An Afternoon with the Indigenous Environmental Justice Project
26 May 2018, 1:00-2:30PM
In conjunction with the exhibition BAD STARS by Christina Battle, co-presented with CONTACT Photography Festival
Members of the Indigenous Environmental Justice Project (The IEJ Project) present recent research and introduce participants to the concepts of environmental justice. The IEJ Project is a SSHRC-funded initiative based out of York University whose research aims to develop a distinctive environmental justice framework that is informed by Indigenous knowledge systems, laws, concepts of justice and the lived experiences of Indigenous peoples.
The concept of environmental justice (or injustice) refers generally to the inequitable distribution of the costs and benefits of environmental degradation, such that people of colour and the poor tend to bear a significantly greater portion of the costs, while receiving relatively little in terms of any benefits. In Canada, environmental (in)justice is a constant undercurrent for arguably most (if not all) environmental challenges that Indigenous peoples face. The field of environmental justice studies, therefore, forms a critical theoretical and applied framework for addressing key environmental issues of concern to Indigenous peoples in Canada. To date, however, research focused on Indigenous environmental justice (EJ) has not yet occurred in a substantive way in Canada. Furthermore, if EJ studies are to benefit Indigenous communities, then they must include knowledge, principles and values already held and practiced by Indigenous peoples.
The Indigenous Environmental Justice Project, a 5-year SSHRC-funded initiative based out of York University, is working to fill this gap. Our research aims to develop a distinctive EJ framework that is informed by Indigenous knowledge systems, laws, concepts of justice and the lived experiences of Indigenous peoples. http://
Our hope is that the IEJ Project will be a resource for community members, students, activists and scholars. In addition to contributing to the development of the aforementioned EJ framework, we intend to:
1. Offer support to communities currently fighting an environmental injustice
2. Provide resources to teachers and schools that are interested in educating their students about the concept of Indigenous environmental justice
3. Continually create opportunities for inclusive dialogue on how to move toward greater justice