Post-Colonial Feminist Theory: An Overview of Social and Environmental Resistance of the Yakama India Nation
Post-Colonial Feminist Theory
This week’s readings were about post-colonial feminist theory as this concept applies to Native Americans in relations to multinational corporations and US government policies that affect their livelihoods, cultures and religious norms. We read series of readings base on the works of post-colonial feminist theorist Winona DeLuke. DeLuke wrote on subjects, which include electricity, indigenous knowledge, nature’s power, nuclear waste, women and indigenous networks. Her works highlight the struggles of social movements within Native American cultures and communities against multinational corporations, such as Enron, Monsanto and other energy power companies both national and international that seek to exploit their land and natural resources. In collaboration with partners such as the Columbia Gorge Audubon Society and environmental movements, they fought through social resistance to reclaim their heritage and territory from the exploiting multinational corporations and the Federal Government of the United States.
Enron one of the world’s largest energy companies went bankrupt in 2001 as a result of the failure of their wind farm project in the Columbia Hills of the Yakama India Nation. Enron seeks to install wind turbine in the hills of the Columbia Gorge, which has wind speed as far as 30 mph. The project was to be implemented in a 15,000 acre of land of the Columbia Hills of the Yakama Indian Nation. The Native American resisted the implementation of this project not because they hated wind energy or they thought wind energy was dangerous, but because the land that was to be used on the Columbia Hills hosts the dead of their ancestors. The Native Indian considered these lands holy and sacred according to their culture and heritage and they are responsible in making sure that the dead are not disturbed. Any temperance of the land on which the dead are buried is a violation of their cultural and religious believes. The Native Indians also perform other significant cultural and religious rituals or ceremonies on the hills of the Columbia Gorge, which is targeted by Enron for the production of wind energy.
Furthermore, the consequences of producing a wind farm with huge wind turbines will also include the construction of roads that would destroy the local ecosystems and interfere with the biodiversity of the region. The Native Indian lives throughout in history have been to protect nature, which in turn protects them from danger. Enron’s wind farm project would end up exploiting their resources and ultimately destroying their environment and altering the live forms in these areas.