Navajo Times

By Edith Hood and Teracita Keyanna

May 16, 2024

Editor’s note: Teracita Keyanna and Edith Hood are members of the Red Water Pond Road Community Association. The community is 11 miles northeast of Churchrock, New Mexico.

A proposal to remove uranium mine waste from our community, the Red Water Pond Road community, 11 miles north of Churchrock in the Eastern Agency, to the Red Rock Landfill property five miles east of Thoreau, has generated some disagreements among members of the Navajo Nation. We are writing to give our community’s perspective and to help base the conversation on accurate information. We want to work together as one people to collaborate and figure out a plan to protect ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.

Some of us had to move out of the community because our health has been impacted from living next to uranium mine waste for nearly 50 years. We believe, based on our observations and recent health studies, that chronic, long-term exposure to uranium mine waste from the Quivira/Kerr McGee Mine has led to respiratory problems, various cancers and other diseases and too many premature deaths. We miss our home and want to go back. This is where our umbilical cords are buried. …