Uranium Mining History

1474 Words 6 Pages
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines exploitation as the intentional action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work. When looking back at the history of the United States of America, a person will notice a repeated trend of the U.S government exploiting Indigenous peoples to benefit their interest no matter how morally wrong it may be. A modern example of Indigenous tribes being exploited by the U.S government can be seen in the case of uranium mining on Navajo lands. Today there are more than 500 abandoned uranium mines, hazardous radiation levels and numerous health issues being reported by the Navajo Nation. In this essay I will be examining the history of uranium mining on Navajo land to further prove …show more content…
he most vital thing for a person to take into realization when looking at Native peoples in the late 1800’s is that they were being oppressed. Anti-Native American movements and legislation, at this time in history, was essentially at an all time high. The Indian Appropriations Act of 1871 ended the U.S government 's policy of treaty making with Native American tribes. This contributed to the destruction of tribal sovereignty because it took away the tribe’s ability to reject or accept laws that could have major implications on their daily lives. The General Allotment Act of 1887 built on the eventual collapse of tribal sovereignty the previously mentioned Indian Appropriations Act by taking away Native peoples’ land. The General Allotment Act, or the Dawes Act, not only took away Native lands, which is arguably their strongest means of acquiring and maintaining tribal sovereignty, but it also broke apart Native communities. The U.S even attacked tribal sovereignty by using education as a means of erasing a culture. The United States government’s objective of the cultural assimilation of Native American tribes was in full effect and all of which were being felt by the Native people. There were more laws that contributed …show more content…
An economic opportunity that would have major implications on their lives and the land they live on. An economic opportunity that the United States government suggested and knew had significant impacts on the health of the human body. The U.S government knowingly allowed uranium miners to work unprotected and uneducated in unregulated conditions and refused to compensate them for their work related diseases. Not only did they refuse to compensate workers for disease, they would not cover under the health care system on reservations that they were responsible for. Looking back at history a person can see a history of exploitation of Indigenous peoples by the U.S government and see that this situation is another example of exploitation. By using this situation(uranium mining on Navajo land) as an example a person can see the evident correlation between tribal sovereignty and one’s political standing. A strong sense of tribal identity and tribal sovereignty creates a strong platform for a person or tribe to defend their

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