In the treaty territories and reservation of the Anishinaabeg, or the Ojibwe people, Winona LaDuke is planning the next economy. “Hemp is a cornerstone of a post petroleum economy and needs to be reintegrated into rural farming, particularly Indigenous farming,” says Winona LaDuke who is poised to elevate her Hemp and Heritage Farm by launching a national crowd-sourcing initiative to further protect the Earth and revitalize the once vibrant hemp-fiber industry in Minnesota.
Winona’s Hemp & Heritage Farm, located near the White Earth Reservation in Northern Minnesota, is working with the Anishinaabe Agricultural Institute to build a new locally-grown economy based on food, energy, and fiber through a new hemp production facility on LaDuke’s own independent land adjacent to nearby tribal lands. Hemp mills are not new to Minnesota, but they have not been active since the government shut them down in 1944. According to Hempology, the 11 hemp mills that were built in 1943 were forced to shut down one year later by the U.S. government, citing lack of needs due to ‘war purposes.’