05/06/2011 12:01 pm ET Updated Jul 06, 2011

Winona LaDuke: Use of "Geronimo" as Code for bin Laden Is "the Continuation of Wars Against Indigenous People"

The Obama administration has sparked outrage in the Native American community following the revelation it used the name of the legendary Apache leader Geronimo as a secret code word during the raid that killed of Osama bin Laden. Geronimo was an Apache leader who fought to preserve tribal lands against U.S. and Mexican forces in the 19th century.

"The reality is that the military is full of native nomenclature," says Native American activist and writer, Winona LaDuke, who is Anishinaabe. "You've got Black Hawk helicopters, Apache Longbow helicopters, you've got Tomahawk missiles. The term used when you leave a military base in a foreign country is 'off the reservation into Indian Country.' So what is that messaging that's being passed on? Basically, it is the continuation of the wars against indigenous people."

LaDuke was interviewed on Democracy Now! May 6. Click here to read the transcript.

In her new book, "The Militarization of Indian Country," LaDuke covers the legacy of the seizure of Native American lands by the U.S. government, which became sites for for industrial and military use, including army bases, nuclear testing sites, coal and uranium mining, and the military-industrial complex is encroaching on Native communities. LaDuke lives and works on the White Earth Nation in northern Minnesota and is Executive Director of the group, Honor The Earth. "Indian country is to not be assaulted by the U.S. military," says LaDuke.

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