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Tara Houska (us)
Tara Houska has been involved in a dizzying number of efforts. The tribal-rights attorney is the national campaigns director for the indigenous-led environmental-justice organization Honor the Earth, has served as adviser on Native American issues for Bernie Sanders’s campaign, cofounded Not Your Mascots to fight the appropriation of indigenous culture, and protested the Dakota Access pipeline at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Her work embodies the notion that we can’t treat environmental and social injustice separately. “These issues indicate race, economic disparity, and income inequality,” she says. “You don’t see a pipeline going through Beverly Hills. Keeping that issue of justice at the forefront is really important to me in everything I do.”
Houska, a citizen of the Couchiching First Nation, grew up in International Falls, Minnesota, across the Canadian border from the tribe’s reservation. While working at a Washington, D.C., law firm in 2014, she protested the Keystone XL pipeline and organized efforts to rename Washington’s NFL team. “The mascot movement showed me the power of extremely marginalized voices coming together to be heard,” Houska says.
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