Keams Register

Writings of an Independent Navajo

Uranium and Coal Mining

Written By: Darrr - Jun• 10•09

While I was doing some research on the types of natural resources that are currently mined on the Navajo Reservation, I came across a research report that was done by Erin Klauk as part of educational materials that she was gathering for the University of Montana and the Science Education Resource Center (SERC).  Her studies and research helped me to gain a better understanding of the Uranium mining that has taken place and impacted the health of not only the Navajo People, but the livestock they raise and the crops they grow.

According to her study, the radiation levels from the abandoned mines were found to exceed acceptable limits as far back as 1959.  80 percent or more of the Navajo mine workers died from various forms of cancer and fibrosis.  While uraninum mining and milling are now illegal on the Navajo reservation, the people suffering from the results of poor mining oversight and closure are still reported in great numbers.

In the same study, Ms. Klauk included information of the Coal Mining that has has taken place on the reservation for over 30 years.  At the time of her study, there were plans in motion to expand the operations, despite strong protest from the Navajo People.

To learn more or to read this report in its entirety, please visit

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