Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Second Department

International/Intercultural Studies

Reader 1

Paul Faulstich

Reader 2

Joe Parker

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 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.