Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Date Information

2018

Department

School of Social Work

First Advisor

Shannon Butler-Mokoro

Abstract

This thesis is an investigation of the connectedness of violence against American Indigenous women and natural resource extraction using corporate colonialism as a framework. In this investigaiton the implicaitons of corporate colonialism on violence against Indigenous women are illustrated in the United States. The case study that will be used in this thesis will be Dakota Access Pipeline protests at Standing Rock, North Dakota. It is important to bring awareness of the relationship between fossil fuel extraction and gender-based violence, using colonization as a framework. This brings awareness that fossil fuel extraction is not just an environmental issue, but that it is a social justice issue as well. Moreover, imperative to inform readers that this is not just happening in other countries, that this is happening in the United States as well. Another purpose of this study is to inform readers that the impacts of colonialism are ongoing and that it is not just a thing of the past. Qualitative methods of research were used to analyze impacts of gender-based violence and intergenerational trauma. Scholarly articles as secondary sources are used for this thesis. Quantitative methods of research or interviews were not conducted as this may lead to further exploitation of Indigenous women and their individual experiences. This topic is an important issue to research because “Indigenous women experience violence at higher rates than non-Indigenous women and that police and the state have failed to provide adequate standards of protection to Indigenous women,” (Walker). Moreover, “Indigenous communities worldwide are disproportionately affected by resource extraction in their territories,” (Walker). Another reason this topic was significant was because in the case of the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, “indigenous women and girls experience higher rates of sexualized violence from the frontline workers and security forces hired by national and transnational corporations seeking to exploit the natural resources in Indigenous lands,” (Walker). Violence against women, especially violence against women of color, is a catastrophic issue in the United States and every region of the world. This subject is innovative because it highlights the interconnectedness between environmental justice and social justice.

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