Start Date

10-4-2021 9:00 AM

End Date

10-4-2021 10:15 AM

Disciplines

History

Subjects

Uranium mines and mining -- Social aspects -- New Southwest -- History -- 20th century, Indians of North America -- Government relations -- History -- 2oth century, Indians of North America -- Health and hygeine -- 20th century, Radiation -- Health aspects -- New Southwest -- History -- 20th century

Description

Abstract: During the Cold War the quest for plutonium to produce more bombs and beat the Soviets was the mission for the Department of Energy. There was constant fear of an atomic bomb being dropped on the U.S. The search for uranium was on. People who owned mines, however, were more concerned with production than they were with safety. Unfortunately, because most of the uranium was on Indian lands, one of the biggest casualties of the race were the native communities who especially didn't understand the nature of what they were working with. Due to their traditional relationship with the earth they honestly didn't think anything from the earth would hurt them. They didn't know about radiation. Not even scientists fully understood the substance but they continued anyway, to make more weapons. Safety was a lesser concern compared to the production of weapons that we were sure the Soviets were building. What are the long term effects to the people? What is being done to clean up the mines? In my paper I plan to address these questions and more.

PART OF SESSION 5A: ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

Comment: Jason Knirck, Central Washington University
Chair: Elizabeth M. Swedo, Western Oregon University.


Kole A. Dawson, Boise State University, graduate student
“The Amungme and the Environment: Environmental Justice History and Consumerism”

Margaret M. Reuter, Eastern Washington University, undergraduate student
“Hanford: Leaking Tanks and Human Health”

Angela M. Wood, Eastern Washington University, undergraduate student
“Uranium Natives: Mining for the Cold War”

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Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/35276

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Apr 10th, 9:00 AM Apr 10th, 10:15 AM

Uranium Natives: Mining for the Cold War

Abstract: During the Cold War the quest for plutonium to produce more bombs and beat the Soviets was the mission for the Department of Energy. There was constant fear of an atomic bomb being dropped on the U.S. The search for uranium was on. People who owned mines, however, were more concerned with production than they were with safety. Unfortunately, because most of the uranium was on Indian lands, one of the biggest casualties of the race were the native communities who especially didn't understand the nature of what they were working with. Due to their traditional relationship with the earth they honestly didn't think anything from the earth would hurt them. They didn't know about radiation. Not even scientists fully understood the substance but they continued anyway, to make more weapons. Safety was a lesser concern compared to the production of weapons that we were sure the Soviets were building. What are the long term effects to the people? What is being done to clean up the mines? In my paper I plan to address these questions and more.

PART OF SESSION 5A: ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

Comment: Jason Knirck, Central Washington University
Chair: Elizabeth M. Swedo, Western Oregon University.


Kole A. Dawson, Boise State University, graduate student
“The Amungme and the Environment: Environmental Justice History and Consumerism”

Margaret M. Reuter, Eastern Washington University, undergraduate student
“Hanford: Leaking Tanks and Human Health”

Angela M. Wood, Eastern Washington University, undergraduate student
“Uranium Natives: Mining for the Cold War”