Start Date

10-4-2021 9:00 AM

End Date

10-4-2021 10:15 AM

Disciplines

Environmental Sciences | History | Political Science | Social Justice

Subjects

Indigenous peoples -- Indonesia, Papua Barat (Indonesia) -- Social life and customs, Mineral industries -- Papua New Guinea, Environmental justice, Mineral industries -- Environmental aspects -- Papua New Guinea

Description

The Amungme are one of hundreds of Papuan people groups who lived in the Indonesian province in New Guinea for thousands of years. This group subsisted in their environment by hunting, cultivation of small crops, and practicing pig husbandry. In the late 1960s, seeking foreign capital to boost the nation’s economy, the president of Indonesia signed a contract with Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold. Freeport began mining in the early 1970s, eventually opening one of the world’s largest gold mines. Excavating sacred Amungme sites, Freeport’s massive pollution to the land and water destroyed the indigenous people’s environment both spiritually and physically. The Amungme protested the destruction of their land and livelihoods, speaking out against abuses connected to the mining operation. Environmental justice history is a growing analysis in environmental history, and the Freeport-Amungme conflict has yet to be analyzed through this lens. This paper will seek to demonstrate through this lens that it was not only the mine that was responsible for the degradation of the indigenous people’s lives, but consumers worldwide spurred the need for largescale excavation in the search for ore. Freeport turned the Amungme’s environment into a wasteland, with consumerism driving the force of this pollution.

PART OF SESSION 5A. ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE:

Comment: Jason Knirck, Central Washington University
Chair: Elizabeth M. Swedo, Western Oregon University.


Kole A. Dawson, Boise State University, graduate student
“The Amungme and the Environment: Environmental Justice History and Consumerism”

Margaret M. Reuter, Eastern Washington University, undergraduate student
“Hanford: Leaking Tanks and Human Health”

Angela M. Wood, Eastern Washington University, undergraduate student
“Uranium Natives: Mining for the Cold War”

Rights

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/35219

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Apr 10th, 9:00 AM Apr 10th, 10:15 AM

The Amungme and the Environment: Environmental Justice History and Consumerism

The Amungme are one of hundreds of Papuan people groups who lived in the Indonesian province in New Guinea for thousands of years. This group subsisted in their environment by hunting, cultivation of small crops, and practicing pig husbandry. In the late 1960s, seeking foreign capital to boost the nation’s economy, the president of Indonesia signed a contract with Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold. Freeport began mining in the early 1970s, eventually opening one of the world’s largest gold mines. Excavating sacred Amungme sites, Freeport’s massive pollution to the land and water destroyed the indigenous people’s environment both spiritually and physically. The Amungme protested the destruction of their land and livelihoods, speaking out against abuses connected to the mining operation. Environmental justice history is a growing analysis in environmental history, and the Freeport-Amungme conflict has yet to be analyzed through this lens. This paper will seek to demonstrate through this lens that it was not only the mine that was responsible for the degradation of the indigenous people’s lives, but consumers worldwide spurred the need for largescale excavation in the search for ore. Freeport turned the Amungme’s environment into a wasteland, with consumerism driving the force of this pollution.

PART OF SESSION 5A. ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE:

Comment: Jason Knirck, Central Washington University
Chair: Elizabeth M. Swedo, Western Oregon University.


Kole A. Dawson, Boise State University, graduate student
“The Amungme and the Environment: Environmental Justice History and Consumerism”

Margaret M. Reuter, Eastern Washington University, undergraduate student
“Hanford: Leaking Tanks and Human Health”

Angela M. Wood, Eastern Washington University, undergraduate student
“Uranium Natives: Mining for the Cold War”