State-Corporate Crime on the Navajo Nation: Human Consumption of Contaminated Waters

Authors

  • Linda Robyn Northern Arizona University

Abstract

History is always written from the point of view of the conqueror. This article is written from the point of view of an environmentally conquered people on one area of the Navajo Nation. As is the case with many other Native American nations, the Navajo are on the frontline of contemporary colonial struggles. They are sitting on resources the rest of the world wants at the lowest possible cost. Their territories are considered lands that are un-owned, underutilized, and therefore, open to exploitation. This is a scholarly article, written in a journalistic style based my visits to the Navajo Reservation, talking with those who live there and experience first-hand how coal production, and uranium mining has caused life-threatening pollution, massive habitat death and destruction to the people and their way of life. I have visited the Navajo Nation a number of times, and have gathered information from attending Chapter House meetings, and interacting with the people living in the contaminated area. Therefore, this article is not intended to present all sides of the issue, or to include all areas affected by the Bennett Freeze. This article is intended to bring to light information and awareness, based on my field observations, of the suffering endured by Navajo people occupying a particular area of the reservation that has not been a part of public conversation.

References

Arizona Daily Sun Editorial (6-22-11). “Moratorium won’t control uranium mining.” Flagstaff, AZ.

Arizona Geological Society: Coalition of Public Understanding of Science. Retrieved 10-15-11 from http://arizonageology.blogspot.com.

Bailey, G.A. and R. G. Bailey (1986). A History of the Navajo: The Reservation Years. School of American Research Press. Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Benedek, E. (1992) The Wind Won’t Know Me: A history of the Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute. University of Oklahoma Press. Norman, OK.

Brugee, D. M. (1994) The Navajo Hopi Land Dispute: An American Tragedy. University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque, NM.

Brugee, D., Benally, T., Yazzie-Lewis, E. with forward by Udall, S. L. The Navajo People and Uranium Mining. University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque, NM.

Cole, C. Arizona Daily Sun, March 29, 2008. “Uranium’s toxic legacy looms large.” Section A1 and A8.

Donovan, B, Special to the Times. (2011, Nov. 10). Navajo Times. Funds available for Freeze families, panel says.” Window Rock, AZ.

Eichstadt, P. H., (1994) If You Poison Us: Uranium and Native Americans. Red Crane Books. Santa Fe, NM.

Fonesca, F. Navajo homes razed – uranium contamination. 6-21-09. Associated Press.

Friedrichs, D. O. (2007). Trusted Criminals: White Collar Crime in Contemporary Society. Third edition. Thompson, Wadsworth. Belmont, CA.

Gaydesh, A. Regional Administrator Office of Enforcement, Compliance, and Environmental Justice. 8-17-2010.

Gedicks, A. (1993) The New Resource Wars: Native and Environmental Struggles Against Multinational Corporations. South End Press. Cambridge, MA.

Helms, K. Dine` Bureau (2010) The Independent: Gallup, NM, August 6, 2010. “Group wants full accounting of Navajo Rehabilitation Fund.” Section A, pp: 1 and 2.

__________. Dine` Bureau (2010) The Independent: Gallup, NM, August 7-8 Weekend. Relocation victims tired of status quo.” Section A, pp: 1 and 2. Number 211, Volume 123.

Hermann, B. Bennett Freeze escrow money goes to Navajo Finance Committee. Originally printed at http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/28404864.html).

Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. http://www.ieer.org. International Atomic Energy Agency. (1997 and 2001). National Reports for Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (IAEA). IAEA.org.

Kramer, R. C. and R. J. Michalowski (1990) “Toward an Integrated Theory of State-Corporate Crime.” Paper presented at American Society of Criminology. Baltimore, MD. November.

McPherson, R. S. (1988) The Northern Navajo Frontier 1860 – 1900: Expansion through Adversity. University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Official Site of the Navajo Nation. www.navajonation-nsn.gov.

Ortiz, A. and W. Sturtevant. Handbook of Native American Indians, vol. 10 Southwest. Smithsonian Institution. Washington, D.C.

Pasternak, J. (2006, Nov. 22 sec: A1, A9) Mining firms again eyeing Navajo lands. Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA.

_____________. (2010) Yellow Dirt: An American Story of a Poisoned Land and a People Betrayed. Free Press. New York, London, Toronto, Sydney.

Pew Campaign for Responsible Mining. Pew Environmental Group (10-12-11).

Robyn, L. M. (2002) “A Critical Model for the Study of Resource Colonialism and Native Resistance. In Potter, G. W. Controversies in White Collar Crime. Anderson Publishing Company. Cincinnati, OH.

Southwest Research and Information Center. www.sric.org.

Third World Network Features. Choike: “Native Community Wins Battle Against Uranium Miming in Arizona, USA. “This article first appeared in WISE/NIRS Nuclear Monitor (#627, 13 May 2006) and was reproduced by the Third World Network Features with permission.

United States Environmental Protection Agency, Abandoned Uranium Mines on the Navajo Nation. Downloaded 10-15-11 from: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r9/sFund/r9sfdocw.nsf/ViewBEPAID/NN000906087?OpenDocument#descr.

Westra, L. and B. E. Lawson. (20010. Faces of Environmental Racism: Confronting issues of global justice. 2ndedition. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Lanham, MD.

World Nuclear Association (2010) www.world-nuclear.org/

Yount, G. (n.d.) The NAU Project: Uranium Exploration in Northern Arizona. Retrieved 2/22/2010 from http://northern-arizonauranium project.com/ breccia_pipe_anatomy.arizonuraniumproject.com/breccia_pipe_anatomy.

Downloads

Issue

Section

Articles