Brittani R. Orona F'21

Brittani R. Orona
Doctoral Candidate
Native American Studies
University of California, Davis

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2021
Doctoral Candidate
Native American Studies
University of California, Davis
“This is our home, this is our land”: Visualizing Decolonization on the Klamath River Basin

Drawing on oral histories, archival research, and an analysis of secondary sources in critical Indigenous studies, environmental studies, and human rights, this dissertation examines Indigenous dispossession, genocide, and eco-fascism in California on Hupa, Yurok, and Karuk lands. In 2002, a massive fish kill led to a concentrated environmental justice movement to remove four dams on the Klamath River Basin that negatively impacted the health and sustainability of the river system. The project addresses how federal and state environmental policy on the Klamath River Basin relies on narrow definitions of genocide, time, and settler-colonial concepts of ownership to continue land dispossession of Indigenous people in California. In response, Hupa, Yurok, and Karuk artists and activists work beyond the scope of environmental policy to assert place-based epistemology through trans-Indigenous relationships against the state, centering decolonization through dam removal, ongoing environmental injustice, and human rights abuses.