Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis (Master's)

Department or Program

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Evelyn Lechner

Second Advisor

Regine Rosenthal

Third Advisor

Donald Pease



In the era of Climate Change, many are concerned that the end of the Anthropocene, or the end of the era of human life on Earth, is upon us. Western European colonialism and its subsequent systems (settler-colonialism, colonial-capitalism, and globalization - sometimes termed “neocolonialism”) have all been implicated in contributing to unsustainable behaviors linked to accelerating climate change. In searching for possible solutions, some have called for listening to Indigenous Peoples, citing ethics of sustainability found among many Indigenous cultures. However, the cultural products of settler-colonialism are still dominant in ways that do not allow for Indigenous worldviews to spread or be understood. This thesis will show how the narrative structures of settler-colonialism in the United States persist in cultural products (e.g. films, television, video games, journalism) in ways that silence non-dominant voices, and specifically Indigenous worldviews. This problem persists even among media makers claiming allyship to Indigenous Peoples and causes. In order to actually learn from Indigenous Peoples, the narrative structures of storytelling must be shifted so that true diversity of thought may be portrayed. To shift away from settler-colonial behaviors that overtax the world, people must first be able to perceive and conceptualize alternatives to them.

Original Citation

O'Leary, S. Rose Bigheart. (2024). The Regenarrative: How to Change the Story in Order to Change the Future. MALS Thesis. Dartmouth College.