Land, Body and Consent: Resource Development and Indigenous Communities
Indigenous communities around the world are seeing land and water degradation as well as increased pollution as a result of resource development initiatives. They are also being displaced from their lands, and facing increased reproductive health concerns. Increasingly, these communities are fighting to defend and protect their lands and natural resources, and to ensure they have a say in the decision-making processes. While resource development initiatives are often presented in positive terms by corporations and governments, Indigenous leaders are not getting the chance to fully participate in discussions regarding them so that they can understand the likely impact on their communities.
As Canada Research Chair in Comparative Indigenous Feminist Studies, Dr. Isabel Altamirano-Jiménez is examining the impact of resource development on Indigenous communities in Canada and Mexico, and on Indigenous women in particular.
Altamirano-Jiménez and her research team are trying to answer important questions such as: “How do Indigenous self-determination and human rights intersect with present-day environmental challenges?” and “How can Indigenous conceptions of “good life” inform understandings of consent as a relationship of reciprocity and respect?”
Altamirano-Jimenez’s research will help Indigenous communities, policy makers, environmentalists and others better understand the complex changes that resource development brings out in these communities and find ways to reduce the harm it causes.