Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 7, 2012

Native American Forum on Nuclear Issues Feb 27-29, 2012

Margene Bullcreek
Halting corporate and US environmental attacks on Indian lands
By Brenda Norrell

Censored News
Updated schedule (below)
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Speakers at the Native American Forum on Nuclear Issues, Feb. 27--29, include Margene Bullcreek, Goshute, who helped halt a toxic dump on Goshute land in Utah and Ian Zabarte, Western Shoshone, who is fighting the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump, while struggling to protect Western Shoshone lands from ongoing nuclear testing and desecration.
"Nevadans and Utahans living downwind and downstream from nuclear weapons testing, uranium mining, and radioactive waste dumping have suffered immensely during the Nuclear Age," states the Nuclear Information and Resource Service.

But even in the nuclear sacrifice zones of the desert Southwest, it is Native Americans -- from Navajo uranium miners to tribal communities targeted with atomic waste dumps -- who have borne the brunt of both the front and back ends of the nuclear fuel cycle.

The Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians in Utah was targeted for a nuclear waste dump. Private Fuel Storage (PFS), representing eight powerful nuclear utilities, planned to temporarily store 40,000 tons of commercial high-level radioactive waste (nearly the total amount that presently exists in the U.S.) next to the two-dozen tribal members.

"Cedar and Sage are sacred here," says Bullcreek, who successfully led the action to halt the dump. "I cut willow branches over there to cradle my babies like my mother did, and my grandmother did, and her mother and her mother. Their bones are on this land. If you think this is desolate then you don’t know the land. You don’t know how to be still and listen. There is peace here. I felt I had to be outspoken or lose everything that has been passed down from generations." Read more at:

The poisoning of ancestral lands of the Shoshone, Paiute and Goshute in Nevada and Utah is beyond genocide and constitutes ecocide, the death of all life forms, and punctuates the pivotal point in state-sanctioned environmental violence toward American Indians.

''The Western Shoshone are the most bombed nation in the world,'' Zabarte said. Pointing out that the nuclear test site is on Western Shoshone ancestral land, Zabarte said nuclear testing and radiation has taken its toll on his people, but their land rights remain in tact, secured by the Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863.

''The United States has violated the very essence of this treaty by testing its nuclear weapons on our lands and people.''

Nuclear testing above ground and underground has been centered in the heart of Shoshone and Paiute lands in Nevada. Goshute in Utah and Nevada straddle the Dugway chemical warfare testing site. Nowhere in America has the damage to the environment and potential for human disease surpassed this U.S. warfare corridor.
Nevada Test Site on Western Shoshone land
Bullcreek serves as president and Zabarte serves as vice-president of the Native Community Action Council, a Nevada non-profit corporation composed of Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute peoples.

The Council seeks to stop, mitigate and protect Native American tribal communities from the health consequences known to be plausible from exposure to radiation from the testing of weapons of mass destruction by the US and the UK at the Nevada National Security Site, formerly the Nevada Test Site.

In the early 1990's the Native Community Action Council began investigating the impacts to the land and people of the Great Basin as the Nuclear Risk Management for Native Communities Project with help from Childhood Cancer Research Institute and the Clark University Community Based Hazards Management.

The Nuclear Risk management for Native Communities Project was on of the first federally funded collaborative research projects to receive support from the Centers for Disease Control, the Agency for Toxic Substance Disease Registry and the Nation Institure for Environmental Health Sciences. That research later became the basis for at some contentions made against the Yucca Mountain license application submitted by the US Department of Energy at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Atomic Safety Licensing Board. The Native Community Action Council was a "party with standing" until those proceedings were closed at the end of September 2011.
Schedule Feb 27-29, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
9:00 am Native Community Action Council Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

8:00 am Meet and Greet-Coffee served

8:20 am Opening Prayer

8:30 am Greeting Margene Bullcreek, NCAC President

8:40 am Introductions/Agenda Overview Ian Zabarte, Vice President

9:50 am Congresswoman Shelley Berkeley (invited)

9:10 am Irene Navis, Clark County Emergency Management/Nuclear Waste Division

9:40 am Allison Cook, National Cancer Institute Extramural Program Specialist

10:00 am BREAK

10:15 am Dr. Marty Mifflin, Technical Selection of a Nuclear Waste Repository

11:00 am Susan Lynch, Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects-Technical Issues

11:30 am Professor Bret Birdsong, UNLV Law School-Yucca Litigation

12:00 LUNCH

1:00 pm Mannetta Braunstein 21
st Century Perception of Risk: Pre-Columbian Case Study
1:30 pm NCAC Board Members Present: Study Guide Curriculum Presentation

2:40 pm Susan Gordon, Alliance for Nuclear Accountability-ER/WM

3:00 pm Steve Frishman/Judy Triechel, Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force

3:20 pm Linda Cohn, US Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration

4:00 pm Mary Palevsky, UNLV-Nevada Test Site Oral History Project

4:20 pm Closing

Wednesday February 29
, 2012
Department of Energy/Nevada National Security Site Tour

8:00 am Shuttle Leaves

Thanks to Ian Zabarte to sharing with Censored News!
Internet resources related to Ian Zabarte's work on nuclear issues:

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