In this video Charmaine White Face, a member of the Oglala band of the Great Sioux Nation, explains uranium mining and its health effects on the people of the Great Plains.
She explains about the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty and where the abandoned open pit uranium mines are—a total of 3,272 in the states of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Colorado she says.
“The thing about the Darrow Pit Mine is they are only about 40 miles from Mount Rushmore, millions of tourists travel to Mount Rushmore every year not knowing that they are breathing in radioactive dust and the water that they drink in the motels in Rapid City contains uranium,” White Face says.
She also discusses the Riley Pass mine and a warning sign that’s posted warning people to not stay for more than one day within a one-year period. It also says “NO CAMPING.”
Defenders of the Black Hills
The warning sign at Riley Pass.
White Face goes on to discuss how cancer rates for Native American people in the Northern Great Plains are higher than anyone in the country.
“When we’re standing by that sacred site praying, we’re breathing in a lot of these harmful materials,” she says.
White Face and those working with her as Defenders of the Black Hills have started calling it America’s Chernobyl because as Dr. K. Kearfott, a nuclear physics professor at the University of Michigan, said: “The radiation levels in parts I visited with my students were higher than those in the evacuated zones around the Fukushima nuclear disaster…”
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