Dakota Rural Action to host Winona LaDuke and ‘Sioux Chef’ Sean Sherman at annual meeting

Farm Forum

Brookings – Just as the Keystone XL pipeline issue once again heats up in South Dakota, Anishinaabe activist, author, and orator, Winona LaDuke, is set to headline Dakota Rural Action’s 2014 Annual Meeting in Pierre, South Dakota, November 7-8. LaDuke has traveled across the country to fight the pipeline; she will now address those affected by it directly, and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

People can register by calling 605-697-5204, or online at

Dakota Rural Action is a grassroots family agriculture and conservation group that organizes South Dakotans to protect our family farmers and ranchers, natural resources, and unique way of life. The Annual Meeting, held at the Pierre Senior Center, will begin Friday afternoon with a local energy workshop and a Chicken Summit followed by the evening social. In addition to LaDuke’s keynote speech, “The Sioux Chef” Sean Sherman will be catering and discussing his new venture. Saturday’s business meeting starts at 8 a.m. and will include panel discussion on food hubs and the Keystone XL pipeline.

“Attending the Dakota Rural Action Annual Meeting is a perfect opportunity for members and the public to meet our hard working staff and to learn more about the issues that we are working on,” Board Chair Paul Seamans says. “Treat yourself to a mini-vacation and travel out to the center of our state. In addition to attending the DRA Annual Meeting, visit our State Heritage Center Museum, maybe do some research at the State Archives or visit our beautiful Capitol Building.”

Keynote Speaker Winona LaDuke

Friday night’s featured speaker Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe) is an internationally acclaimed author, orator and activist. A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities with advanced degrees in rural economic development, LaDuke has devoted her life to protecting the lands and life ways of Native communities. She also is a founder and Co-Director of Honor the Earth, a national advocacy group encouraging public support and funding for native environmental groups. With Honor the Earth, she works nationally and internationally on issues of climate change, renewable energy, sustainable development, food systems, and environmental justice. Winona LaDuke is a powerful speaker who inspires her audiences to action and engagement.

“Sioux Chef” Sean Sherman

The caterer for Friday’s evening event will be Sean Sherman (Oglala Lakota) known as “The Sioux Chef”. Sherman grew up on Pine Ridge Reservation learning about Lakota traditional ways of cooking. He moved from Pine Ridge to study business at Black Hills State College and from there he moved to Minneapolis to seriously study the culinary arts. Sherman who emphasizes a “pre colonization diet” of the Lakota and Ojibwe peoples, a diet that has no European cultural influences. He uses locally sourced native foods in the area. Sherman is currently catering in the Minneapolis area and hopes to open a restaurant this upcoming winter.