Environmental Injustice Endured by the Native Americans Essay

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Native Americans have suffered from one of America’s most profound ironies. The American Indians that held the lands of the Western Hemisphere for thousands of years have fallen victim to some of the worst environmental pollution. The degradation of their surrounding lands has either pushed them out of their homes, made their people sick, or more susceptible to disease. If toxic waste is being strategically placed near homes of Native Americans and other minority groups, then the government industry and military are committing a direct offense against environmental justice. Productions of capitalism and militarism are deteriorating the lands of American Indians and this ultimately is environmental racism. Starting from the beginning, …show more content…
This process lead into the infamous Battle of Wounded Knee, where approximately 300 Sioux and 25 government soldiers were killed in the ensuing fight (Schaefer 148). Regardless, it didn’t take long “… before significant Euro-Americans realized that its resources were finite” (Grinde 11). Not only did Non-Indian settlers realize that resources can run out, but also that exploiting natural resources without regulation was threatening to the environment. But these resources are needed for progress and expansion. Non-Indians believed Native Americans shouldn’t get in the away of productivity. This is why they oppressed them to follow orders. Ironically enough, this oppression is something non-Indian settlers rebelled against, but were now practicing it themselves to the Native Americans. Basically, almost all Native Americans were pushed out of all the resourceful lands. What was left? “[Native Americans] were concentrated in the states west of the Mississippi, and they tended to be lands that were too dry, remote, or barren to attract the attention of settlers and corporations” (Hooks 563). They were deliberately placed into unwanted lands that were less resourceful, low in population, and remote from major transportation systems, such as railroads. However, another natural resource, coal, was found in abundance for further exploitation of the land. During the 1960’s, the Four Corner Power Plant was constructed on the Navajos land in Fruitland, New

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