Commentary: Toxic Bodies, Part II

By Kristina Lyons, University of California, Santa Cruz § The president of the communal action committee whom I call Doña Marta ushered me to a more secluded corner behind the schoolhouse. She spoke in a low tone about the worsening water quality of the river flowing behind us. Over the last four years, downstream communities in […]

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Contamination of the Social Fabric: Sápara Leaders’ Resistance to Oil Companies in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the Narrow Vision of Environmental Impact Studies

By Lindsay Ofrias, Princeton University § In the shadow of the world’s worst case of oil contamination, the Sápara, a small group of indigenous people, are desperately protecting their island of pristine rainforest in the Ecuadorean Amazon. Once a nationality numbering in the tens of thousands, only a few hundred Sápara people survive today, their population […]

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Commentary: The Environmental Anthropology of Settler Colonialism, Part II

*A commentary on Part II of our Engagement thematic series, Life on the Frontier. By Clint Carroll, University of Colorado Boulder § Settler colonial studies offers a set of analytical tools that can help make sense of environmental practices and politics—and their resulting effects on people, other-than-human animals, and landscapes. Understanding the environmental impacts of settler colonialism, […]

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Wildlife Conservation and Settler Colonialism in the North American West

By Paul Berne Burow, Yale University § On May 3, 1933, a common brown buffalo cow gave birth to a snow-white bison calf on the National Bison Range near Moiese, Montana. A ranger noticed it during his morning rounds, and news spread rapidly. A sense of hope swept through communities of the Flathead Nation in western Montana. […]

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Reclaiming Nature? Indigenous Homeland and Oil Sands Territory

By Tara Joly, University of Aberdeen § Settler colonial relations construct the Athabasca region as extractive oil sands territory, yet the region remains homeland for Indigenous peoples, including Métis individuals. In my doctoral research, I argue that oil sands reclamation – the process of cleaning up extractive spaces by returning the land to a “productive” or […]

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