Environmental Racism

by February 7, 2013

Listening to Mohawk activist Shawn Brant describe the apartheid design of indigenous poverty in Canada and elsewhere as a means of creating hopelessness and despair in order to continue colonial resource extraction, I was reminded that contrary to popular myths, there never were any good colonial intentions. Speaking at the Osgoode Law symposium, Brant argues the time is right to defend indigenous territories by denying the legitimacy of Canada and the corporations it represents. Taking it a step further, he says that if Canada and its corporations attempt to overwhelm indigenous nations by force, they should be met with the same.

Meanwhile, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, is seeking information on extractive and energy industries in or near indigenous territories. As part of the UN study of industrial impacts on human rights and indigenous peoples, Dr. Anaya has established an interactive website for comments and information about environmental racism practiced by corporations, as well as by the U.S. military.