Everyday Exposure

Indigenous Mobilization and Environmental Justice in Canada's Chemical Valley

Sarah Marie Wiebe

  • Published: 2016. Paperback May 2017
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies; Environmental Studies; Health
  • Bibliographic information: 280 pp., 3 photo essays, 1 map, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

Surrounded by Canada's densest concentration of chemical manufacturing plants, members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation report a declining male birth rate and high incidences of miscarriage, asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular illness. Everyday Exposure uncovers the systemic injustices they face as they fight for environmental justice. Exploring the problems that conflicting levels of jurisdiction pose for the creation of effective policy, analyzing clashes between Indigenous and scientific knowledge, and documenting the experiences of Aamjiwnaang residents as they navigate their toxic environment, this book argues that social and political change requires a transformative policy approach, one that takes the voices of Indigenous citizens seriously.
Sarah Marie Wiebe is a SSHRC post-doctoral fellow and assistant teaching professor at the University of Victoria.

"By documenting the environmental injustice experienced by the Aamjiwnaang First Nation in Ontario's Chemical Valley, Everyday Exposure uncovers the jurisdictional framework that institutionalizes reproductive injustice in First Nations communities across Canada. Wiebe makes a compelling case for why policy makers should consider more than just scientific knowledge as a basis for action."
-Deborah McGregor, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice at Osgoode Hall Law School and professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University

"Every once in a while, an outstanding work of scholarship comes along that transforms the way a seemingly intractable injustice is seen and, in so doing, also transforms the way it should be approached and addressed by all concerned. Such a work is Everyday Exposure."
-James Tully, From the Foreword

"This insightful book is a must-read for anyone interested in Indigenous environmental justice. With sensitivity and imagination, Sarah Marie Wiebe grounds her argument for changing how we approach policy making in a much-needed discussion about the legacies of colonialism faced by Indigenous people in Canada."
-Ravi de Costa, associate dean of research in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University

Foreword: A Canadian Tragedy / James Tully

Photo Essay #1: Atmosphere

1. Skeletons in the Closet: Citizen Wounding and the Biopolitics of Injustice
2. Sensing Policy: An Affective Framework of Analysis
3. State Nerves: The Many Layers of Indigenous Environmental Justice

Photo Essay #2: Life

4. Home Is Where the Heart Is: Lived Experience in Aamjiwnaang
5. Digesting Space: The Geopolitics of Everyday Life
6. Seeking Reproductive Justice: Situated Bodies of Knowledge
7. Shelter-in-Place? Immune No More and Idle No More

Photo Essay #3: Resurgence