The River Is in Us; Fighting Toxics in a Mohawk Community.

Author:Jagareski, Rachel
Position:Book review
 
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Elizabeth Hoover; THE RIVER IS IN US; University of Minnesota Press (Nonfiction: Ecology & Environment) 28.00 ISBN: 9781517903039

Byline: Rachel Jagareski

The River is in Us is rewarding reading for anyone interested in environmental justice or indigenous people.

Elizabeth Hoover's scholarly yet approachable The River is in Us addresses the interconnection of native people with their land and wildlife, and describes the toxins infiltrating Mohawk bodies from nearby industrial plants -- pollutants which even contaminate mothers' breast milk.

The Mohawk residents of Akwesasne -- the lands straddling the St. Lawrence River in northern New York State and Canada -- have been the focus of numerous, long-standing studies of individual and environmental health. Hoover's ultimately uplifting book assesses how the Akwesasro:non won the fight to secure a more thorough cleanup of three adjacent Superfund sites, as well as some redress for cultural and environmental losses caused by the corporate pollution. It also documents the community's work at the forefront of democratizing science, pushing scientists to adopt community-based methodologies in designing and implementing research projects.

Hoover's book is a good primer on Mohawk history, spirituality, and culture, on contemporary public-health and food-culture issues, and on the politics and science of environmental restoration. Her work is not only rooted in an...

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