Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

January 28, 2023

American Indian Airwaves: Listen to Nuclear Colonialism Series

                                                     Dine' Leona Morgan Photo by Jake Hoyungowa

American Indian Airwaves: Listen to Nuclear Colonialism Series

Listen live this week on American Indian Airwaves and to Parts I and II on Soundcloud

By Larry Smith (Lumbee)
Co-host/Producer of American Indian Airwaves
Censored News

Nuclear Colonialism with Leona Morgan (Dine’ Nation) is a three-part interview broadcast over three consecutive episodes. The series focuses on our guest’s community work since 2007, which includes combating many aspects of nuclear colonialism.

Our guest not only helped prevent the construction of a new ISL (in situ leach) uranium mine in Eastern Navajo but also, has and continues to raise awareness about the extreme dangers of transporting high-level radioactive waste material by highway and railroad nearby and through “Indian Country,” along with the negative legacy of uranium mining and its unresolved impacts on the Dine’ & other Indigenous peoples.

In addition, Leona Morgan provides an update on the unresolved issue of nuclear waste and how Holtec International is proposing to construct a high-level nuclear waste facility in southeastern New Mexico despite the opposition by numerous Native American nations.

Moreover, our guest discusses the Nuclear Energy industry's plans to build Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) – mini nuclear reactors - as a way to generate electricity and how the Nuclear Energy’s Greenwashing strategy of claiming nuclear energy as green energy places Indigenous peoples and Mother Earth at historical perils; the $1.7 trillion allocated for the US nuclear weaponry arsenal, and how Native Americans nations future generations are at risk unless there is an immediate nuclear decolonization.

Guest Leona Morgan (Tó dich’íí’nii, Tsé nahabiłnii, Kiyaa’áanii, Tó aheedlíinii) is a Diné activist and community organizer. Leona co-founded and works with the Nuclear Issues Study Group, Diné No Nukes, which contributes to the Haul No! initiative, and Radiation Monitoring Project. Our guest collaborates nationally with many groups and is part of the international campaign Don’t Nuke The Climate which focuses on nuclear energy as a global climate issue.

Part 2
In early 2023, only five Native American nations have constitutionally protected press freedoms. In terms of Native American self-determination and sovereignty, what does freedom of the press mean for Native American nations?

What about Native American government-owned media and the right to investigate & publish critical stories without being penalized? "Bad Press" is a new documentary premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2023 and the film tells the story about Angel Ellis just trying to do her job. She’s a reporter for Mvskoke Media in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and she wants to give her readers access to all the information relevant to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. But that’s not an easy task, given that Angel and her colleagues believe in truth and transparency and aren't afraid to challenge the integrity of some questionable tribal officials. Fast-forward to a confusing whirlwind of an emergency session at the National Council, where the 2015 Free Press Act is repealed, Mvskoke Media's independent editorial board is dissolved, and the newspaper is placed under the direction of the Secretary of the Nation and Commerce. Plus more.

Guests Becca Landsberry-Bakker (Muscogee Nation) and Joe Peeler co-directors of Bad Press (2023). Rebecca Landsberry-Baker is a Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program grantee, Ford Foundation JustFilms grantee, and 2022 NBC Original Voices fellow. She is an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee Nation and the executive director of the Native American Journalists Association. Joe Peeler is a documentary editor and director whose work has appeared on Netflix, HBO, and FX.

American Indian Airwaves is an all-volunteer collective and Native American public affairs program that broadcast weekly on KPFK FM 90.7 Los Angeles, CA from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Thursdays.

American Indian Airwaves (AIA), an Indigenous public affairs radio and, perhaps, the longest-running Native American radio program within both Indigenous and the United States broadcast communication histories. Also, AIA broadcast weekly every Thursday from 7pm to 8pm (PCT) on KPFK FM 90.7 Los Angeles ( Facebook:
American Indian Airwaves is produced in Burntswamp Studio and started broadcasting on March 1st, 1973 in order to give Indigenous peoples and their respective first nations a voice about the continuous struggles against Settler Colonialism and imperialism by the occupying and settler societies often referred to as the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Latin and South America countries located therein.
American Indian Airwaves operates as an all-volunteer collective with no corporate sponsorship and no underwriters.

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