37th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures


$40 tickets include the keynote address and panel discussion (1:00 – 5:00 pm)  

$150 tickets include the afternoon’s event plus an evening reception at Crissey Farm in Great Barrington with a dinner menu featuring indigenous ingredients. 


For questions about tickets contact the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Box Office at 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230.

Open between 12pm and 6pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Box office phone number: 413-528-0100


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In the folklore of the Anishinaabe peoples of North America, the Prophecy of the Seventh Fire predicts that there will come a time when we must choose between two paths. One path will be green and lush. The other will be well worn but scorched, and walking it will cut our feet.

Winona LaDuke—activist, community economist, author, and member of the Ojibwe Nation of the Anishinaabe peoples—says that now is that time. During last year’s Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, LaDuke called for us to make the right choice. In a message to the Water Protectors she said, “We are not just fighting against something, but clearly and decidedly walking with open eyes and hearts down the path that is green.”

For more than twenty-five years Winona LaDuke has been a leading advocate and organizer for Native American groups working to recover their ancestral lands, natural resources, and cultures.

As a young Harvard graduate she moved to her family’s home on the White Earth Reservation in upper Minnesota, where she created a community land trust organization to re-gather traditional lands lost to private ownership. She stands as one of the most important spokespersons for a fair land reform that includes equity in buildings (not in land value) for those using the land.  She described this work in her 1993 Schumacher Lecture “Voices From White Earth: Gaa-waabaabiganikaag.”

On Saturday, November 4th, LaDuke will deliver the keynote address at the 37th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures, which will take place at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Her talk will be followed by a panel discussion led by Nwamaka Agbo, a member of Schumacher Center’s board of directors and the Innovation Fellow at the Movement Strategy Center in Oakland, California.

Nwamaka Agbo will moderate a discussion between young people from diverse backgrounds who are doing work to reclaim ownership of community resources in order to build stronger local economies and ecologies—those who have chosen the Green Path. In facilitating the conversation she will bring to bear more than ten years of experience in social and economic justice organizing and economic development.



About the Speaker:


Winona LaDuke is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibway) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg. She lives and works in northern Minnesota on the White Earth reservation.

She is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, whose mission is to regain the Anishinaabeg people's original lands from federal, state, and county governments. The Recovery Project produces and sells traditional foods and crafts, working to revive cultivation and harvesting of wild rice.

LaDuke is also the executive director of Honor the Earth, a grassroots environmental organization focused on Indigenous issues and environmental justice, which she co-founded in 1993. As program director of the Honor the Earth Fund she is active in advocating, raising public support, and creating funding for Native environmental groups. In 2016 she was involved in supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline water protectors.

She serves as co-chair of the Indigenous Women's Network, a North American and Pacific indigenous women's organization, and was a founding member of the community land-rights group Anishinaabe Akeeng and of IKE, a Native women's craft marketing collective. She is a former board member of Greenpeace USA and ran twice as vice-presidential candidate with Ralph Nader for the Green Party.

LaDuke’s books include The Militarization of Indian Country (2011); Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming (2005); Winona LaDuke Reader:  A Collection of Essential Writings (2002); All our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (1999); and a novel, Last Standing Woman (1997).

She graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in rural economic development and received her M.A. in Community Economic Development from Antioch College.

Winona LaDuke is an eloquent presenter of Native American views and a compelling spokesperson on behalf of the suffering of indigenous peoples and their struggle to reclaim their ancestral lands.



About the Moderator:


Nwamaka Agbo is excited to bring over 10 years of experience in working on social and economic justice issues and campaigns that help support the sustainable and equitable development of thriving and prosperous communities as the Innovation Fellow for the Movement Strategy Center. 

As the Director of Programs at EcoDistricts, Nwamaka was responsible for leading Target Cities – a pilot program designed to support 11 innovative neighborhoods in 9 cities across North America in applying the EcoDistricts Global Protocol to help accelerate and achieve their district-scale sustainability goals. 

As the Director of Programs at Transform Finance, Nwamaka helped to design and launch the inaugural Transform Finance Institute for Social Justice leaders.  The Institute was created to educate and train social justice community leaders about how to best leverage impact investments to deepen their social impact for transformative social change. Nwamaka worked at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights for over six years in a range of positions spanning from Policy Director, to Campaign Director and Deputy Director. During her tenure at the Ella Baker Center, Nwamaka helped to support the launch of the Oakland Green Jobs Corp and later went on to develop the organization’s Oakland-based Soul of the City civic engagement campaign.

She currently serves as an Advisory Board Member to Oakland Rising Action and a Board Member of People’s Grocery.  Nwamaka is also honored to support the work of Roots of Success as an Advisory Board Member and Wellstone Action as a Trainer. She graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and African American Studies and holds a Master’s of Public Administration specializing in Financial Management from San Francisco State University.




About the Panelists:


Karissa Lewis is the Executive Director of the Center for Third World Organizing. With extensive experience in organizing and activist training, she works to build leadership in communities of color and is dedicated to creating a movement for social justice that is led by the people most affected. She has organized around issues ranging from gentrification to environmental racism, gang injunctions, and police brutality. She is an active member of the Bay Area #blacklivesmatter chapter.



Gopal Dayaneni is a member of the staff collective at the Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project. He is an active trainer with and serves on the boards of The Ruckus Society and the Center for Story-based Strategy. He also serves on the advisory boards of the International Accountability Project and the Catalyst Project. Gopal has been active in many people-powered direct action movements, including the Global Justice/Anti-Globalization Movement, Direct Action to Stop the War, Mobilization for Climate Justice, Take Back the Land, and Occupy.




Robert Hawk Storm Birch, known primarily by his Native American name, Hawk Storm, is hereditary Sachem (Chief) of the Schaghticoke First Nations people of New York and Connecticut. Sachem Hawk Storm is leading a Schaghticoke effort to build a cultural center that will specialize in teaching sustainable development and agriculture, while at the same time providing housing to members of the Schaghticoke tribe and building awareness of their history and culture. In 2015, Hawk Storm signed the United Nation’s Declaration of the Right of Indigenous People.





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Prophecy of the Seventh Fire


The seventh prophet that came to the people long ago said to be different from the other prophets. He was young and had a strange light in his eyes. He said,

"In the time of the Seventh Fire New People will emerge. They will retrace their steps to find what was left by the trail. Their steps will take them to the Elders who they will ask to guide them on their journey. But many of the Elders will have fallen asleep. They will awaken to this new time with nothing to offer. Some of the Elders will be silent because no one will ask anything of them. The New People will have to be careful in how they approach the Elders. The task of the New People will not be easy.

"If the New People will remain strong in their quest the Water Drum of the Midewiwin Lodge will again sound its voice. There will be a rebirth of the Anishinabe Nation and a rekindling of old flames. The Sacred Fire will again be lit.

"It is this time that the light skinned race will be given a choice between two roads. If they choose the right road, then the Seventh Fire will light the Eighth and final Fire, an eternal fire of peace, love brotherhood and sisterhood. If the light skinned race makes the wrong choice of the roads, then the destruction which they brought with then in coming to this country will come back at them and cause much suffering and death to all the Earth's people."


"Teachings of the Seven Prophets: The Seven Fires" read by Elder William Commanda at the Aboriginal Learning Network Constituency Meeting of Elders, policy makers, and academics on April 16th and 17th, 1997 in Aylner, Quebec.