Environmental Stewardship, Place, and Community: A Reading List

Tettegouche State Park, Silver Bay, Minnesota. Image courtesy of Conner Bowe.
Tettegouche State Park, Silver Bay, Minnesota. Image courtesy of Conner Bowe.

By Christine Taitano DeLisle and Laurie Moberg

The humanities-led Environmental Stewardship, Place, and Community Initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, focuses on integrating Indigenous ways of knowing into the humanities, and in particular into humanistic approaches to environmental challenges. Throughout the first year and a half of the grant, participants in the project have shared and discussed texts to create a common foundation for moving this work forward. Below is a selection of the readings that form this core.

This Place

One pillar of this work is to consider how we understand and think about this place as an Indigenous place, Mni Sota Makočhe.

Reading List for This Place

Diaz, Vicente M. 2019. “Oceania in the Plains: The Politics and Analytics of Trans-Indigenous Resurgence in Chuukese Voyaging of Dakota Lands, Waters, and Skies in Miní Sóta Makhóčhe.” Pacific Studies 42 (1/2): 1–44. https://www.academia.edu/42274941/.

Gould, Roxanne. 2018. “Dream of Wild Health: Growing Garden Warriors and a Food Sovereignty Movement.” Green Theory & Praxis Journal 11 (3): 3–16. http://greentheoryandpraxisjournal.org/gtpj-volume-11-issue-3-november-2018/.

Gould, Roxanne, and Jim Rock. 2016. “Wakan Tipi and Indian Mounds Park: Reclaiming an Indigenous Feminine Sacred Site.” AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples 12 (3): 224–235. https://doi.org/10.20507/AlterNative.2016.12.3.2.

Odegard, Tianna M. 2019. “What’s in My Backyard? Empowering Indigenous Voices on Firefly Creek at Blue’s Bottom.” Open Rivers: Rethinking Water, Place & Community, no. 14. https://editions.lib.umn.edu/openrivers/article/empowering-indigenous-voices/.

Rock, James, and Roxanne Gould. 2018. “Indigenous Riverscapes and Mounds: The Feminine Relationship Of Earth, Sky and Water.” Paper presented at the June 6-8, 2018 Hawaii University International Conferences [STEAM and Education]. Honolulu, HI. https://huichawaii.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Rock-Jim-2018-STEM-HUIC.pdf.

Smith, Mona. 2018. “Learning from the Dakota: Water and Place.” Open Rivers: Rethinking Water, Place & Community, no. 11. https://editions.lib.umn.edu/openrivers/article/learning-from-the-dakota-water-and-place/.

Smith, Mona M. 2016. “Owámniyomni, a Dakota Name for ‘St. Anthony Falls.’” Open Rivers: Rethinking The Mississippi, no. 4. https://editions.lib.umn.edu/openrivers/article/owamniyomni-a-dakota-name-for-st-anthony-falls/.

Histories and Decolonization

Indigenous relations to place, however, are complicated by a history of colonization, removal, and genocide. Understanding the settler colonial histories and legacies of violence and trauma is vital for dismantling the ongoing gendered violence of settler colonialism, for disrupting settler capitalist and materialist assumptions about the “natural world,” and for accepting responsibilities of what it means to be a good relative on Indigenous lands.

Reading List for Histories and Decolonization

Case, Martin. 2018. The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became U.S. Property. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press. https://www.mnhs.org/mnhspress/books/relentless-business-treaties.

Estes, Nick. 2019. “The U.S. Stole Generations of Indigenous Children to Open the West.” High Country News. https://www.hcn.org/issues/51.17/indigenous-affairs-the-us-stole-generations-of-indigenous-children-to-open-the-west.

Tuck, Eve, and K. Wayne Yang. 2012. “Decolonization is Not a Metaphor.” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, and Society 1 (1): 1–40. https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/des/article/view/18630.

Yazzie, Melanie K. and Cutcha Risling Baldy, eds. 2018. “Indigenous Peoples and the Politics of Water.” Special Issue, Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 7 (1). https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/des/issue/view/2004.

Indigeneity, Environmental Justice, and Activism

Indigenous peoples are often at the front of resistance movements, particularly standing up for other-than-human relations against violence, exploitation, and destruction. The following readings demonstrate how Indigenous epistemologies, ontologies, and relations shape these activist movements.

Reading List for Indigeneity, Environmental Justice, and Activism

Boffa, Adam. 2019. “‘We Are Nations:’ What Environmental Justice Looks Like for Indigenous People.” Gizmodo. https://earther.gizmodo.com/we-are-nations-what-environmental-justice-looks-like-f-1839028507.

Estes, Nick. 2019. “A Red Deal.Jacobin. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/08/red-deal-green-new-deal-ecosocialism-decolonization-indigenous-resistance-environment.

Estes, Nick, and Jaskiran Dhillon, eds. 2019. Standing with Standing Rock: Voices from the #NoDAPL Movement. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/standing-with-standing-rock.

Gilio-Whitaker, Dina. 2019. As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice From Colonization to Standing Rock. Boston: Beacon Press. http://www.beacon.org/As-Long-as-Grass-Grows-P1445.aspx.

Sherwood, Yvonne P. 2019. “The Political Binds of Oil versus Tribes.” Open Rivers: Rethinking Water, Place & Community, no. 13. https://editions.lib.umn.edu/openrivers/article/‎the-political-binds-of-oil-versus-tribes/.

Waziyatawin. 2008. What Does Justice Look Like: The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland. St. Paul, MN: Living Justice Press. http://www.livingjusticepress.org/index.asp?SEC=%7BC77C5426-031A-4F37-A7A4-09B76B8B3C5B%7D.

———. 2012. “The Paradox of Indigenous Resurgence at the End of Empire.” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, and Society 1 (1): 68–85. https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/des/article/view/18629.

Whyte, Kyle Powys. 2018. “Settler Colonialism, Ecology, and Environmental Injustice.” Environment and Society 9 (1): 125–144. https://doi.org/10.3167/ares.2018.090109.

———. 2018. “What Do Indigenous Knowledges Do for Indigenous Peoples?” Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Learning from Indigenous Practices for Environmental Sustainability, edited by M.K. Nelson and D. Shilling, 57–82. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108552998.

Theory and Methods

The readings in this section challenge us to consider who are knowledge holders, how knowledge is produced, and the nature of knowledge itself. Offering insights, methods, and provocations, these readings compel us to think about relatives, reciprocity, and settler legacies that shape disciplines and practices, research and teaching.

Reading List for Theory and Methods

Arvin, Maile, Eve Tuck, and Angie Morrill. 2013. “Decolonizing Feminism: Challenging Connections between Settler Colonialism and Heteropatriarchy.” Feminist Formations 25 (1): 8–34. doi: 10.1353/ff.2013.0006.

DeLisle, Christine Taitano. 2015. “A History of Chamorro Nurse-Midwives in Guam and a ‘Placental Politics’ for Indigenous Feminism.” Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific 37 (March). http://intersections.anu.edu.au/issue37/delisle.htm – http://intersections.anu.edu.au/issue37/delisle.htm.

DeLoughrey, Elizabeth. 2019. “Toward a Critical Ocean Studies for the Anthropocene.” English Language Notes 57 (1): 21–36. doi: 10.1215/00138282-7309655.

DeLoughrey, Elizabeth M. 2019. Allegories of the Anthropocene. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. https://www.dukeupress.edu/allegories-of-the-anthropocene.

Diaz, Vicente M. 2017. “Stepping In It: How to Smell the Fullness of Indigenous Histories.” In Sources and Methods in Indigenous Studies, edited by Chris Anderson and Jean M. O’Brien. New York: Routledge, 86–92. https://www.routledge.com/Sources-and-Methods-in-Indigenous-Studies/Andersen-OBrien/p/book/9781138823617.

Moreton-Robinson, Aileen. 2017. “Relationality: A Key Presupposition of an Indigenous Social Research Paradigm.” In Sources and Methods in Indigenous Studies, edited by Chris Anderson and Jean M. O’Brien. New York: Routledge, 69–77. https://www.routledge.com/Sources-and-Methods-in-Indigenous-Studies/Andersen-OBrien/p/book/9781138823617.

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. 2012. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. 2nd ed. London: Zed Books. https://www.zedbooks.net/shop/book/decolonizing-methodologies/.

Tallbear, Kim. 2017. “Standing With and Speaking as Faith: A Feminist-Indigenous Approach to Inquiry.” In Sources and Methods in Indigenous Studies, edited by Chris Anderson and Jean M. O’Brien. New York: Routledge, 78–85. https://www.routledge.com/Sources-and-Methods-in-Indigenous-Studies/Andersen-OBrien/p/book/9781138823617.

Todd, Zoe. 2016. “An Indigenous Feminist’s Take on the Ontological Turn: ‘Ontology’ is Just Another World for Colonialism.” Journal of Historical Sociology 29 (1): 4–22. https://doi.org/10.1111/johs.12124.

Walter, Maggie, and Michael A. Guerzoni. 2020. “How a University Can Embed Indigenous Knowledge into the Curriculum and Why it Matters.” The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/how-a-university-can-embed-indigenous-knowledge-into-the-curriculum-and-why-it-matters-147456?utm_source=fac…

Whyte, Kyle. 2018. “Critical Investigations of Resilience: A Brief Introduction to Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences.” Dedalus, the Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences 147 (2): 136–147. doi:10.1162/DAED_a_00497.

Wilson, Shawn. 2008. Research Is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing. https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/research-is-ceremony-shawn-wilson.

Recommended Citation

DeLisle, Christine Taitano, and Laurie Moberg. 2020. “Environmental Stewardship, Place, and Community: A Reading List.” Open Rivers: Rethinking Water, Place & Community, no. 17. https://editions.lib.umn.edu/openrivers/environment-place-community-reading-list.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24926/2471190X.7665

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