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Presented By: University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)

Virtual Keynote: Winona LaDuke, The Ways of Water: Art, Activism, and Ecologies Symposium

Helmut Stern Auditorium / University of Michigan Museum of Art

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Winona LaDuke is an economist, environmental activist, author, hemp farmer, and former two-time Green Party vice presidential candidate.

LaDuke is known worldwide for her thoughts and lectures on climate justice and renewable energy and as an advocate protecting Indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering. She was named to the first Forbes ​“50 over 50 Women of Impact” list in 2021 and has been recognized by Time magazine, with the Thomas Merton Award and Reebok Human Rights Award, and was named the Woman of the Year by Ms. magazine in 1998. LaDuke is the author of several books, including, most recently, To Be a Water Protector: Rise of the Wiindigoo Slayers. A Harvard University graduate with a degree in rural economic development, she devotes much of her time to farming on the White Earth reservation in Minnesota. LaDuke is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg.

Winona LaDuke is the keynote speaker for The Ways of Water: Art, Activism, and Ecologies Symposium, a 2-day symposium that brings together a diverse group of practitioners, including artists, designers, activists, scholars, scientists, policy analysts, urban planners, students, and thinkers to discuss what may well be the most important issue of our time: access to clean water and the fight for environmental justice.

Held in partnership with the University of Michigan Museum of Art and Stamps Gallery and building on themes present in the UMMA exhibition Watershed and Stamps Gallery’s LaToya Ruby Frazier: Flint is Family in Three Acts, The Ways of Water symposium continues to unravel the story of water, its critical role, and the way it connects us all. 

After the keynote, join us for an in-person panel discussion followed by a reception.

3:30 – 5:00 pm: Panel Discussion — Intervention and Innovation in Water Infrastructure and Justice Movements Panelists: Alice Jennings, Lisa Lapeyro, Senghor Reid, and Joe Trumpey

This panel features more recent interventions and innovations that have been developed, proposed, and enacted in a shifting water landscape. It examines how artwork, design, community actions (including protest, advocacy, and the development of new organizations), and recent court cases and new laws actively shape our use of and access (or lack thereof) to water. 

5:00 pm:  Connections Across the Watershed - A reception with a Performance by The Sister Tour and artist-led tour of the UMMA exhibition Watershed.


Symposium events are free and open to all. Keynote, additional panelists and complete symposium schedule to be announced. Please contact Jennifer Junkermeier-Khan, Stamps Gallery at jenjkhan@​umich.​edu for additional information or with questions.

This program is co-presented by Stamps Gallery and UMMA in partnership with the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History and the University of Michigan Library. Additional support provided by the U-M Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, the U-M Joseph A. Labadie Collection, and the Office of the Vice President for Research

Lead support for this exhibition is provided by the U-M Office of the Provost, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michigan Arts and Culture Council, Susan and Richard Gutow, and the U-M Institute for the Humanities. Additional generous support is provided by the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability, Graham Sustainability Institute, and the Department of English Language and Literature. Special thanks to Margaret Noodin and Michael Zimmerman, Jr. for translating the gallery texts into Anishinaabemowin.  

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