By Brenda Norrell
Photo: Supai Gathering to halt uranium mining/Photo Brenda Norrell
(Double click on photo to enlarge.)
RED BUTTE, HAVASUPAI TERRITORY -- Toronto-based Denison Mines (International Uranium Corporation) is threatening to reopen Canyon mine and drill for uranium at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. It only takes a quick look at the company to see that it has targeted Indigenous Peoples around the world with mining, poison and death.
Denison uranium mines and explorations are in White Mesa, Utah, McClean Lake in Saskatchewan, Australia, Mongolia and the Mutanga Project in Zambia.
Leaving a trail of disease and death around the world from mining, the stockholders of Denison need to know that their wealth streams from the poisoned water and lands of Indigenous Peoples. In White Mesa Ute country, near the Navajo Nation, the uranium mine was built on sacred kiva grounds and left a toxic dump of radioactivity.
During the Havasupai Gathering to halt uranium mining in the Grand Canyon last weekend, Supai Waters, carrier of the water songs, spoke of the unseen and how the Supai Guardians of the Canyon are maintaining the balance, not just here, but for the Earth.
If sacred Red Butte is violated, it will not just be the Supai and the crowds of tourists who are poisoned. It will not just be the Colorado River in Arizona and the drinking water of southern Nevada that is poisoned, the Earth will be in a state of dis-ease, imbalance.
Matthew Putesoy, vice chairman of the Havasupai Nation, said Red Butte is a traditional site sacred to the Havasuw 'Baaja.' Located in the Kaibab National Forest, Red Butte is known as Wii'i Gdwiisa, meaning "clenched-fist mountain." Havasupai leader Rex Tilousi says, "Red Butte is the lungs of our Grandmother Canyon."
Denison has staked 110 claims within the 1 million-acre area around the Grand Canyon and plans to produce nearly 110,000 tons per year of uranium ore at its Arizona 1 site over 10 years. During hearings, a water utility manager said virtually all of Southern Nevada would be left without water supplies if a mining disaster should occur. Recent legislation to protect the Grand Canyon does not apply to existing claims.
According to Denison Mines, "The company was formed through the combination of the business and operations of Denison Mines Inc. and International Uranium Corporation on December 1, 2006. Denison’s assets include an interest in two of the four licensed and operating conventional uranium mills in North America, with its 100% ownership of the White Mesa mill in Utah and its 22.5% ownership of the McClean Lake mill in Saskatchewan."
Another Canadian corporation, Cameco, is targeting Lakota lands for uranium mining. One year ago, in July, 2008, the US secretly transported 500 tons of yellowcake from Tuwaitha, Iraq, to Montreal, for the private company Cameco in Canada, according to CNN. Cameco said it was for nuclear power generation. But no doubt, there is more to this story of a secret shipment of yellowcake:
Also, read how uranium mining has poisoned Lakotas and the region of the Black Hills: