“Something Was Attacking Them and Their Reproductive Organs”: Environmental Reproductive Justice in an Indigenous Tribe in the United States Gulf Coast

Jessica L. Liddell, Sarah G. Kington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Environmental reproductive justice is increasingly being utilized as a framework for exploring how environmental exploitation and pollution contribute to reproductive health and reproductive injustices. However, little research explores how settler colonialism and historical oppression contribute to the physical transformation of land, and how this undermines tribal members’ health. Even less research explores the intersection of environmental justice and reproductive justice among Indigenous groups, especially in the Gulf South, who are especially vulnerable to environmental justice issues due to climate change, land loss, and oil company exploitation, and for tribes that are non-federally recognized. A qualitative description research methodology was used to conduct 31 life-history interviews with women from a Gulf Coast Indigenous tribe. Findings of this study reveal that central components of reproductive justice, including the ability to have children and the ability to raise children in safe and healthy environments, are undermined by environmental justice issues in the community. Among concerns raised by women were high rates of chronic healthcare issues among community members, and issues with infertility. Recognizing Indigenous sovereignty is central to addressing these environmental reproductive justice issues. This research is unique in exploring the topic of environmental reproductive justice among a state-recognized Gulf Coast tribe.

Original languageEnglish
Article number666
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2021

Keywords

  • American Indian
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmental reproductive justice
  • Health disparities
  • Indigenous
  • Native American
  • Qualitative research
  • Reproductive justice

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