Session at American Association of Geographers meeting, April 5-9 2017, Boston, USA.
*Organizers: Karen Bakker (University of British Columbia), Glen Coulthard (University of British Columbia)
As emblematized by the ongoing protests at Standing Rock, water is a foundational element—biophysical, epistemological, and spiritual—in Indigenous societies and lifeways. This crucial life source has come under increased threat due to the claimed necessity of extractivist development projects, as demonstrated in the marked increase in proposed pipeline construction, liquefied natural gas development, hydraulic fracturing, and bitumen crude oil production across Turtle Island. These extractivist projects threaten the land and waterways that sustain not only our own individual and collective lives, but also the lives of all of our relations: human and more-than-human. In the United States and Canada, the intensification of hydraulic fracturing has rapidly accelerated processes of accumulation by dispossession, in a context of “light touch” regulation in which new and significant breaches of Indigenous rights have emerged, and in a context in which threats to water are scantily monitored, under-regulated, and under-reported.
This panel brings together theorists of water politics, neoliberalization, and decolonization. We encourage a focus on the contemporary politics of resistance and resurgence by Indigenous peoples. We seek a diversity of perspectives that offer critical engagement with the ideas and practices of decolonization. Equally, we also welcome interventions that challenge decolonization as a framework for analyzing and interpreting water politics. We particularly welcome contributions focused on the water-energy nexus, oil and gas (especially hydraulic fracturing), and pipelines.
We invite discussants to speak to a broad range of issues, including (but not limited to):
- Water and violence, including militarization, policing, securitization, and settler colonial violence
- Water and resistance/refusal/ protection of sacred sites
- Water and (settler) colonialism
- Hydropower, displacement, and dispossession
- Water and Indigenous laws
- Water, treaty-making and Indigenous rights
- Neoliberalization of water in the context of resource development
- Links between water grabbing and land grabbing
- Water and art/cultural politics/production
- Water and social justice/environmental justice
- Water and Indigenous governance
- Water, health, and livelihoods
We plan to organize a paper session followed by a panel at which participants can act as panelists or discussants.
- We invite those interested in presenting papers to send their title, 250-word abstract, and affiliation.
- We invite those interested in the panel to summarize their relevant interests in 100 to 200 words.