Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2013 Lauren M. Bitter
My project is centered around a community garden in Upland, California called the People and Their Plants garden. This garden represents a five hundred year living history designed to show the changes in the ecological landscape of Southern California caused by colonization. This autoethnographic thesis works towards personal, interpersonal, and community-wide decolonization through building reciprocal relationships with Indigenous Elders. I explore, critique and problematize research and ethnography by examining the politics of knowledge, language, history, and ecology. I interrogate my own learned knowledge systems as well as colonial/capitalist food systems—and recognize how those systems/relations have worked to render Indigenous ways of knowing as invisible. Furthermore, I examine the connection between colonialism, gender, and capitalist food systems. I explain how the People and Their Plants garden is an act of resistance to colonial/capitalist food systems as it creates space for alternative economic practices and decolonial food practices. As part of this project, I co-authored a brochure about the garden with a Tongva Elder.
Bitter, Lauren M., "Decolonizing Ecology Through Rerooting Epistemologies" (2013). Pitzer Senior Theses. 41.