Indigenous Resistance, Anti-Colonial Politics, and Global Environmental Justice
600 S. Gregory
We live in a time defined by climate change with growing resistance to environmental degradation and extractive industries burgeoning across the globe. In the midst of this planet-wide crisis marked by debates about the Anthropocene, Indigenous peoples have been at the forefront ofenvironmental justice movements. Yet despite the tidal wave of interest in Indigenous knowledge(s) about the land, water, and sky, limited attempts have been made to theorize how conquest, occupation, and persistent colonial violence necessarily factor into debates over the environmental crisis.As such, this talk is framed by the following questions: How can contemporary environmental disaster be positioned as a form of colonial violence deeply interwoven with dispossession?What are the political modalities through which Indigenous peoples are resisting colonial violence as it is materialized through environmental devastation? What can be learned about the possibilities for a linked international environmental justice movement through a comparative analysis across different geographical locations? Arguing that an anti-colonial indictment of mainstream environmentalism compels us to (re)imagine decolonial research/ praxis around environmental politics, the talk coalesces around Indigenous led environmental struggle in North America while also gesturing toward an unfolding multi-sited ethnographic project that traces the architecture of environmental resistance for Indigenous peoples across the globe.
Cosponsors: American Indian Studies Program, Department of Asian American Studies, Department of Gender & Women's Studies
Jaskiran Dhillon is a first-generation anti-colonial scholar and organizer who grew up on Treaty Six Cree Territory in Saskatchewan, Canada. Committed to the tenets of public intellectualism, Jaskiran’s scholarship is informed by on-the-ground advocacy and direct action. Her work has been published in The Guardian, Cultural Anthropology, Truthout, Public Seminar, Feminist Formations, Environment and Society, Social Texts, and Decolonization among other venues. Her first book, Prairie Rising: Indigenous Youth, Decolonization, and the Politics of Intervention (2017), provides a critical, ethnographic account of state interventions in the lives of urban Indigenous youth. Her new research focuses on developing an anti-colonial critique of the environmental justice movement by examining Indigenous political movements working against extractivism, including the resistance at Standing Rock. She is guest editor of a special issue of Environment and Society (2018) that foregrounds Indigenous resistance to, and theorizing of, climate change and is co-editor of Standing with Standing Rock: Voices from the #NoDAPL Movement (2019). Jaskiran is an associate professor of global studies and anthropology at The New School.