Environmental Activism on the Ground draws upon a wide range of interdisciplinary scholarship to examine small scale, local environmental activism, paying particular attention to Indigenous experiences. It illuminates the questions that are central to the ongoing evolution of the environmental movement while reappraising the history and character of late twentieth and early twenty-first environmentalism in Canada, the United States, and beyond.
This collection considers the different ways in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists have worked to achieve significant change. It examines attempts to resist exploitative and damaging resource developments, and the establishment of parks, heritage sites, and protected areas that recognize the indivisibility of cultural and natural resources. It pays special attention to the thriving environmentalism of the 1960s through the 1980s, an era which saw the rise of major organizations such as Greenpeace along with the flourishing of local and community-based environmental activism.
Environmental Activism on the Ground emphasizes the effects of local and Indigenous activism, offering lessons and directions from the ground up. It demonstrates that the modern environmental movement has been as much a small-scale, ordinary activity as a large-scale, elite one.
About the Author
Jonathan Clapperton is an adjunct professor in the Department of History at the University of Victoria. He specializes in Indigenous history and culture in the North American West, and works as an expert witness and historical consultant for numerous Indigenous communities.
Liza Piper is an environmental historian and associate professor of History and Classics at the University of Alberta. She is the author of The Industrial Transformation of Subarctic Canada and editor of Sustaining the West: Cultural Responses to Canadian Environments.
Table of Contents
Introduction: In the Shadow of the Green Giants: Environmentalism and Civic Engagements
Jonathan Clappeton & Liza Piper
Part 1: Processes and Possibilities
1. Strategies for Survival: First Nations Encounters with Environmentalism
Anna J. Willow
2. Native/Non-Native Alliances: Challenging Fossil Fuel Industry Shipping at Pacific Northwest Ports
3. Conserving Contested Ground: Soverigenty-Driven Stewardship by the White Mountain Apache Tribe and the Fort Apache Heritage Foundation
Jon R. Welch
4. From Southern Alberta to Northern Brazil: Indigenous Conservation and the Preservation of Cultural Resources
5. Parks For and By the People: Acknowledging Ordinary People in the Formation, Protection, and Use of State and Provincial Parks
Jesica M. DeWitt
Part 2: Histories
6. Alternatives: Environmental and Indigenous Activism in the 1970s
7. Marmion Lake Generating Station: Another Northern Scandal?
Tobasonakwut Peter Kinew
8. Environmental Activism as Anti-Conquest: The Nuu-chah-nulth and Environmentalists in the Contact Zone of Clayoquont Sound
9. Local Economic Independence as Environmentalism: Nova Scotia in the 1970s
10. “Not an Easy Thing to Implement”: The Conservation Council of New Brunswick and Environmental Organization in a Resource-Dependent Province, 1969-1983
Mark J. McLaughlin
11. The Ebb and Flow of Local Environmental Activism: The Society for Pollution and Environmental Control (SPEC), British Columbia
12: From Scoieal Movement to Environmental Behemoth: How Greenpeace Got Big
Afterword: Lessons from the Ground Up
Jonathan Clapperton & Liza Piper
List of Contributors
What People are Saying About This
Jonathan Clapperton and Liza Piper have assembled a remarkable collection of essays revealing previously hidden histories of local and Indigenous environmental activism. Environmental Activism on the Ground is a timely and captivating volume that deserves attention not just from scholars, but also from readers with even a casual interest in the diverse an creative ways Canadians have responded to environmental challenges.
- John Sandlos, Professor, Department of History, Memorial University of Newfoundland