Meaghan MacDonell

Resisting environmental violence:

“For Indigenous communities in North America, the links between land and body are powerful and yet often overlooked. Extractive industries have drilled, mined, and fracked on lands on or near resource-rich Indigenous territories for decades. Although the economic gains have been a boon to transnational corporations and the economies of the U.S. and Canada, they come at a frightening cost to Indigenous communities, particularly women and young people. We know that extreme energy extraction causes irreversible damage to the environment, but what is less visible is that every day, people are also experiencing unspeakable human rights abuses as a result.

Many of these communities are sites of chemical manufacturing and waste dumping, while others have seen an introduction of large encampments of men (“man camps”) to work for the gas and oil industry. As a result, there is a growing wave of sexual and domestic violence, drugs and alcohol, murders and disappearances, reproductive illnesses and toxic exposure, threats to culture and Indigenous lifeways, crime, and other social stressors.

Indigenous leaders have begun calling these impacts environmental violence.”