VIDEO: Valerie Martinez Works for a Green Economy Grounded in Indigneous Health and Wellness

Authors: Julian Mocine-McQueen | Campaign and Partnerships Manager Valerie is a Mexican, Cree, Apache, Ojibwe woman from the twin cities of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who has been organizing around racial and social justice for indigenous people for the last ten years of her life. In recent years, she's stepped up her leadership in a major way through her work as the Executive Director of the Indigenous People's Green Jobs Coalition. The indigenous community in Minnesota has long struggled with issues of Environmental Justice and a chronic lack of employment opportunities. Valerie is leading the state-wide coalition toward addressing these issues by developing more green job opportunities for Minnesota's Native American population. But for Valerie it's about more than jobs:
We cannot allow the green jobs movement to just be about weatherization and retrofitting. It has to be about our young people, our elders, and there has to be opportunities for everyone. That is the only way our communities can truly be sustainable.
Whether it's through developing culturally relevant education around healthy, local food options, holding community screenings for movies dealing with the environment, or training Native families in healthy home and toxics eradication, Valerie is a one-woman force of change!

Find out more about her efforts and the work of other allies in the Minnesota area in this brand new Green For All video focusing on the growing green economy in the Twin Cities!

Although Valerie focuses on many different elements of sustainability, her deepest passion lies within addressing the lack of healthy food options:
I lost my Mom to diabetes, the leading cause of death in the Native American community. This is a treatable disease, and the only way to address it effectively is through a healthy diet.
Valerie works to educate and engage the Native American and Somali communities in healthy food options that are in line with their traditions and values. Learn more about Valerie »

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