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Michael J. Lynch and Paul B. Stretesky

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Native Americans and Social and Environmental Justice: Implications for Criminology

Researchers have become increasingly concerned with inequalities in exposure to toxic waste and pollution. Criminologists, however, have had very little to say about environmental injustice. This article draws upon Native American inequality research in the social sciences to situate health and medical research on Native populations within an environmental justice context. This research is consistent with Brooks’s suggestion that the problem of environmental hazards is so pervasive for Native Americans that it is a “new form of genocide.” To demonstrate how issues of environmental injustice are likely to affect Native Americans and their health, we examine health research on (1) Akwesasne Nation; (2) Church Rock, New Mexico; (3) the Four Corners Region; (4) the upper West or Plains area; and (5) Prince William Sound, Alaska. The authors conclude that criminologists need to consider these issues in any examination of crime and justice.

environmental justice, Native American, health disparities, Akwesasne, Navajo

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 38, No. 3 (2011): 104-124

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