Indigo Girls had a great way to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day last week. The Montana Human Rights Network was kind enough to share their annual event with Honor the Earth, donating a large portion of the proceeds to HTE and allowing us to highlight Native environment activism in Montana. Our message focused on the link between cultural and environmental preservation, and human rights. Winona LaDuke spoke about the need to move away from coal and towards renewable energy resources. A spokeswoman from the Northern Cheyenne reservation came and shared her community’s struggle over coal strip mining and coal bed methane development. Honor the Earth has supported and encouraged tribes to develop wind energy across the West and Mid-west. Montana, in particular, has huge potential to create wind energy and bio-fuels. Montana’s anti-Indian movements and anti-environmentalism movements have shared a dangerous coalition for many years and the Montana Human Rights Network has worked hard to fight these forces. We appreciate their recognition of this connection and their willingness to build a coalition with Honor the Earth to help create change.

Here’s a montage of scenes from the night. We did play a show as well, but in the excitement ran out of tape. A full version of Winona LaDuke’s speech is up on YouTube, and can be see here:

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