Gregory Hitch

Greg Hitch
2020-2021 GRADUATE FELLOW

Biography

Gregory Hitch is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in American Studies, working at the intersection of Environmental History, Critical Environmental Justice, and Indigenous Science and Technology Studies. His dissertation is tentatively titled β€œThe Forest Keepers: An Environmental History of the Menominee Nation from Colonization to Climate Change.” It investigates how European and American settler colonialism and capitalism disrupted Menominee relationships with the land, waterways, and ecosystems of the western Great Lakes region. Using archival and ethnographic methods, he tells a story of Menominee survival, adaptation, and resurgence through their historical and contemporary struggles for environmental justice. From the clear-cutting of ancestral Menominee forests to the impacts of climate change, he argues that settler colonialism is an act of environmental injustice felt first by Indigenous peoples. Within these struggles, however, he reveals how the Menominee utilized their ancestral epistemic frameworks to guide holistic, grassroots solutions to the interlocking and compounding impacts of colonization, climate change, and economic injustice. Indeed, Menominee ecological knowledge, organizing principles, and interspecies ethical frameworks underpin community actions in regenerative forestry, food sovereignty, renewable energy development, and sustainable housing. In this way, the Menominee have not simply opposed polluting industries, but have produced alternatives to extractive economic systems.