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Panhe at the Crossroads: Toward an Indigenized Environmental Justice Theory


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/17429

Panhe at the Crossroads: Toward an Indigenized Environmental Justice Theory

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Title: Panhe at the Crossroads: Toward an Indigenized Environmental Justice Theory
Author: Gilio, Dina
Advisor(s): Goldstein, Alyosha
Committee Member(s): Correia, David
Lee, Lloyd
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of American Studies
Subject: Environmental justice, Native American Studies
LC Subject(s): Indians of North America--Land tenure--California--Case studies
Environmental justice--California--Case studies
Sacred space--California
Degree Level: Masters
Abstract: Through a case study of the protection of a Native American sacred site from the development of a road through it in southern California, this study argues that environmental justice (EJ) for Native peoples encompasses far more than the protection of marginalized people from disproportionate rates of detrimental health effects of industry. Mainstream environmental justice discourse is troubled when it centers indigenous peoples’ histories, differentiated political status, and epistemologies in EJ analytical frameworks. Viewing EJ through the lens of settler colonialism allows for an analysis that broadens the scope of what environmental justice means for indigenous peoples by examining the meaning they attach to place through their spiritual/ancestral relationship to it. The relentless desecration and loss of sacred sites highlights the inadequacy of the institutional tools of law to protect them in the context of a capitalist system that commodifies land and resources, and necessitates coalition building among diverse interests to accomplish common goals. The connection between people and land through the concept of radical relationality represents a decolonial framework that can transcend hierarchical power relationships in the interest of protecting dwindling natural landscapes for Native and non-Native people alike.
Graduation Date: December 2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/17429

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