Monday, August 20, 2007

Uranium Mining, the Oglala Lakota People and Mni Wakan (Sacred Water)

Uranium Mining, the Oglala Lakota People and Mni Wakan (Sacred Water)

Water Contamination on the Homeland of the Oglala Band of the Lakota Nation

1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty Territory
“Pine Ridge Agency, SD”
Crying Earth Rise Up!

“Some day the Earth will weep, She will beg for Her life, She will cry with tears of blood. You will make a choice, if you will help her or let her die, and when She dies, you too, will die.”
--John Hollow Horn, Oglala Lakota, 1932

An Education Campaign by Owe Aku, Bring Back the Way, a Grass Roots Non-Governmental Organization on the Pine Ridge 2007

“Some day the Earth will weep, She will beg for Her life, She will cry with tears of blood. You will make a choice, if you will help her or let her die, and when She dies, you too, will die.” --John Hollow Horn, Oglala Lakota, 1932

Crying Earth Rise Up! For many generations, our Lakota people lived on the plains and followed the stars for ceremony.
Our ancient Creation story teaches us that Tunkasila made all of Creation, woman and man and taught us to be a good relative to all of Creation. Mni, Water is a Sacred Gift of Creation.

Mni is the Adornment of Mother Earth, Mni is the companion of Woope, the daughter of Tunkasila. Woope is the Law.

Mni is our first home, when we arrive here on Mother Earth, the water of our mothers’ womb is our first dwelling. Water is our first medicine. Without water, there is no life.

The Spirit of Mni is also in the Star
Nation. In the form of steam, the Spirit of Mni enters the Human Body to nourish the Spirit.

Mni is part of every daily and ceremonial aspect of Lakol Wicohan, our Lakota lifeway.

After the coming of the white man, and many years of war making, the Oceti Sakowin -Seven Council Fires- known historically as the Great Sioux Nation-entered into the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty with the United States.

In the Treaty, our ancestors retained a land base for the Lakota Nation that includes parts of what is currently known as North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, and Canada.

Our Treaty Territory contains our sacred land and Ceremonial Sites, and billions of dollars worth of Minerals, Plants, and Water.

Our ancestors and the United States government officials smoked our Sacred Pipe together and the U.S. Congress ratified the Treaty, so our people believe that the Treaty is true and binding, as long as the water flows and sweet grass grows.

Through America’s aggressive Treaty violations and the decimation of the Buffalo Nation, the Oglala Lakota were forced onto the reservation.
The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is located in southwestern South Dakota. The Pine Ridge Reservation was originally known as
Prisoner Of War Camp #344.

“Pine Ridge Indian Agency”
(The official Bureau of Indian Affairs terminology)
The U. S. Department of the Interior’s
Bureau of Indian Affairs Census reports that there are now 48,000 Oglala Lakota people, with 25,000 tribal members currently residing on the Pine Ridge. 65% of our population is age 25 and under.

Drinking Water Quality Tests on Pine Ridge
On the Pine Ridge, Drinking Water Quality tests conducted from 1995 to the present by the United States Geological Survey, the Indian Health Service, and the Oglala Sioux Tribal Rural Water Program and the Federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDDR) reveal contaminants in the groundwater.

There are two serious threats to our drinking water, Arsenic, and Alpha Emitters (radiation emitting).

Uranium Mining and Water Contamination The Tests Reveal the Contaminants: - Arsenic - Combined Radium 226 & 228 - Barium - Thorium 230 (not naturally occurring)- other Radioactive Alpha Emitters Maximum Contaminant Level, the MCL, measures contaminants and tell us the “safe” levels of contaminants.
Since the US Clean Water Act of 1972 drinking water quality is measured for contaminants.The MCL of Arsenic is 10 as of January 2006. An MCL above 10 is not in the “safe” level under US law. The Environmental Protection Agency’s MCL “goal” for Arsenic level is a measurement of zero, because the EPA cannot determine a true safe threshold level for Arsenic.

Once Arsenic is released into the environment, it cannot be contained.
It only changes form. According to the Indian Health Service Arsenic Tech Team the water quality test results in 2005 on Pine Ridge reveal that 98 wells have Arsenic levels 2 to 12 times higher than the MCL determined by law.

The wells of these families have been capped and their drinking water source has been changed to that of the water piped in from the Missouri River. (Call the Indian Health Service Arsenic Tech Team at 685-6561 to ask for copies of the Arsenic Reports)

In past decades, Open Pit Uranium Mining occurred Northwest of the Pine Ridge in the area of Edgemont, SD on the outskirts of our sacred Black Hills.
The milling of the Uranium took place by the Cheyenne River, which flows to the Pine Ridge. The radioactive waste from that Uranium Mine has since been buried underground for storage.

The area around Edgemont and the Northwest area of the Pine Ridge is over the Inyan Kara Aquifer and the White River Group. The Arikaree Aquifer flows under the center of the Pine Ridge.

The USGS and OST Rural Water tests document that wells and springs from these Aquifers reveal that contaminants of Arsenic, Radium 226 & 228, and Gross Alpha Emitters are higher than the safe and legal Maximum Contaminant level.

Some Alpha Emitters and Arsenic are naturally occurring due to Uranium in the ground, others as a result of mining. (Call the OST Rural Water Office in Pine Ridge at 867-1999 & ask for copies of their Annual Reports. The complete test results are in their reports)

These wells that exceed the MCL for Arsenic and Alpha Emitters have been closed and the drinking water is now piped in or trucked in to the community.

A summary of the OST Rural Water Reports and Indian Health Service shows that the Alpha Emitters from the following areas exceed the legal MCLs (highend range of composite tests):

Location of water test: Red Shirt
Safe Detected Date of
15pCi/L 21.6 1999
5pCi/L 15.4 1999
15pCi/L 61.8 2000
5pCi/L 38.7 2000
15pCi/L 16.4 2001
5pCi/L 14.4 2001
15pCi/L 15 2002
5pCi/L 15 2002

Location of water test: Potato Creek
Safe Detected Date of
15pCi/L 26.4 (well 3) 2003

15pCi/L 23.9 (well 2) 2003

Location of water test: White Horse Creek
Safe Detected Date of
15pCi/L 15 2003

Nuclear Waste Contamination?
Have the nuclear waste tailings from the Uranium mines around the Edgemont area that washed into the Cheyenne River also get into the groundwater, thus traveling for many years underground to get here, under the Pine Ridge, into the Aquifer we drink from? Did the above ground tailings blow in the wind to our lands here on Pine Ridge? There has never been a definitive study across the reservation to determine possible sources of contamination.

Mni Wiconi Pipeline
The Mni Wiconi water line has only been here for a few years, prior to Mni Wiconi disconnecting our wells and connecting our homes to the pipeline, we drank groundwater for years, some homes that are land-based still drink from the groundwater, as they are not connected to the pipeline. According to the Annual Reports of Rural water, the drinking water they provide is groundwater pumped from 34 wells.

Practically the first sentence of the Congressional Bill which created with Mni Wiconi Program states that “the drinking water quality available to the Pine Ridge does not meet the minimum health and safety standards, thereby posing a threat to public health and safety”. (Mni Wiconi Act PL 100-516 (H.R. 2772) October 24, 1988 and amended PL 103-434 (S1146) October 31, 1994.

According to the 2003 Health Consultation Report of the Sharps Corner/Porcupine area conducted by the US Federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry the private well samples studied in 1999 and 2000 for Radionuclides, the highest MCL detected was 75.9ugL, which is two and half times higher than the legal MCL of 30ugL. The sampling led the ATSDR to conclude that “ Radionuclides were the drinking water contaminant of concern for the Sharps Corner/Porcupine area”.

Of the eight water wells sampled, 50%, or half, of homes MCL for Radionuclides exceeded the EPA’s legal Maximum Contaminant Level for Gross Alpha Particle activity.

In the Radon part of the study, the air was measured in these homes. One-third or 30% of the homes were found to have results of Radon above the legal MCL.

The results summarized that the folks in these homes were ingesting radioactivity through the drinking water, as well as being contaminated by Radon through inhalation, breathing it in as it is in their homes. In every one of these homes, at least one family member died from Cancer. The ingestion and inhalation of Radionuclides also has a quicker effect on the kidney--many individuals will suffer kidney damage and die from the effects BEFORE they get cancer.

The USGS recommends further testing of our ground water to determine a better defined source of radioactive contaminants. The tests would separate the source of the contaminants of the naturally occurring Uranium in our groundwater from Gross Alpha Emitters that may have been pulled out of the ground through mining activities, entering the Aquifers. (Call the USGS Office in Rapid City and ask where to purchase copies of the reports)

In a letter addressed to OST President Steele in 2003, Lorelie DeCora responded to his question posed regarding the definition of a contaminant known as “Th-230” that he stated had been detected in groundwater quality tests conducted on the Pine Ridge. The Women of All Red Nations (WARN) Report issued a report in 1980 documenting water quality test results. Thorium 230 is a contaminant that results from Uranium tailings from mining. Thorium can be naturally occurring, but Thorium 230 is not naturally occurring. Thorium 230 will stay radioactive for 154,000 years. After 77,000 years, it becomes half of the value of its’ prior radioactivity. (Thorium 230=Th-230)

In Situ Leach Mining: “ISL”
Substances such as Inorganic Arsenic, Radium 226 & 228, Thorium 230 and other contaminants can enter groundwater as a result of mining. One type of mining that uses water is known as “In Situ Leach Mining”. ISL mining pulls Uranium up from the ground using Aquifer water, extracts the Uranium, stores the water in “monitoring” wells, and eventually injects it back into the Aquifer.

The ISL process also blends the contaminated water with clean Aquifer water to store it in the “monitoring” wells where the Radioactivity is measured after the Uranium is leached out to produce “Yellow Cake”. The water used to pull the Uranium out of the ground is also stored in “evaporation ponds”.

Radioactive Uranium and Barium Sludge Ponds and “monitoring wells”
result from the In Situ Leach mining process. It takes almost 5,000 years for this sludge to lose half of its radioactivity.

The ISL process presents the potential for leaks in the pipes that are used to “extract” the Uranium out of the ground. Such leaks would allow the radioactive water to seep out of the pipe and back into the groundwater, this has happened at ISL mines all over the world.
ISL Uranium Mine at
Crawford, Nebraska

“In Situ Leach Mining” is presently happening in Crawford, Nebraska at the Crow Butte Resources, Inc. Uranium Mine, which is owned by Cameco, Inc., the multinational energy corporation headquartered in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Cameco, Inc. is the worlds’ largest Uranium producer. This Crow Butte Uranium Mine has spilled or leaked thousands of gallons of contaminated water into our land, air, and ground water. The High Plains Aquifer that is under the Crow Butte Resources (CBR) Uranium Mine also flows under the Eastern portion of the Pine Ridge Reservation. The High Plains Aquifer contains portions of the Arikaree Aquifer.
The Crow Butte Uranium Mine uses 5,000 to 9,000 gallons of Aquifer water per minute the “In Situ Leach” method.

The CBR has at least three “evaporation ponds” where they store the contaminated water. The ponds are as big as a football field, lined with plastic and vinyl. They are 17 to 20 feet deep. And filled with radioactive sludge.
The “monitoring wells” where CBR stores contaminated water after the Uranium has been leached out are actually underground cement containers which hold the water for a period of time before it is placed in the “evaporation pond”. The CBR Uranium Mine produces one million pounds of “Yellow Cake” per year at its processing plant onsite. This “Yellow Cake” is stored in 55-gallon steel drums until transported. “Yellow Cake” is used to power Nuclear Power Plants and to make Nuclear Bombs through production of the world’s most powerful and most dangerous element: Plutonium.

Crow Butte Resources well soon seek renewal of their existing license and is proposing to expand their Uranium Mine north of Crawford, Nebraska, to an area near Whitney Lake and Dam, and the White River. The names of these two satellite ISL mines are the North Trend Area and the Three Crow area. The existing mine currently has over 8,000 wells at Crow Butte.

In this research effort, we could find no evidence that the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council has taken any action regarding the safety of this ISL mine and its effects on our groundwater.

ISL Uranium Mining is also planned to occur in the Black Hills area near Edgemont, SD by the Powertech Uranium Company which is now drilling exploratory wells for their proposed In Situ Leach Uranium Mine, and at the Wild Horse Sanctuary near Hot Springs, SD by the Newtron Energy Corporation.
Impacts of Mining on Humans and the Environment

The scientific community has conclusively determined that Inorganic Arsenic and Alpha Emitters are cancer causing to humans. Arsenic and Alpha Emitters are pulled out of the ground during the mining process, entering the groundwater, people drink the groundwater and become contaminated. There can be a 5, 10, or 20-year latency period of exposure to Arsenic and Alpha Emitters before cancer develops.
_________________________________CBR proposes 20 more years of Uranium Mining near Crawford, Nebraska. The Cameco, Inc. website states they have “a proven reserve of 60 million pounds of Uranium to extract”.How much water is that at 9,000 gallons per minute? 24 hours per day, 365 days per year for 20 more years… What will the number of gallons increase to once the two new Uranium Mines are developed and running?

There are about 321 people diagnosed with Diabetes each year on Pine Ridge. Currently, of our 25,000 residents, 10% of our Tribal Members have Diabetes. What will that number be after 20 more years of contamination?
Our people who are Diabetic patients seem to move to the Dialysis stage of the disease quickly, can this be a result of kidney damage sustained over many, many years of contamination of ingesting even low doses of Arsenic and Alpha Emitters?

The homes across the Pine Ridge whose test results revealed an illegal MCL of Arsenic now have filters provided by the Indian Health Service to filter Arsenic out of the water as it comes out of our kitchen faucet to purify the water we drink and cook with, but the water we bath our children in, wash our clothes with, water our lawns with, and shower with is not filtered. The Arsenic is still pouring into our homes.

According to the Indian Health Service official at the Aug 15, 2007 Environmental Health Tech Team meeting, “this shouldn’t be a concern because you have to drink it to be effected by it”. I wonder what scientists from other parts of the world say about that? Western Science is not the only science who studies such matters, a German scientist states he has proof that a low dose over time can have a more dramatic result than previously understood.
With the Crow Butte Resources’ existing mine and two new proposed mines 38 miles to the southeast of Pine Ridge, and the proposed Powertech Uranium Mine 60 miles to the Northwest of Pine Ridge, In Situ Leach Mining for Uranium has
the potential to contaminate all of the groundwater our people depend on for drinking water.

The Crow Butte Resources Uranium Mine has had leaks and spills every year since they have been in operation:
License Violations at Crow Butte ISL uranium mine (Nebraska) (
Sept 26, 2006: Monitor well placed on excursion status
May 5, 2006: leak detected at Pond 4
Jan 19, 2006: Monitor well placed on excursion status
Oct 27, 2005: Injection well leak detected
Aug 4, 2005: Monitor well placed on excursion status
June 28, 2005: Monitor well placed on excursion status
June 17, 2005: Monitor well placed on excursion status
May 2, 2005: Monitor well placed on excursion status
May 14, 2004: leak detected at Pond 1
Dec 23, 2003: Monitor well placed on excursion status
Dec 26, 2002: Monitor well placed on excursion status
Sept 10, 2002: Monitor well placed on excursion status
April 4, 2002: Monitor well placed on excursion status
Dec 4, 2001: Monitor well placed on excursion status
March 2, 2001: Monitor well placed on excursion status
Sept 10, 2000: Monitor well placed on excursion status
May 26, 2000: Monitor well placed on excursion status
April 27, 2000: Monitor well placed on excursion status
March 6, 2000: Monitor well placed on excursion status
July 2, 1999: Monitor well placed on excursion status
Aug 7, 1998: Spill of 10,260 gallons of injection fluid
March 21, 1998: Monitor well placed on excursion status
Aug 12, 1997: Discovery of Pinhole Leaks in Upper Liner of Process Water Evaporation Pond
When an ISL well is placed in “excursion status” it is because some part of the pipes or containers or other parts of the apparatus is LEAKING/SPILLING the water/solution/Uranium mix back into the groundwater (Aquifer).
“The most critical part of the ISL process is to control the movement of the chemical solutions within the aquifer. Any escape of these solutions outside the ore zone is considered an excursion, and can lead to contamination of surrounding ground-water systems. Some of the most common causes of excursions, identified by international operations in the United States and across Europe, can be through old exploration holes that were not plugged adequately, plugging or blocking of the aquifer causing excess water pressure buildup and breaks in bores, and failures of injection/extraction pumps.” ("An Environmental Critique of In Situ Leach Mining : The Case Against Uranium Solution Mining" at

Uranium Corporations say that ISL mining is environmentally friendly and safe, but according to researchers in the scientific community, “The ISL technique can lead to permanent contamination of groundwater and can contaminate land which was otherwise good productive land.”

According to news reports in Nebraska, Crow Butte Resources, Inc. experienced such a massive spill of more than 300,000 gallons of contaminated water that the area has been designated as “unfit for future use”—it is now considered a sacrifice area. (Instate News) as they are unable to clean up all of the contamination.
How will 20 more years of injecting contaminated water into all of the Aquifers that our people drink from effect our coming generations?
Inorganic Arsenic crosses the placenta
and can cause fetal death, it can be detected in Mothers’ breast milk.

Children’s bodies are more susceptible to the damaging effects of Inorganic Arsenic.

Are these contaminants connected to our high numbers of infant deaths? Of infant/children brain seizures? Of Down Syndrome babies born to young mothers? Of babies born with extraordinarily short umbilical cords?

In April 2005 the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council declared a situation of Eminent Threat due to test results of individual and community water wells exceeding the EPA Standard MCL of Gross Alpha Particle Radionuclide and Arsenic.

Oglala Sioux Tribal Council Resolution #2005-46 states that
Indian Health Service negligence in testing for safe drinking water has resulted in tribal members becoming ill.

The Resolution state that: the wells our people were drinking from were declared “Unfit for Consumption” due to illegal MCL’s.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Uranium Mining on the Pine Ridge?

With the known Uranium Deposit detected under the Pine Ridge land-base, how long will it be before the Energy Companies come here and offer millions or billions of dollars to the Oglala Lakota Tribal government to mine Uranium on the Pine Ridge?

The “Native American Energy Group” (NAEG) has approached the OST President John Steele regarding mining the Uranium under the Pine Ridge. According to memos and email letters, President Steele and Eileen Janis have met with NAEG at meetings both on the Pine Ridge and in the New York City boroughs. NAEG has sent founding documents and an Operating Agreement to President Steele. Some of the documents concern the development of a Minerals Corporation that would be comprised of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the Native American Energy Group, the Ospraie and other entities. The purpose of the corporation would be to mine Uranium.

President Steele has stated that the estimate is millions of pounds of Uranium under the Pine Ridge in the Badlands and Eagle Nest area and that figures discussed include billions of dollars.

The Natural Resources Protection Team was formed in July of 2007. It is comprised of OST Program Directors that manage land, air, and water. Community groups including Bring Back the Way and Defenders of the Black Hills were invited to attend the organizational meeting.

At the meeting, a packet was distributed regarding the NAEG plan to mine Uranium on the Pine Ridge. The working group reached a consensus agreement asking President Steele to cancel all meetings with NAEG. From Bring Back the way, I asked the working group to consider that this decision to mine Uranium was actually regarding Treaty Territory and was too big of a decision for one man to make. I told the working group that I felt this moment in time was a “Crazy Horse moment”, and that there were people in our tribe who would not support the mining of Uranium on Pine Ridge.

However, President Steele did meet with NAEG on the Pine Ridge Reservation in July, and also then later traveled to the East Coast to meet with them again and has continued to correspond and communicate with them in spite of the consensus action of the Natural Resources Protection Team.

The OST Environmental Health Tech Team on Aug 15, 2007 met with the NAEG corporate delegation. The NAEG delegation included Eileen Janis, a Geologist, the Chief Executive Officer, and the Chief Financial Officer.

Why Did Native American Energy Group Come to the Pine Ridge?
NAEG explained how they came to the Pine Ridge:
· to provide a pilot project of tribal housing and find investors to pay for the project
· their next step was to assess the tribal members’ ability to pay for maintenance and upkeep of the new houses, and their assessment showed them the tribal members needed an economy to provide employment for them so they would have the funds to upkeep their homes
· so, their next step was to offer the discussion of possible economic development efforts that they could help the OST with
· NAEG next proposed that economic development could happen very quickly from an endeavor to mine Uranium
· they explained that the profits of Uranium Mining is an economic solution to the tribal members’ poverty and unemployment and would allow the new homeowners an income to pay for the upkeep of the 1,000-4,0000 homes NAEG would build here
· at the Aug 15 meeting the NAEG rep’s and Eileen Janis explained how the company can also do a water study comprehensive to the entire reservation with their investors paying for the cost, but the OST can choose the company who would test the water
· they said if the water tests reveal there is Uranium under our ground, they can provide investors who will then mine the Uranium to get it out of the ground for us
· many of us at the meeting questioned how the NAEG started with building homes for us and ended up with mining Uranium!
· no satisfactory answers were given
· the OST EHTT said they would take action to stop the NAEG from testing our ground water and from any further involvement on the Pine Ridge through the development of a Proclamation
· the OST Environmental and Health Tech Team will publish the “Proclamation” which will detail their position regarding the NAEG
· and will take the Proclamation in Ordinance form to the OST Land Committee and
· on the next OST Council meeting for full OST Council Action

Will this Proclamation and Ordinance 07-40 be the end of Native American Energy Group’s presence on the Pine Ridge?

It was reported at the Aug 15 meeting by a Tribal Council Representative that the OST Ambulance Service was preparing to move into their newly acquired facility on the I.H.S. compound, but were to be greatly surprised when they went to move in and found the NAEG Geologist living there! It was found that President Steele issued a written memo to I.H.S. Director Bill Pourier requisitioning the facility for the Geologist who would be doing the water study! (and who would be living there for 3 to 6 months for the duration of the study).

There was discussion that there has been official action by Tribal Council Committee approving or authorizing such a study to be done by the NAEG. Tribal workers at the Aug 15 meeting stated their concerns that there are protocols to testing groundwater-no one should just be able to come in and access our groundwater.

Health on the Pine Ridge

Do we need a comprehensive health study on the Pine Ridge?

According to the South Dakota Cancer Report of 2003, counties on the Pine Ridge have a “significantly higher rate of cancer, diabetes, and infant mortality than the SD state average for the time period of 2001-2005”.

SD health records also state that in the “2003 Study, the American Indian cancer death rate was 30% higher than that of whites in South Dakota.”

The state records include the data that from the years “1999-2003 while the cancer death rate decreased for whites in SD, it increased for American Indians”.

For the years “2003 through 2005, the American Indian infant mortality rate increased at almost twice the rate for the white people in South Dakota.”
The report: Cancer in South Dakota, 2003 states “that American Indians had the highest age-adjusted rates for Years of Potential Life Lost” and that “American Indians are dying at a much younger age compared to whites”.

Why is this so?
We need to encourage our tribal leadership and tribal government to conduct a health study to determine why our statistics are so high.

“An In Situ Leach Mine is a Liquid Radioactive Nuclear Waste Dump.”

The Oglala Lakota People deserve to be informed about what the newly proposed Crow Butte Resources, Inc. In Situ Leach Uranium Mines will do to our future generations, water, land, people, animals, & plants.

The OST can and should do the right thing: investigate and produce a comprehensive report on this energy company’s violations and investigate how to hold them accountable to the EPA laws and other principles of respect for Mother Earth and our Sacred Water; and to hold the EPA and Federal Government responsible in upholding our Treaty and Human Rights to clean water, land, air, and health conditions based on a clean environment.

By passing OST Ordinance 07-40 (see below) on August 7, 2007, this is the responsibility Tribal Council made a commitment to.

This concept will be discussed at the Uranium Summit coming to the Pine Ridge this fall. Also to be discussed will be the proposed Uranium Mines elsewhere in 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty Territory such as the Edgemont area and the Wild Horse Sanctuary near Hot Springs, SD.

OST Council has yet to take specific action on the Crow Butte Resources license renewal and their application for two additional ISL Uranium Mines: the North Trend area and
the Three Crow area.

Crying Earth Rise Up!
Uranium Summit
September 2007
Pine Ridge Res

In Speaking of Radioactive Waste: “They have created something that cannot be destroyed” –Winona LaDuke

Environmental Justice
Survival of a People

What Is
Environmental Justice?

to native peoples, Environmental Justice goes beyond the issue of disproportionate toxic, nuclear contamination & health exposure of our elders, men, women, youth, children & our traditional food
Environmental Justice Includes: issues of exploitation, ecological damage, restoration of natural resources, compensation for victims of exposures & protection & healing of biological diversity that sustains us & allows us to practice our culture, language, & spirituality; the protection of all areas that are sacred & that are culturally & historically significant to our peoples and it
addresses economic development & social justice issues towards building sustainable communities with safe & sustainable jobs & livelihoods
Environmental justice: means the decolonization of our minds & recognition of traditional knowledge as the foundation of who we are
addresses ethical & policy issues concerning biotechnology, ownership of life, introduction of genetically modified organisms into the environment & policy issues on intellectual property rights of Indigenous knowledge; it means developing & maintaining education and language programs that teaches adults and the younger generation what their relationship is to the sacredness of our Mother Earth
means understanding and defending our treaties and to exercise our right to self-determination as Indigenous peoples; it means to claim our inherent right to protect our traditional land, water, air and our future generations
In the United States, it means the right to develop our own tribal environmental protection programs with our own water and air quality standards, and seek delegated authority to implement our own environmental programs - which strengthens our sovereignty
In the United States and Canada, it means to have the right to fully protect our environment and all natural resources in our traditional territories, reserves and reservations by applying, monitoring and enforcing our own tribal-based environmental, historical, sacred areas, endangered species and conservation laws
Environmental Justice means to be active-from the grassroots to tribal government-in all policy decisions from local, tribal, state, national and international levels where policy development is made that affects our future generations and all life that sustains us and our Mother Earth.

“Environmental Justice” by Indigenous Environmental Network
tel: 218-751-4967

Owe Aku, Bring Back the Way,
Debra White Plume tel: 605-455-2155 or
Vic Camp tel: 605-867-5995

On August 7, 2007 the OST passed Ordinance #07-40 which recognizes the responsibility of the OST to protect the land, air, water, and people of the tribe and which criminalizes nuclear contamination on the Pine Ridge and within 1851& 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty boundaries.

“No Uranium Mining
on Lakota Land”

Research Conducted by:
Rayette Camp
Victorio Camp
Aaron Price
Matt Rankin
Chris Soverow
The late Marlin “Moon Weston”
Debra White Plume
Source Materials:
Oglala Sioux Tribe Mni Wiconi Program Annual Reports 1999-2006 (Rural Water)
OST Water & Sewer Program Reports
OST Ordinances and Resolutions
OST Archives Office
Environmental Protection Agency
Instate News (Nebraska)
US Geological Study 1992-1997
Wise Uranium
Indigenous Mining
SD Dept of Health & Human Services
Indian Health Service,
Pine Ridge Agency
Aberdeen Area Office
· The Case Against Uranium Solution Mining "An Environmental Critique of In Situ Leach Mining” at
· Cancer in South Dakota, 2003

For info contact:
Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way)
PO Box 325
Manderson, SD 57756
Debra White Plume, Director 605-455-2155
Victorio Camp, Coordinator 605-867-5995 (email address)

“Some day
the Earth will weep,
She will beg for Her life,
She will cry with tears of blood. You will make a choice, if you will help her or let her die,
and when She dies,
you too, will die.”
--John Hollow Horn, Oglala Lakota, 1932

Crying Earth Rise Up!

Uranium Mining,
the Oglala Lakota People
& Mni Wakan
(Sacred Water)
A Publication of
Bring Back the Way
PO Box 325
Manderson, SD 57756
Copy & Distribute!

“An In Situ Leach Mine Is A
Liquid Radioactive Nuclear Waste Dump”

In Situ Leach Mining for the extraction of Uranium is happening south of Pine Ridge at the Crow Butte Resources, Inc. Uranium Mine in Dawes County, Neb, south of Crawford. They propose to expand the mine by opening two satellites: the North Trend Area and the Three Crow Area.

There is an energy corporation: Native American Energy Group (NAEG) approaching the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) to explore for and mine Uranium on the Pine Ridge. Discussions currently (summer 2007) are in motion to form a Minerals Corporation comprised of the OST, NAEG, and other entities. Why is this occurring without the people’s knowledge?

So far there has been no OST Council action on the matter of the ISL mine near Crawford, Nebraska.

OST Rural Water, I.H.S., U.S.G.S. test results reveal radioactive nuclides and Arsenic in our drinking water.
Where are these contaminants coming from?

Why are our cancer, diabetes, infant mortality & birth defect rates higher than those of South Dakota and even the United States?

Members of the OST deserve a comprehensive epidemiology health study to determine if there is a relationship between the contaminated water and health conditions.
An Education Campaign by Owe Aku, Bring Back the Way,
a Grass Roots Non-Governmental Organization on the Pine Ridge

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Uranium is in the Mni Wiconi pipeline
Look on Defenders of the Black Hill
the government is poisioning the Oceti Sakowin

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About Censored News

Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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"O FRIEND! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold." --Baha'u'llah, Baha'i Faith