Department or Program

Environmental Studies


Using the #noDAPL movement and Indigenous protest actions associated with this movement as a case study, this thesis analyzes how the persistence of Indigenous communities in the United States depends on decolonization and resurgence actions that involve youth activism and leadership. This can be understood based on the premise that connection to land is inextricably linked to Indigenous peoples, and harm to or extraction of land through colonization is seen as a direct threat to the sovereignty of Indigenous peoples. The central focus of this thesis lies in understanding how in the #noDAPL movement Indigenous youth are mobilizing through community organizations to reclaim control of land in a way that reverses established colonial relations and revives struggling communities. I argue that Indigenous youth lead the conversations and structure of decolonization and resurgence into a new framework that links climate justice and Indigenous sovereignty. This reveals the broader implications of climate change, as well as how Indigenous peoples are important members of the climate justice movement.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Hall, Joseph

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Open Access

Available to all.