Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 28, 2010

Navajos told to sit in back of the room at mining conference

Navajo protesters told to sit in back of room at conference
Three members of the Navajo Nation and a non-Indian supporter were told to sit or stand in the back of a room at a uranium conference, The Denver Post reported.
The protesters wanted to attend a discussion on litigation at the National Mining Association and Nuclear Regulatory Commission conference. The NRC is a federal agency that has a tribal consultation policy.
When tribal member Nadine Padilla, 25, saw an empty chair in the front of the room, she sat down. She was told to leave.
Padilla and another tribal member, Mario Atencio, decided to exit the room. Atencio yelled out "It will never happen!" in reference to uranium mining on the reservation, the Post reported.
The three Navajo protesters were then ushered out of the room. "It wasn't right for them to treat us like second-class citizens and ask us to sit in the back of the room and to sit on the floor," Padilla told the Post.
The fourth person, Jen Nordstrom, a non-Indian, was allowed to stay behind after she started crying. She said the incident showed the Navajos were victims of racism.
Get the Story:Efforts to quell conflict with Navajo collapse at Denver mining conference (The Denver Post 5/28)

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