How do Indigenous communities in Canada balance the development needs of a growing population with cultural commitments and responsibilities as stewards of their lands and waters? Caring for Eeyou Istchee recounts the extraordinary experience of the James Bay Cree community of Wemindji, Quebec, who partnered with a multi-disciplinary research team to protect a territory of great cultural significance in ways that respect community values and circumstances. By addressing fundamental questions such as what should be protected and how, Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners reveal how protected area creation presents a powerful vehicle for Indigenous stewardship, biological conservation, and cultural heritage protection.
This volume explores the ways in which Indigenous peoples across the world are challenged by climate change impacts, and discusses the legal resources available to confront those challenges.Indigenous peoples occupy a unique niche within the climate justice movement, as many indigenous communities live subsistence lifestyles that are severely disrupted by the effects of climate change. Additionally, in many parts of the world, domestic law is applied differently to Indigenous peoples than it is to their non-Indigenous peers, further complicating the quest for legal remedies. The contributors to this book bring a range of expert legal perspectives to this complex discussion, offering both a comprehensive explanation of climate change-related problems faced by Indigenous communities and a breakdown of various real world attempts to devise workable legal solutions. Regions covered include North and South America (Brazil, Canada, the US and the Arctic), the Pacific Islands (Fiji, Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia), Australia and New Zealand, Asia (China and Nepal) and Africa (Kenya).
More than 300 million people in over 70 countries make up the worlds Indigenous populations. Yet despite ever-growing pressures on their lands, environment and way of life through outside factors such as climate change and globalization, their rights in these and other respects are still not fully recognized in international law. In this book, Laura Westra reveals the lethal effects that damage to ecological integrity can have on communities. Using examples in national and international case law, she demonstrates how their lack of sufficient legal rights leaves Indigenous peoples defenceless, time and again, in the face of governments and businesses who have little effective incentive to consult with them (let alone gain their consent) in going ahead with relocations, mining plans and more. The historical background and current legal instruments are discussed and, through examples from the Americas, Africa, Oceania and the special case of the Arctic, a picture emerges of how things must change if indigenous communities are to survive. It is a warning to us all from the example of those who live most closely in tune with nature and are the first to feel the impact when environmental damage goes unchecked.
Surrounded by Canada's densest concentration of chemical manufacturing plants, members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation express concern about a declining male birth rate and high incidences of miscarriage, asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular illness. Everyday Exposure uncovers the systemic injustices they face as they fight for environmental justice. Exploring the problems that conflicting levels of jurisdiction pose for the creation of effective policy, analyzing clashes between Indigenous and scientific knowledge, and documenting the experiences of Aamjiwnaang residents as they navigate their toxic environment, this book argues that social and political change requires a transformative "sensing policy" approach, one that takes the voices of Indigenous citizens seriously.
This volume clearly distinguishes Indigenous environmental justice (IEJ) from the broader idea of environmental justice (EJ) while offering detailed examples from recent history of environmental injustices that have occurred in Indian Country. With connections to traditional homelands being at the heart of Native identity, environmental justice is of heightened importance to Indigenous communities. With focused essays on important topics such as the uranium mining on Navajo and Hopi lands, the Dakota Access Pipeline dispute on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, environmental cleanup efforts in Alaska, and many other pertinent examples, this volume offers a timely view of the environmental devastation that occurs in Indian Country. It also serves to emphasize the importance of self-determination and sovereignty in victories of Indigenous environmental justice. The book explores the ongoing effects of colonization and emphasizes Native American tribes as governments rather than ethnic minorities.
How can social movements help bring about large-scale systems change? This is the question Jen Gobby sets out to answer in More Powerful Together. As an activist, Gobby has been actively involved with climate justice, anti-pipeline, and Indigenous land defense movements in Canada for many years. As a researcher, she has sat down with folks from these movements and asked them to reflect on their experiences with movement building. Bringing their incredibly poignant insights into dialogue with scholarly and activist literature on transformation, Gobby weaves together a powerful story about how change happens. In reflecting on what's working and what's not working in these movements, taking inventory of the obstacles hindering efforts, and imagining the strategies for building a powerful movement of movements, a common theme emerges: relationships are crucial to building movements strong enough to transform systems. Indigenous scholarship, ecological principles, and activist reflections all converge on the insight that the means and ends of radical transformation is in forging relationships of equality and reciprocity with each other and with the land. It is through this, Gobby argues, that we become more powerful together.
Following the removal of the gray whale from the Endangered Species list in 1994, the Makah tribe of northwest Washington State and the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation of British Columbia announced that they would revive their whale hunts. The Makah whale hunt of 1999 was met with enthusiastic support and vehement opposition. A member of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation, Charlotte Coté offers a valuable perspective on the issues surrounding Indigenous whaling.
In this in-depth analysis of First Nations opposition to the oil sands industry, James Heydon offers detailed empirical insight into Canadian oil sands regulation. The environmental consequences of the oil sands industry have been thoroughly explored by scholars from a variety of disciplines. However, less well understood is how and why the provincial energy regulator has repeatedly sanctioned such a harmful pattern of production for almost two decades. This research monograph addresses that shortcoming. Drawing from interviews with government, industry, and First Nation personnel, along with an analysis of almost 20 years of policy, strategy, and regulatory approval documents, Sustainable Development as Environmental Harm offers detailed empirical insight into Canadian oil sands regulation. Providing a thorough account of the ways in which the regulatory process has prioritised economic interests over the land-based cultural interests of First Nations, it addresses a gap in the literature by explaining how environmental harm has been systematically produced over time by a regulatory process tasked with the pursuit of 'sustainable development'.