She went to Harvard. That’s what most people say when they want to sum up Winona LaDuke’s education. But that’s not all there is to it. LaDuke was born and raised on the west coast. Harvard is on the east coast. Though life was obviously different on the two opposite sides of the country, LaDuke enjoyed Harvard and met other Native Americans. It was quite different from Oregon, where she was the only Indian in her school’s entire student body. Harvard opened LaDuke’s eyes and integrated her into a multinational and multicultural setting. She traveled quite often while in college, writing papers on Native American issues. At college, LaDuke flourished as did her knowledge of her people, culture, and how the problems of racism and prejudice affected minorities.
Winona LaDuke’s education at Harvard was not one only of academics but of social matters. She recognized that “…today, over a period of time, native people have been totally removed from the American psyche…because schools don’t teach about native people.” The lack of recognized representation among Native Americans became a factor that fueled Winona LaDuke to become what she is today, an activist.