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Pollution is Colonialism

Geographer publishes on research that aligns with or against colonialism

Research | Books at Memorial

In Pollution Is Colonialism, Dr. Max Liboiron presents a framework for understanding scientific research methods as practices that can align with or against colonialism.

They point out that even when researchers are working toward benevolent goals, environmental science and activism are often premised on a colonial worldview and access to land.

Focusing on plastic pollution, the book models an anti-colonial scientific practice aligned with Indigenous, particularly Métis, concepts of land, ethics and relations.

Ethical modes of being

Dr. Liboiron draws on their work in the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research – an anti-colonial science laboratory at Memorial – to illuminate how pollution is not a symptom of capitalism but a violent enactment of colonial land relations that claim access to Indigenous land.

Dr. Liboiron’s creative, lively and passionate text refuses theories of pollution that make Indigenous land available for settler and colonial goals.

In this way, their methodology demonstrates that anti-colonial science is not only possible, but is currently being practised in ways that enact more ethical modes of being in the world.

Pollution Is Colonialism is published by Duke University Press.

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