Not Done Critiquing Wilderness Areas, National Parks & Public Lands

Thursday, October 24, 2019 7:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)
 Illustration of an Indigenous woman with her arms raised surrounded by four colour spheres all connected in a wavy circle

Please join the Department of Philosophy for a public lecture by Dr. Kyle Whyte, the Brian Rudrick Visiting Scholar in Philosophy. Dr. Whyte is a professor, Timnick chair, and environmental activist at Michigan State University. His work focuses on problems and possibilities facing Indigenous peoples regarding climate change, environmental justice, and food sovereignty.

All are welcome to the reception after the talk. Please RVSP to


Lands and waters protected for the sake of recreation and biodiversity conservation have troubling origins in colonialism and capitalism, whether sponsored by the United States or other nations or corporations globally. Yet critical awareness of such history has not generated acceptable environmental justice solutions for Indigenous peoples, people of color, and other groups who have been disenfranchised from these places. Bizarrely, some members of settler and other populations nonetheless claim they can have spiritual, educational, familial, and friendship-building experiences in places established through genocide and where Indigenous exclusion persists. Part of the problem in philosophical fields that have addressed the critique of protected areas is that numerous philosophers and theorists ignore the significance of Indigenous consent. In Indigenous philosophical frameworks, consent and dissent are crucial components of environmental ethics and are central to conceptions of anti-colonial action. Through engagement with Indigenous philosophies of the last two hundred years in North America, practices of consent/dissent should figure prominently in future critique of protected areas. Importantly, the continued lack of consent that is part of Indigenous exclusion has ramifications for leading issues in environmental justice, climate justice, and food sovereignty.

This event is co-sponsored by Shatitsirótha, the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre. Artwork by Sydney Hannusch.