Toronto Metropolitan University
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Apathy, Antipathy and Settler Colonial Constructs of Environmental Justice: A Sentiment Analysis

posted on 2022-04-06, 16:56 authored by Amara Digout
Within so-called Canada, settler colonialism exists as an ongoing structure of capitalism and dominance that contributes to land dispossession and, as such, informs the reproduction of environmental violence: a holistic form of violence that negatively affects Indigenous communities through a series of physical, spiritual, and emotional harms like that of the First Nations water crisis. This paper addresses commonly held sentiments towards the First Nations water crisis as they appear in social media comments on a recently posted video of Black and Indigenous activists at the International Climate Conference speaking to their lived experiences of environmental racism (CBC Canada, 2021). Million’s (2013) felt theory and notion of sociopolitical imaginaries are employed in this paper to guide the reframing of popular sentiments of apathy and antipathy that exist in the collective settler consciousness regarding environmental racism, the First Nations water crisis, and settler-colonial violence on Indigenous lands and bodies (as cited by Meissner, 2017). Further discussion is elicited on the relationship between local forms of environmental violence and the global climate crisis, with emphasis made towards reimagining the foci of international environmental stewardship movements as based on Indigenous ways of knowing and being.

This research paper was written, in part, as a contribution to the collaborative learning forum at X University titled Apathy to Empathy: Addressing the First Nations Water Crisis. Upon presenting this research at the event, an original creative piece was included, which maps the research presented in this paper and includes a collection of images related to the First Nations water crisis, settler colonialism, land degradation, and environmental advocacy (See Appendix).