In the settler colonial context of so-called Canada, oil and gas projects are contemporary infrastructures of invasion. This article tracks how the state discourse of “critical infrastructure” naturalizes the environmental destruction wrought by the oil and gas industry while criminalizing Indigenous resistance. I review anthropological work to analyze the applicability of the concept of infrastructure to Indigenous struggles against resource extraction. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Indigenous land defense movements against pipeline construction, I argue for an alternative approach to infrastructure that strengthens and supports the networks of human and other-than-human relations that continue to make survival possible for Indigenous peoples.
ANNE SPICE is a Tlingit member of Kwanlin Dun First Nation. She has earned degrees in anthropology at the University of Lethbridge and Dalhousie University. She is researching ways to build networks of solidarity between Indigenous movements against settler colonization and land expropriation and is especially attentive to the spaces opened by and for queer, trans, nonbinary, and Two-Spirit people as a part of their work for decolonization. She teaches and studies in Lenapehoking (so-called New York City) as a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org