Resource Exploitation in Native North America

A Plague upon the Peoples

by Bruce E. Johansen


With one third of Superfund cleanup sites located on reservation land, many Native peoples have been devastated by uranium and other types of mining.

Print Flyer
Cover image for Resource Exploitation in Native North America

January 2016


Pages 221
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Race and Ethnicity/American Indian Studies
  Current Events and Issues/Environment

This wide-ranging survey of the environmental damage to Native American lands and peoples in North America—in recent times as well as previous decades—documents the continuing impact on the health, wellness, land, and communities of indigenous peoples.

Beginning in the early 1950s, Native peoples were recruited to mine "yellow dust"—uranium—and then, over decades, died in large numbers of torturous cancers. Uranium-induced cancers have become the deadliest plague unleashed upon Native peoples of North America—one with grave consequences impacting generations of American Indian families. Today, resource-driven projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline continue to put the health and safety of American Indians at risk.

Authored by an expert with 40 years of experience in the subject, this book documents the environmental provocations afflicting Native American peoples in the United States: from the toll of uranium mining on the Navajos to the devastation wrought by dioxin, PCBs, and other pollutants on the agricultural economy of the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation in northernmost New York. The detailed personal stories of human suffering will enable readers to grasp the seriousness of the injustices levied against Native peoples as a result of corporations' and governments' greed for natural resources.


  • Exposes readers to complete and current information about the severe environmental and health concerns that American Indians living on reservations experience due to environmental degradation
  • Encourages awareness of the issues tribal governments and Indian communities commonly face in balancing economic rewards and environmental and health consequences
  • Provides important historical context to support readers' understanding of the present-day situation of American Indians and reservation life
Author Info

Bruce E. Johansen is Jacob J. Isaacson University Research Professor of Communication and Native American Studies at University of Nebraska at Omaha, where he has been teaching and writing since 1982. His published work includes 39 books, mainly in Native American studies and on environmental subjects, including Greenwood's Encyclopedia of the American Indian Movement and The Encyclopedia of Global Warming Science and Technology in addition to Praeger's Global Warming in the 21st Century and Eco-Hustle! Global Warming, Greenwashing, and Sustainability. He served as coeditor of ABC-CLIO's four-volume Encyclopedia of American Indian History and of Praeger's Handbook of Contemporary Native American Issues. Johansen has earned a national and international reputation as a scholar and public interpreter of Native American history and present-day issues, as well as environmental issues, most notably global warming and toxic chemical pollution. He also writes as a journalist in several national forums, including The Washington Post and The Progressive, with letters to the editor in The Atlantic, The New York Times, National Geographic, and The Wall Street Journal.



"Compelling. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty, professionals."—Choice

Look Inside

Other Titles of Interest

Reservation Land and Spirit in Native America cover imageLethal Encounters cover image
The Tainted Gift cover imageAmerican Indian Stories of Success cover image

Product Search

Product Search

Publication Year



Need Help? Try our Search Tips