Three Bodies: Rethinking Environmental Health and Food Production in a Mohawk Community
Lecture | November 13 | 4-5:30 p.m. | Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, Wildavsky Room
2538 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94720
Elizabeth Hoover, Assistant Professor, American Studies, Brown University
Environmental health conditions tied to industrial contamination, as well as lifestyle related illnesses like diabetes, are two major health concerns facing many Native American communities. One such community is Akwesasne, a Mohawk nation downstream from one federal and two state Superfund sites, that has been the subject of over two decades of environmental health research. In addition to fighting environmental contamination, Akwesasne has also been working to address growing rates of diabetes. This presentation draws on in-depth qualitative interviews with community members, health study participants and health care providers from Akwesasne, as well as environmental health researchers from the State University of New York at Albany to explore community reactions to the health studies and current health conditions in Akwesasne, and their suggestions for improvement. I adapt a model of three bodies to discuss how individual, social and political bodies describe levels of involvement brought into play by people to address both environmental health and conditions related to lifestyle.