Houska is the co-founder of Not Your Mascots, a nonprofit promoting positive representation for Native Americans in the public sphere. She is a TED speaker and has written for the women’s climate anthology All We Can Save, The New York Times, CNN, Vogue and Indian Country Today. She is the recipient of the 2021 American Climate Leadership Award and the 2019 Rachel’s Network Catalyst Award.
After spending years living off-grid in resistance camps fighting fossil fuel infrastructure, Houska sees a need for movement balance and is currently working on a long-term Land Back project on Rainy Lake. In January, she closed on Bald Rock Point, a nearly 100-year-old, 16-acre camp with cabins, docks and a main lodge. Houska and the Collective are restoring the camp to host those seeking to learn advocacy and land defense skills and traditional and cultural knowledge to foster healing and reconnection with nature—it is a reclamation of land, of a way of life and centers Indigenous leadership.
For Houska, the birth of her daughter crystallized her convictions about the urgency of protecting the planet. Houska invests her hopes in the evolving movement she is helping to lead, which has involved thousands of people on the ground in the last few years, and inspired hundreds of thousands of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples across the world to follow Native leadership. She believes in building a holistic and pragmatic movement, centering values that lead with natural law, humility and empathy and carrying our words into action.