Master of Arts degree with a major in Social Science, Environment and Community
Committee Chair Name
DR. Noah Zerbe
Committee Chair Affiliation
HSU Faculty or Staff
Second Committee Member Name
DR. Renee Byrd
Second Committee Member Affiliation
HSU Faculty or Staff
Third Committee Member Name
Dr. Michael YellowBird
Third Committee Member Affiliation
Community Member or Outside Professional
Environment and Community
Contributing to recent research into settler colonialism, this paper takes an on the ground look at how this system manifests today. This research turns its lens on the white settler, unmasks settler myths of innocence and contributes to an understanding of how whiteness and white supremacism shape settler colonialism in what is now called the United Sates. This is a placed based study, focusing on the Klamath and Salmon Rivers. Consequences and complexities of the “back to the land” movement are looked at, and the question of “back-to-whose-land?” is asked? A convivial research approach, which is a back and forth interplay of analysis and action, has been utilized for this project. Also examined are efforts by settlers to engage with unsettling, both as individuals and through a collective settler effort at organizing, under the name “Unsettling Klamath River.” Unsettling can be described as the work of white settlers within the broader movement to decolonize, that is led by Indigenous People. Some false narratives have begun to shift and yet, this population of white settlers remains largely in a state of paralysis due to; a fragile settler identity, a reliance on a false entitlement and a debilitating fear of what will happen if truth-telling occurs. Building upon lessons learned, this paper concludes by offering ways that white settlers can begin to chip away at oppressive structures and move forward out of a state of complicity into a sense of responsibility, that is long overdue.
Hurwitz, Laura S., "Settler colonialism and white settler responsibility in the Karuk, Konomihu, Shasta, and New River Shasta Homelands: a white unsettling manifesto" (2017). Theses and projects. 106.