16| Declaration of the Indigenous Anti-Nuclear Summit

Albuquerque, New Mexico September 5-8, 1996

For more than fifty years, the legacy of the nuclear chain from exploration to waste has been proven, through documentation, to be genocidal and ethnocidal and a most deadly enemy of Indigenous Peoples.

During September 5-8, 1996, over thirty Native organizations gathered for the first Indigenous Anti-Nuclear Summit in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The purpose of the Summit was to develop a unified Native-directed strategy to oppose the genocidal impacts that the nuclear industry has had upon the communities and nations of Indigenous Peoples.

Since the dawn of the nuclear industry, Indigenous Peoples throughout the world have suffered disproportionate higher death and illness rates than any other population. Here in the United States, we have worked unprotected and ill-advised in uranium mines; our homelands and ecosystems are contaminated by radioactive tailings of thousands of abandoned mines; our peoples are continuously exposed to lethal doses of radiation from processing and refining plants. In remote villages of Alaska, we have been used like test rats in radioactive (Iodine 131) experimentation. To further complicate the lives of Indigenous Peoples, our lands serve as "test sites" for hundreds of nuclear bombs and our communities continue to be targeted locations for nuclear waste storage and dump sites.

It became most evident at the Summit that Indigenous Peoples and/or our lands are adversely affected at every phase of the nuclear power and weapons chain. There it was concluded that a well organized and sustained anti-nuclear campaign, lead by Indigenous Peoples, could have a major impact upon the nuclear industry. The first and most important part of the campaign strategy is to send a clear message to the nuclear industry as well as tribal, state and national governments, that Indigenous Peoples will no longer tolerate the continual genocidal and ethnocidal effects of the nuclear industry.


The full text of this chapter is available in the book, Metal of Dishonor. Link here for order information.




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