Environmental Justice

An Introduction to Environmental Justice

As environmental activists push for changes to our water, land, and habitat laws, it is important to also keep note of how environmental burdens and benefits affect humans as well! One example that is becoming more relevant is the idea of a just transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy. Although we know that …


Environmental Justice and Environmental Racism

The terms ‘environmental justice’ and ‘environmental racism’ were first coined in the United States during the 1980s.  They were first discussed by Benjamin Chavis Jr., a commissioner for the United Church of Christ’s Commission for Racial Justice, when he released a report in 1987 in which he found a striking relationship between the location of …


What exactly is environmental justice?

“Environmental justice is the fair and consistent distribution of environmental benefits and burden, without discrimination on the basis of socio-economic status, race, ethnic origin, or residence on an Indigenous reserve.” [1] Studies conducted in both the United States and Canada have found that poor and minority communities bear a disproportionate burden of potential or actual …


Environmental Justice in Canada

Indigenous Communities in Northern Alberta and the Oil Sands Fort Chipewyan is a hamlet, home to several reserves of the Athabascan Chipewyan (Dene) and the Mikisew Cree First Nation. It is located downstream from Fort McMurray, on the Athabasca river and, notably, downstream of numerous large oil sands tailings ponds. You may have already heard …


How can we start to undo a legacy of environmental racism?

Lasting change will require a shift in individual behaviour and perspectives. However, the law can help move this change along and can be protection for those who need it most, it just has to be good law. Along with increased study of environmental justice, there are numerous recommendations and suggestions for how our laws can …


Section Review

Now that you have finished this section on Environmental Justice, you should be comfortable: Defining environmental justice and environmental racism Identifying other examples of environmental racism in Canada and/or around the world Understanding the risks associated with environmental racism Identifying ways that the law can help to uphold the principles of environmental justice Go back …


 

Environmental Justice

Curriculum Connections

Newsletter

Join our new AlbertaEnviroLaws Facebook group to ask questions, participate in discussions and other online engagement. Please share this widely so that the high school teachers and students in your circles hear about this great new resource for supplemental online learning. AlbertaEnviroLaws Facebook Group