Pollution is Colonialism

Discard Studies

singingforthewaters With Songs To Pull Oil from Water, 2017, by Elizabeth LaPensée

Colonialism in Canada is an ongoing structure whereby settler society and government assert sovereignty over lands already occupied by Indigenous peoples. This includes disrupting and exterminating Indigenous life, values, and self-determination, as well as disruption of established relationships between bodies, lands, waters, airs, plants, animals and other beings.

Pollution is Colonialism because:

Land is at the center of colonialism.

Industry and the state disrupt and damage the many relationships that make up the Land when they understand it as a resource. They use the Land to extract value, such as in mining, but use the Land as a place to put pollution — from radioactive waste to urban sewage — as another way to make economic value. Using the Land for the best interests of industry, profit, settlers, or colonial governments is a central part of colonialism.


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