2016 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Sun, 7 Feb 2016 01:58:44 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] RADIATION, NATIVE PEOPLES: Navajo uranium mines
Beyond Flint, Michigan: Mainstreaming the Navajo Water Crisis

By Courtney Parker
IC Magazine 
February 6, 2016

The history of uranium mining on Navajo (Diné) land is forever intertwined with the history of the military industrial complex. In 2002, the American Journal of Public Health ran an article entitled, "The History of Uranium Mining and the Navajo People." Head investigators for the piece, Brugge and Gobel, framed the issue as a "tradeoff between national security and the environmental health of workers and communities." The national history of mining for uranium ore originated in the late 1940's when the United States decided that it was time to cut away its dependence on imported uranium. Over the next 40 years, some 4 million tons of uranium ore would be extracted from the Navajo's territory, most of it fueling the Cold War nuclear arm's race.

Situated by colonialist policies on the very margins of U.S. society, the Navajo didn't have much choice but to seek work in the mines that started to appear following the discovery of uranium deposits on their territory. Over the years, more than 1300 uranium mines were established. When the Cold War came to an end, the mines were abandoned; but the Navajo's struggle had just begun.


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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