As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock
Author: Dina Gilio-Whitaker
Publisher: Beacon Press (2020)
Through the unique lens of “Indigenized environmental justice,” Indigenous researcher and activist Dina Gilio-Whitaker explores the fraught history of treaty violations, struggles for food and water security, and protection of sacred sites, while highlighting the important leadership of Indigenous women in this centuries-long struggle. As Long As Grass Grows gives readers an accessible history of Indigenous resistance to government and corporate incursions on their lands and offers new approaches to environmental justice activism and policy.
Throughout 2016, the Standing Rock protest put a national spotlight on Indigenous activists, but it also underscored how little Americans know about the longtime historical tensions between Native peoples and the mainstream environmental movement. Ultimately, she argues, modern environmentalists must look to the history of Indigenous resistance for wisdom and inspiration in our common fight for a just and sustainable future.
“A masterpiece and a vital road map for the ongoing fight for Indigenous sovereignty. With every heartbreaking example of sacred sites decimated and traditional knowledge suppressed, the power and resilience of Indigenous people, preserving not only their culture but their very lives, shines through. Powerful, urgent, and necessary reading.”
“As Long as Grass Grows is a hallmark book of our time. By confronting climate change from an Indigenous perspective, not only does Gilio-Whitaker look at the history of Indigenous resistance to environmental colonization, but she points to a way forward beyond Western conceptions of environmental justice—toward decolonization as the only viable solution.”
“From Standing Rock’s stand against a damaging pipeline to antinuclear and climate change activism, Indigenous peoples have always been and remain in the vanguard of the struggle for environmental justice. As Long as Grass Grows could not be of more relevance in the twenty-first century. Gilio-Whitaker has produced a sweeping history of these peoples’ fight for our fragile planet, from colonization to the present moment. There is nothing else like it. Read and heed this book.”