Effects of Environmental Policy and Colonization on American Indians' Involvement in Crime, Law and Society

Linda Robyn, Northern Arizona University
Thom Alcoze, Northern Arizona University

Present criminal justice literature does not recognize the connection between the environment and criminal justice issues as these pertain to American Indian people. This chapter is an essential piece that fills a void in understanding native issues relating to criminal justice, law and society. For the most part, Native peoples as a whole have been denied equal access to economic power in the past throughout the United States and Canada. Indigenous peoples have not been included in the passage of laws or decision making concerning the environmental impact of corporate intrusion upon their lands. When laws are passed and decisions made which adversely impact native lands, resistance by native people occurs. In times passt, native resistance to this intrusion has had violent consequences, including victimization through loss of land base, autonomy, and resulting poverty. When native people resist, often times they are arrested and experience the odyssey of a journe through the criminal justice system.

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Updated 05/20/2006