As it is, 'As Long as Grass Grows' is a passionately written primer on the history of environmental devastation wrought by colonization and how these directly impacted Indigenous nations across the continent. Thus, the need for Indigenizing environmental justice. That is what Dina Gilio-Whitaker accomplishes in her new book As long as grass grows: the Indigenous fight for environmental justice, from colonization to Standing Rock. On the one hand, this report documents the lingering impacts of 500 years of settler colonialism and suggests strategies to address those harms. Now it’s wildfire season, #ColorlinesReads: Get Some Perspective With These 5 Books, CSUSM professor probes environmental impacts on Native Americans in new book. more than normal. Steelworkers Strike Deal With Harley, Tracing Environmental Injustice Against Native People, Mainstream Settler Society Needs a Land- and Place-Based Ethic, 8 Must-Reads by Women Who Take on White Supremacy and Patriarchal Power, The Story We’ve Been Told About America’s National Parks Is Incomplete, David Treuer on uncovering the untold Native American histories of ‘Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, 17 books every activist should read in 2019. I picked up this book for a few reasons: first, because I am interested in environmentalism but often struggle to see the scope of environmental justice movement beyond small individual choices, like whether it's OK to eat meat, to drive a car, to compost, how to avoid plastic packaging, etc. I know I'm going to be sharing my copy with a fair number of friends that will find this book every bit as interesting as I did. Disclaimer: I won a copy via a Librarything giveaway. It functions as a sustained voice of channelled fury, which suits the topic, and the chapters can be quite scattered as they pace from subject to subject in place to place. As long as grass grows: the Indigenous fight for environmental justice, from colonization to Standing Rock. The vehicle for her analysis is Environmental Justice (EJ) and in particular the Standing Rock protest against the Dakota Access oil pipeline, where she spent a lot of time researching and reporting. The full extent of the State’s project to hamstring the rights of Indigenous people in the U.S. becomes clear in Chapter 2, provocatively titled “Genocide by any other name: a history of Indigenous environmental injustice.” This unflinching examination of settler colonialism and its wrongdoings exposes familiar tropes such as the “pristine” American West and “vanishing” populations of Native Americans while delivering difficult truths about forced relocation, structural genocide, and slavery. As Gilio-Whitaker writes, “The technological innovations and Indian land cessions that made westward movement possible have always benefitted settler populations at the expense of Indigenous populations” (p. 73). The crimes of settler colonialism in taking land used and sacred to Native Americans are included in the concept and the historic patterns of war and genocide are seen to hang over current environmental battles. In my experience, I don't hear many Indigenous authors claim white readers as their primary audience. There were a lot of individual stories that were interesting in and of themselves but my largest takeaway was the mental model of how people function in the world - a web of mutual responsibility and acknowledgement of the individual outside of human consciousness. I found that the book was organized in an easy to read manner, being broken up into chapters based on different subjects, such as genocide, health, and non-Native environmentalism. If you care about the major social movements happening in our society right now (which you absolutely should), then this is required reading. I'm also a white settler-descendent living in the territory currently known as the United States. But on the other side, I found her descriptions of the "Unsettling America" movement clearer than anything else I've read about it. She also notes with a sense of hope that Native American culture is typically matrilineal with equitable distribution of power between genders, and many of the strongest Indigenous activists have been and continue to be women. "As Long As Grass Grows", by Dina Gilio Whitaker, Native American of the Colville Confederated Tribes in Washington state, is not a quick read. Native American relay tradition revived by Native youth to protest Dakota Access Pipeline Photo: Salon Social media. “All the real Indians died off” and 20 other myths about Native Americans. We learn of the native peoples' ties to the land and their separation from traditional food sources, cultural sites and habitation by major dam and irrigation projects, by national parks, by road and energy projects. If you care about the major social movements happening in our society right now (which you absolutely should), then this is required reading. As long as grass grows covers a wide political and ecological territory while exploring themes of white supremacy and “structural genocide”, treaty rights and sovereignty, settler colonialism and decolonization, the “Faustian bargain” of resource development on tribal land, attempts at ecological and cultural restoration, and Indigenous concepts of rights of nature. She is the coauthor, with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, of, http://www.beacon.org/As-Long-as-Grass-Grows-P1445.aspx, Discussion Questions for As Long as Grass Grows, Intro & additional resources: As Long as Grass Grows. Provides a wide-ranging historical overview and outlines the fundamental white supremacy/colonialism in law, health, and the "preservation of nature." Without hesitation, Gilio-Whitaker answered: "For white people." This book helps teach us the central importance of Native theory and practice to transforming the radically imbalanced world that corporate capitalism has made into a world of balance through extended … It continues even today. This is the key concept that in Gilio-Whitaker’s view differentiates the Native American experience from that of other marginalized groups who struggle against environmental racism. Subscribe to RSS headline updates from: Powered by FeedBurner, The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock, “Highly recommended for American Indian studies and environmental justice students and scholars.”, Honoring Indigenous Peoples: 20 Recommended Reads, 10 Books Climate Activists Are Reading Now, The 10 Best Books On Climate Change, According to Climate Activists, Coronavirus shows we must change how we live or face self-destruction, The Centuries-Long History of Extractive Greed, As Long As Grass Grows: Dina Gilio-Whitaker, Books to give activists as they prepare for the upcoming election, Native Authors of California: A Shortlist, 12 Books by Indigenous Writers to Read this Indigenous Peoples Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Scientific Knowledge, & the Teachings of Plants, How to Indigenize the Green New Deal and Environmental Justice, As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, For Further Reading: New Native Histories of North America, Book talk to focus on environmental conflicts in Native American history, We’ve spent 100 years growing a tinderbox across the West. Gilio-Whitaker’s analysis is particularly strong in Chapter Three as she deconstructs the Industrial Revolution and its devastation of Native American lands, waters, and cultures. Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? The book is an extensively researched, documented and detailed scholarly work incorporating history, ""settler history", treaty history, and the ways environmental destruction drastically harmed Native peoples, disrupting a food chain their bodies and culture had adapted to over millennia, The conquerors hold an anthropocentric view of the world - that it is there for human taking and manipulation. Well written and meticulously researched. more than normal. As for the federal Indian law and policy that are often at the root of all of the controversies covered in this book, statutes and case law were glossed over for brevity and for keeping the pace of the narrative light and breezy, as opposed to conducting an in-depth analysis of the legal issues. Where The Long Grass Grows Book Summary and Study Guide. But if you're ready for that, there is so much useful and eye-opening information here, and it's definitely worth reading. However, when applied to 'As Long as Grass Grows' the author's answer to the student's questions shed light on how this book was assembled. Native Americans have been enduring an unremitting hell ever since the white Europeans arrived 500 years ago. It was an eye opening book for me and is impo. But there is no doubt the real issue is It reeks of white supremacy, she found. The book is an extensively researched, documented and detailed scholarly work incorporating history, ""settler history", treaty history, and the ways environmental destruction drastically harmed Native peoples, disrupting a food chain their bodies and culture had adapted to over millennia, The conquerors hold an anthropocentric view of the world - that i. They wanted the Hills back. This ambitious work makes a strong case for an expansion of the contemporary environmental justice movement, to accommodate the unique experience of people whose sovereign existence in North America preceded the United States Constitution. Native Americans have been enduring an unremitting hell ever since the white Europeans arrived 500 years ago. Drawing on indigenous and environmental justice activists and scholars from across disciplines, Gilio-Whitaker disrupts mainstream white assumptions about environmentalism and posits an essential perspective into contemporary social justice movements. Black Hills. April 2nd 2019 Gilio-Whitaker argues that Indigenous people stand alone in the environmental justice movement due to their long-standing, profoundly spiritual, and cultural connection to nature and non-human life. She examines Standing Rock as the latest in a long line of environmental justice struggles on American Indian land that require “the use of a different lens, one with a scope that can accommodate the full weight of the history of settler colonialism, on one hand, and embrace differences in the way Indigenous peoples view land and nature, on the other” (p. 12). Running for their lives. Native people from Wisconsin to New Zealand to India are pursuing environmental justice through the legal framework of “rights of nature,” making the case that long-standing indigenous traditions emphasize human kinship with all life, including non-human life. This book helps teach us the central importance of Native theory and practice to transforming the radically imbalanced world that corporate capitalism has made into a world of balance through … For a Masters thesis expanded into a book, this is pretty good. That said, my opinions are not impacted by the fact that I received this copy for free. Hard to read, but everyone should. Such an important book. Gilio-Whitaker predicts optimistically that “the growing sophistication of using education, law, and politics to advance tribal self-determination will continue to build a wall of defense against environmentally destructive corporate and government encroachments” (p. 162). The crimes of settler colonialism in taking land used and sacred to Native Americans are included in the concept and the historic patterns of war and genocide are seen to hang over current environmental battles.
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