Nuclear waste on indigenous lands is a reproductive justice issue. Indigenous communities experience high rates of miscarriage and reproductive cancers, which remove bodily autonomy and reproductive choice. Negative health outcomes make communities unsafe places to raise children, and the potential for increased exposure to toxins through traditional cultural practices impacts a community’s ability to raise children with those cultural practices. This paper draws on bioethical theory, secondary historical and sociological analysis, and primary source accounts. This paper argues, through a series of historical case studies, that these impacts of nuclear waste are the result of systemic racism against indigenous communities and need to be taken into consideration as energy and waste storage policies are developed to address climate change. Additionally, this paper examines current climate change discourse in this context.

First Advisor

Kristin Johnson

Second Advisor

Amy Fisher

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Science, Technology, & Society

Date of Award

Spring 4-15-2020