There’s Something In The Water

Environmental Racism in Indigenous & Black Communities

by Ingrid R. G. Waldron  

Uses Nova Scotia as a case study to examine the legacy and impacts of environmental racism and its health impacts in Indigenous and Black communities in Canada.

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  • April 2018
  • ISBN: 9781773630571
  • 184 pages
  • $27.00
  • For sale worldwide
  • Kindle July 2018
  • ISBN: 9781773630595
  • $21.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB July 2018
  • ISBN: 9781773630588
  • $26.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • PDF March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781773633749
  • $26.99
  • For sale worldwide

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About the book

In “There’s Something In The Water”, Ingrid R. G. Waldron examines the legacy of environmental racism and its health impacts in Indigenous and Black communities in Canada, using Nova Scotia as a case study, and the grassroots resistance activities by Indigenous and Black communities against the pollution and poisoning of their communities.

Using settler colonialism as the overarching theory, Waldron unpacks how environmental racism operates as a mechanism of erasure enabled by the intersecting dynamics of white supremacy, power, state-sanctioned racial violence, neoliberalism and racial capitalism in white settler societies. By and large, the environmental justice narrative in Nova Scotia fails to make race explicit, obscuring it within discussions on class, and this type of strategic inadvertence mutes the specificity of Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian experiences with racism and environmental hazards in Nova Scotia. By redefining the parameters of critique around the environmental justice narrative and movement in Nova Scotia and Canada, Waldron opens a space for a more critical dialogue on how environmental racism manifests itself within this intersectional context.

Waldron also illustrates the ways in which the effects of environmental racism are compounded by other forms of oppression to further dehumanize and harm communities already dealing with pre-existing vulnerabilities, such as long-standing social and economic inequality. Finally, Waldron documents the long history of struggle, resistance, and mobilizing in Indigenous and Black communities to address environmental racism.

Climate & Ecology Race & Anti-Racism


What people are saying

Elliot Page

“Reckoning with Canada’s denial of its colonial past, present and erasure of marginalized communities, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the impacts of environmental racism in Canada and beyond.”


  • Winner, Society for Socialist Studies’ Errol Sharpe Book Prize (2020)
  • Winner, Atlantic Book Awards for Scholarly Writing (2019)


Ingrid R. G. Waldron

Ingrid R.G. Waldron is Professor and HOPE Chair in Peace and Health in the Global Peace and Social Justice Program in the Faculty of Humanities at McMaster University, the Founder and Director of the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities and Community Health Project, and the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Canadian Coalition for Environmental and Climate Justice


  • Acknowledgments
  • Preface
  • The Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health Project
  • A History of Violence: Indigenous & Black Conquest, Dispossession & Genocide in Settler Colonial Nations
  • Re-Thinking Waste: Mapping Racial Geographies of Violence on the Colonial Landscape
  • Not in My Backyard: The Politics of Race, Place & Waste in Nova Scotia
  • Sacrificial Lives: How Environmental Racism Gets Under the Skin
  • Narratives of Resistance, Mobilizing & Activism in the Fight Against Environmental Racism in Nova Scotia
  • Conclusion: The Road Up Ahead
  • Appendices
  • References
  • Index


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