Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2022


John Van Buren


Historically we have denied and stolen the Native rights and culture. This continues today and is debatably a global human issue. Our current damaging and negative environmental actions are no exception to this problem. The fight between corporate and capitalist america and the environmental movement is one that catches not only the Native American people, culture, and philosophy in the crossfires but philosophy continues to ignore basic human rights. This thesis explores the impacts and implications of the uses of unsustainable resources, like oil pipelines, in relation to cultural and environmental impacts. This impact extends past the historical wrongdoings of the nation. It reaches to continue to affect cultural denial through inequality of rights by policies today and basic environmental impacts through the native philosophical perspective. In Chapter 1 I present the quantitative data of various natural science studies, showing both the environmental and health effects of oil pipelines. In Chapter 2, I explore history between Natives and the United States Government, highlighting the legal and political history which this repetitive injustice was built on. In Chapter 3, I explore the significant participation Native Americans in this environmental justice issue, utilizing a philosophical perspective. Chapter 4 expands on the contents of the previous chapter, focusing specifically on the topic of legal and political struggles that are faced based on these issues of environmental justice and applicable philosophies. Chapter 5 concludes by contrasting past policies with current ones and changes in political actions which can bring about solutions with consideration of the historical and philosophical differences in perspective. This thesis explores the history of political relations through an environmental and philosophical perspective in a current situation.