Date of Award

Spring 2020

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Dr. Margaret McLaren

Committee Member

Dr. Yudit Greenberg

Committee Member

Dr. Ryan Musgrave


Devoted to redefining western capitalist epistemologies through recognition and acceptance of Indigenous wisdom in modern sociopolitical structures, I use this paper to expose theoretical and material flaws in western neoliberal capitalism as an implicitly colonial knowledge system incapable of sufficiently addressing the climate crisis. Here, colonialism is broadly understood as ideological and/or material practices of exploitation and domination within social, cultural, economic, and ecological frameworks. Colonialism, in this paper, is further characterized by having particular philosophical commitments to notions of binarism, individualism, and consumerism which reveal capitalism’s structure and function as neocolonial by nature. Most evidently, today’s global climate crisis reveals such implicitly colonial assumptions and material consequences of western capitalist knowledge which continue to harm human and non-human cultures globally. For this reason, research on- and subsequent collaboration with- nonwestern, anti-colonial, and anti-capitalist approaches to climate mitigation is vital to critiquing and transforming systems of social and ecological domination. Holistically, Indigenous resistance offers a theoretical and physical space to actualize such transformations.

Rights Holder

Caitlin Robison