Charmaine White Face, a member of the Oglala band of the Great Sioux Nation, explains uranium mining and its health effects on the people of the Great Plains.

America’s Chernobyl: Radioactive Dust Near Mt. Rushmore & Black Hills

ICTMN Staff
9/2/13

In this video Charmaine White Face, a member of the Oglala band of the Great Sioux Nation, explains uranium mining and its health effects on the people of the Great Plains.

She explains about the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty and where the abandoned open pit uranium mines are—a total of 3,272 in the states of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Colorado she says.

“The thing about the Darrow Pit Mine is they are only about 40 miles from Mount Rushmore, millions of tourists travel to Mount Rushmore every year not knowing that they are breathing in radioactive dust and the water that they drink in the motels in Rapid City contains uranium,” White Face says.

She also discusses the Riley Pass mine and a warning sign that’s posted warning people to not stay for more than one day within a one-year period. It also says “NO CAMPING.”

The warning sign at Riley Pass. (Defenders of the Black Hills)

White Face goes on to discuss how cancer rates for Native American people in the Northern Great Plains are higher than anyone in the country.

“When we’re standing by that sacred site praying, we’re breathing in a lot of these harmful materials,” she says.

White Face and those working with her as Defenders of the Black Hills have started calling it America’s Chernobyl because as Dr. K. Kearfott, a nuclear physics professor at the University of Michigan, said: “The radiation levels in parts I visited with my students were higher than those in the evacuated zones around the Fukushima nuclear disaster…”

RELATED: No Amount of Uranium Is Safe

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Diana's picture
Diana
Submitted by Diana on
I tried to use Google Earth to get a perspective and straight-line distance for the mines to Rapid Cidy, SD and Mt. Rushmore. Curiously, neither the Darrow Pit nor the Riley Pass mines are listed in the Google Earth database. Is there a way to locate them on Google Earth?

fredcorky's picture
fredcorky
Submitted by fredcorky on
This so true, in gas hill,WY,they have fill in the pits & cover the ground with rock to stop the run off from the rain,company truck have to be washed & be check with an giger counter before they can leave for the night. that should be telling us that there is still radioactive ground...
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