This website was created to show that Native Americans are often find their water supplies threatened by the United States government and corporations. Native Americans are continually discriminated against by the poisoning and disregard of their water supplies. When there isn’t purposeful threat to a tribal water source, such as a natural disaster, the institutions responsible aren’t held accountable and the water source remains untreated. In this website, I use three case studies: nuclear contamination of the Navajo water supply, the Gold King Mine incident, and the Dakota access pipeline, as evidence for Native Americans being targeted/neglected. The lack of communication in each case also shows that there is systemic exclusion of Native Americans from conversations that affect their water supply. Each time indigenous people are excluded from the decision-making processes that ultimately affect their water supply. When things eventually go wrong the parties responsible for the disaster, usually the government or a corporation, aren’t held accountable for their actions and Native Americans are left to pick up the pieces.
The fact that tribal lands exist in a regulatory grey area and Native American’s low socioeconomic status make them easy targets for waste disposal and abuse. Because they have low socioeconomic status corporations don’t think indigenous people have the money to fight back against them, and choose to build on their land so there’s little resistance. Tribal land’s legal status also exists in a grey area, which make them attractive to companies because they it’s easy for them to get away with breaking certain regulations1. Additionally, this makes it easy for companies and the government to disregard their responsibility to keeping tribal water supplies clean. This is evident in the Gold King Mine incident, when the Navajo weren’t necessarily targeted but the government found it easy to delay an emergency response.
Thesis: Native Americans often find their water supplies threatened because their low socioeconomic status and tribal land’s legal status make it easy for institutions , like corporations or the government, to take advantage of them or neglect accountability when their water resources are threatened.
1.James, Arthur, and Lance Hughes. “Native Americans’ Energy Crisis: An Interview with Lance Hughes.” Race, Poverty & the Environment 2, no. 2 (1991): 5-17. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41553995.