Guardians of the Planet: 10 Women Environmentalists You Should Know Guardians of the Planet: 10 Women Environmentalists You Should Know

Guardians of the Planet:
10 Women Environmentalists You Should Know

Posted on April 9, 2016 by Katherine

"During April's Earth Month, we're celebrating the incredible women who are working to protect the environment and all of the creatures which share our planet. From groundbreaking primatologists to deep-sea explorers to determined activists, each of them has changed the way that we see the world — and our role in protecting it. Equally importantly, these women have shown all of us that we have an effect on the health of our plant: from the smallest decisions of our day-to-day lives to international policy — each of us can make a difference.

Below we share the stories of ten women and explore their contributions to making a greener and healthier world. And, if you'd like to learn more about any of the featured women or introduce them to children and teens, after each profile we've shared several reading recommendations for different age groups, as well as other resources that celebrate these remarkable women.

To discover fictional stories that show young readers how everyone can make a difference in making the world a little greener, check out our blog post, Mighty Girls Go Green: 20 Girl-Empowering Books for Earth Month.

To learn about more trailblazing women, don't miss the first post in our Women You Should Know blog series: Those Who Dared To Discover: 15 Women Scientists You Should Know."

Winona LaDuke (b. 1959)

American activist Winona LaDuke learned early in her life about the challenges facing Native Americans: her father, an Objibwe man from Minnesota's White Earth Reservation, had a long history of activism relating to the loss of treaty lands. But within her tribe's traditional connection to the land, she also saw the potential for a new model of sustainable development and locally-based, environmentally conscious production of everything from food to energy. Her non-profit the White Earth Land Recovery Project has revived the cultivation of wild rice in Minnesota, and sells traditional foods under its label Native Harvest. She's also the cofounder of Honor the Earth, a Native-led organization that provides grants to Native-run environmental initiatives. "Power," she says, "is in the earth; it is in your relationship to the earth." By providing a model for that relationship, she hopes that other peoples, as well as Native American tribes, can see the value of sustainable, connected living.

"... Miigwech! How humbly honored I am to be listed with these amazing women: Kate Sessions, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Rachel Carson, Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall, Sylvia Earle, Wangari Maathai, Vandana Shiva and Isatou Ceesay. The power of our women cannot be celebrated more." Winona LaDuk

"... Miigwech! How humbly honored I am to be listed with these amazing women: Kate Sessions, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Rachel Carson, Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall, Sylvia Earle, Wangari Maathai, Vandana Shiva and Isatou Ceesay. The power of our women cannot be celebrated more." Winona LaDuk