Environmental Justice

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Northern Minnesota. Image courtesy of Lee Vue.

Where We Stand: The University of Minnesota and Dakhóta Treaty Lands

Despite the centuries-long and ongoing erasure of Indigenous peoples from American history textbooks and classrooms, and the chronic consignment of Indigenous peoples to the past in mainstream American consciousness, it remains a fact that every inch of what is now the United States is land to which one or more Indigenous nations has a deep and abiding connection, and of which, at some point, the U.S. government at least tacitly acknowledged Indigenous ownership.

Reminiscent of graffiti on Alcatraz Island, Indian Land is written across a concrete divider. Dividers were used as barricades to stop water protectors nearing construction of the DAPL pipeline. Image courtesy of Alex Flett.

The Political Binds of Oil versus Tribes

In late 2018, while researching the connections between environmental justice and Indigenous womxn’s activism[1], I was invited to story about how water might respond to environmental injustice and racism. In preparation, I thought about how the lands and peoples to which I belong struggle against “slow violence” brought on by the toxic effects of uranium contamination and nuclear pollution…