Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Insane Policies

Published: December 8, 2010, Author: JayTaber

Killing Navajo

Uranium mining on Navajo land over
the last seventy years has caused widespread cancer among Navajo
communities, so much so that the Navajo Nation has banned all uranium
mining. Yet, despite the horrendous hazards from earlier mining
operations, American corporations continue to mine nearby. Recently, the
US Supreme Court refused to hear the Navajo appeal of the 10th Circuit
Court’s decision to allow uranium leach mining in an aquifer adjacent to
Navajo territory.

Unlike accidental spills or tailing waste
negligently left to kill Navajo through inhalation of radioactive dust,
leach mining injects chemicals into the ground to dissolve uranium,
which is then pumped out. In the process, the chemicals and uranium
simultaneously contaminate the surrounding aquifers, thereby creating
nuclear waste from pure drinking water.

The legal system of the
United States has made clear its bias in this case, and signals the
start of battles across Indian country over energy resource extraction.
As these battles intensify, the police powers of the United States could
conceivably be used to once again crush Native American opposition to
the insane environmental and energy policies of a corporate America.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

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