Indigenous survival against the odds: Sarah Marie Wiebe, Everyday Exposure Indigenous Mobilization and Environmental Justice in Canada’s Chemical Valley, University of British Columbia Press, 2016
Description: Near the Ontario-Michigan border, Canada’s densest concentration of chemical manufacturing surrounds the Aamjiwnaang First Nation. Living in the polluted heart of Chemical Valley, members of this Indigenous community express concern about a declining rate of male births in addition to abnormal rates of miscarriage, asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses.
While starvation policies and smallpox-laced blankets might be an acknowledged part of Canada’s past, this book reveals how the colonial legacy of inflicting harm on Indigenous bodies persists through a system that fails to adequately address health and ecological suffering in First Nations communities.
Everyday Exposure uncovers the systemic injustices faced on a daily basis in Aamjiwnaang. By exploring the problems that Canada’s conflicting levels of jurisdiction pose for the creation of environmental justice policy, analyzing clashes between Indigenous and scientific knowledge, and documenting the experiences of Aamjiwnaang residents as they navigate their toxic environment, this book argues that social and political change requires an experiential and transformative “sensing policy” approach, one that takes the voices of Indigenous citizens seriously.
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