Protect Bears Ears!
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According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, over 30 million tons of uranium ore has been extracted from Navajo reservation from 1944 to 1986.
521 abandoned uranium mines remain open, which exposes and contributes to harmful health concerns to the Navajo people living nearby in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.
Although uranium mining has stopped since the 1980s on Navajo reservation, the Navajo people have been negatively impacted by direct and indirect exposure. Many Navajo miners developed lung cancer from their days at the uranium mines. Family members were exposed to radioactive dust from Navajo miners’ clothes. Water and Navajo land became contaminated have resulted in high rates of birth defects and kidney diseases.
President Donald Trump’s Proclamation 9681 shrinks the original area of Bears Ears National Monument by 85%. Areas removed by Proclamation 9681 are areas supposedly known to contain uranium ores, according to a report by Energy Fuels, Inc. As of February 28, 2018, the United States government approved uranium mining in Utah’s San Juan County, which is next to Bears Ears National Monument.
Action needs to be taken NOW. The Navajo people are not the only people that will be affected by uranium mining. Along with the Hopi Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute Indian Tribe, the Bears Ears Inter-Trial Coalition was formed to fight against Proclamation 9681 and uranium mining.
Together, we not only protect the Bears Ears National Monument, we also preserve the culture of Native Americans.
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