One of the green activists spearheading the campaign against Line 3 has a history of defending alleged sexual abusers.
Winona LaDuke is the executive director and co-founder of Honor the Earth, a large organization responsible for a significant share of the ongoing protests against the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline. She is also known for appearing alongside top Minnesota Democrats like Attorney General Keith Ellison, Rep. Ilhan Omar and even U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. She once ran for vice president with the Green Party.
While her work on environmental issues frequently attracts doting headlines, she was the subject of a less pleasant article recently as the Washington Free Beacon publicized her apparent defense of a grown man accused of having sex with a minor.
Newly unearthed court documents show that after it was brought to LaDuke’s attention that one of her top organizers, Michael Dahl, apparently had sex with an underage boy, she defended his choice in a 2015 Facebook message.
LaDuke conceded that Dahl “probably did have sex” with the 15-year-old boy. Later in the same statement, she doubled down, defending Dahl because he is of the “two spirit” sexual orientation.
Despite the fact Dahl reportedly had sex with a child, LaDuke said he can’t be “a predator or pedophile as he’s raised a lot of young men,” per the Beacon.
She concluded by saying she would “stand with Mike.”
More recently, she chose to stand with another man who resigned from her organization in disgrace after a flurry of sexual abuse allegations: musician and former Honor the Earth board member Nahko Bear (who also used to date Aaron Rodgers’s fiancé, per Elite Daily).
Bear was banned from preforming at several events in 2020 after he allegedly groped underage girls. Musician Trevor Hall even commented on Bear’s reported misbehavior.
“The big scandal is about Nahko, who was a board member of Honor the Earth, and Nahko then resigned from the board of Honor the Earth as this controversy arose,” she began. She then extolled his virtue, saying, “I will tell you he’s an amazing musician and amazing person and I consider him to be my nephew. He’s a good man, but I’m not responsible for any of his behavior with women.”
In addition to defending alleged predators, LaDuke has also been accused of directly allowing sexual abuse to occur under her watch.
Margaret Campbell used to work for the Honor the Earth group before she filed a lawsuit in 2019 claiming that she was sexually harassed by Dahl in 2014 and 2015 while LaDuke failed to take her complaints seriously.
“Who’d you f– last night? … You look like you’ve been f–ed,” Dahl once asked Campbell in front of a group of people, according to the lawsuit. Her lawsuit also details numerous other allegations of Dahl sexually harassing her and abusing underage boys.
Although Campbell sought help from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, her accusations of misconduct were never vindicated since the department decided her claim was too old to pursue, according to the Star Tribune.
LaDuke also appeared to attempt to discredit Campbell’s accusations on the basis that she is “non-native,” a claim she made during the August Native Roots Radio interview.
Despite all of this controversy, LaDuke appears to remain ingratiated with the Minnesota left. On Jan. 29, 2021, Minnesota’s Democrat-controlled House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Committee invited her to testify.
The Free Beacon said Honor the Earth did not return its request for comment. Alpha News reached out to the group, but also did not receive a response.