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Setting the Stage for Justice: The Politics of Public Lands in the Contemporary US West

Setting the Stage for Justice: The Politics of Public Lands in the Contemporary US West Introduction Setting the Stage for Justice: Th e Politics of Public Lands in the Contemporary US West Jennifer Ladino We were the land’s before we were. Or the land was ours before you were a land. Or this land was our land, it was not your land. — Heid E. Erdrich, “Th e Th eft Outright” from National Monuments (2008) October 2016 ended with dramatic irony on the Western stage as two high- profi le standoff s came to a head. Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan, and fi ve other members of their self- styled militia were acquitted after a forty- one- day armed occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge; on the very same day, October 27, unarmed water protectors in North Dakota were shot with tear gas while engaging in nonviolent political action on behalf of clean water and the protection of Indigenous lands. Th e protests on the Standing Rock reservation had been gaining momentum since early 2016, as tribes and allies resisted the Dakota Access Pipeline, slated to carry hundreds of thousand of barrels of oil from the Bakken oil fi elds in North Dakota to southern Illinois, crossing the Mississip- pi and Missouri rivers http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Western American Literature The Western Literature Association

Setting the Stage for Justice: The Politics of Public Lands in the Contemporary US West

Western American Literature , Volume 54 (1) – Jun 18, 2019

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Publisher
The Western Literature Association
Copyright
Copyright © Western Literature Association
ISSN
1948-7142

Abstract

Introduction Setting the Stage for Justice: Th e Politics of Public Lands in the Contemporary US West Jennifer Ladino We were the land’s before we were. Or the land was ours before you were a land. Or this land was our land, it was not your land. — Heid E. Erdrich, “Th e Th eft Outright” from National Monuments (2008) October 2016 ended with dramatic irony on the Western stage as two high- profi le standoff s came to a head. Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan, and fi ve other members of their self- styled militia were acquitted after a forty- one- day armed occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge; on the very same day, October 27, unarmed water protectors in North Dakota were shot with tear gas while engaging in nonviolent political action on behalf of clean water and the protection of Indigenous lands. Th e protests on the Standing Rock reservation had been gaining momentum since early 2016, as tribes and allies resisted the Dakota Access Pipeline, slated to carry hundreds of thousand of barrels of oil from the Bakken oil fi elds in North Dakota to southern Illinois, crossing the Mississip- pi and Missouri rivers

Journal

Western American LiteratureThe Western Literature Association

Published: Jun 18, 2019

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