Rad Reading: "Launching a Green Economy for Brown People"

Cover image via Honor the Earth

Cover image via Honor the Earth

by Abaki Beck

We chose to highlight this text in recognition of the fight against DAPL at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. We must remember that violence against the environment and suppression of indigenous peoples rights are an ever present, global phenomenon.

Text: Launching a Green Economy for Brown People

Author: Winona LaDuke

Quote to Highlight: “What we know is that our tribal communities will either be on the menu or at the table; decisions will be made for us or we will make our own decisions about how to proceed in developing economic opportunities and our future. By making our own decisions, our tribal communities will exercise sovereignty and move toward a green path for our coming generations.”

Quick Summary: A report on a Minnesota-based initiative advocating for green economies that positively impact indigenous communities. Though specific to Minnesota, the information and lessons discussed are applicable to many tribal communities throughout the nation. It highlights specific issues that face tribal communities including oil extraction, the impacts of increasing energy prices on poor families, and food insecurity tied to increasing oil prices, and thus food shipment prices. The report highlights what needs to be done to address these issues, and how tribal communities are already doing so - such as green energy job training programs on reservations and the use of organic, local foods to improve community health. LaDuke argues that tribally-controlled, green energy focused initiatives will not only positively impact the environment, but help pull reservations out of poverty as well.    

File it under: Indigenous rights, environmental justice, racial justice, climate colonialism

Type of text: Informative guide/manual

Additionally, check out the Sacred Stone Camp website to learn more about DAPL and the movement to stop it here: http://sacredstonecamp.org/


POC Online Classroom strives to make readings and resources that celebrate the intellectual tradition and knowledge production of marginalized communities more accessible. Rad Reading is a new series that highlight texts to read and writers to support! We will post every Tuesday.