In the footsteps of Gandhi: an interview with Vandana Shiva:
The occupation of America (and Columbus’ arrival quite clearly was an occupation, no one can deny that) meant that the entire history of the Native Americans was rendered invisible. The land could only be occupied if it was first defined as empty. So, it was defined as a wilderness, even though it had been used by native people for millennia.
Later, when the wilderness movement emerged, it emerged separate from the issue of social inequality and the economic problems of surivval. it was a preservationist ecology movement created by an occupying culture. Clearly, a wilderness movement started by Native Americans would not have had the same roots.
Today, the environmental movement has become opposed to issues of justice. You can see this in the way issues are framed. It’s a permanent replay of jobs-versus-the-environment, in nature-versus-bread. These are extremely artificial dichotomies.