Using feminist disability studies and intersectionality, this article draws upon the ongoing resource extractions in Labrador, Canada to argue for examining local communities and relationships as one way to understand gender and global social, economic and environmental crises.
The article explores how crises in Labrador have been constituted and maintained around global agendas of economic and resource development, historical and current colonial practices and a limited and constrained international relations with local Indigenous nations. The lives of women and their communities in Labrador illustrate one wave of a global crisis that extinguishes diversity and connection to the land in a race to extract natural resources, maintain global military power and gain profit in the global economy. The actions over the past thirty years by NATO and the Canadian federal, provincial and municipal governments, coupled with transnational mining corporations such as Vale, have “normalized” crisis in the communities and reduced the capacity of these communities and Indigenous nations to respond to the issues arising as a result of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development project. Yet the women and their communities illustrate their agency and reject an analysis of them exclusively as victims. Together with researchers and activists, the women in Labrador have built a community of practice in the Feminist Northern Network.
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*This article was published by Taylor & Francis in the International Feminist Journal of Politics (2015). You can also access the article on their website.