French owned Areva has its operatives up in Nunavut trying to bedazzle and baffle the Inuit with coffee, donuts and door prizes. Areva tells them everything we know about nuclear is wrong and outdated. Meanwhile, in New Mexico, the Navahoe are still waiting for compensation over the Church Rock Uranium Tailings Spill 31 years ago. And in Niger, Areva employees kidnapped in September are still missing. People there know just how badly Areva treats people in the here and now with its uranium mining operations.
If you have contacts in the north, they really need to get the facts.
Areva answers questions
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, November 10, 2010
RANKIN INLET/KIVALLIQ - Areva Resources Canada began its most recent Kivalliq tour of open houses to answer questions about its Kiggavik uranium project near Baker Lake this past week.
Areva vice-president of safety, health environment and quality Dale Huffman dipslays a cup that was once made with radioactive material for the simple reason it was yellow during an open house in Rankin Inlet in November of 2010. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo
The tour began in Baker and continued on to Rankin Inlet, Chesterfield Inlet and Repulse Bay.
After concluding in Repulse today, it will head to Coral Harbour, Whale Cove and Arviat.
A steady stream of people moved in and out of the community hall in Rankin to view a number of presentations and displays, as well as ask questions of a number of Areva personnel present for the event.
Areva vice-president of safety, health, environment and quality Dale Huffman said misconceptions still exist about radiation.
Huffman said people often talk about the uranium past, not the uranium present. He said radioactivity is, generally, something people don't understand.
"We've been trying to bring more information, tools and props to show people what radiation looks like," said Huffman.
"People fear radiation because they can't see it and don't understand how it works. We have instruments that can measure radiation and when you can measure something, you can manage it. That's something the uranium industry has become very good at over the years."
Huffman said many opinions on radioactivity and environmental issues have been formed based on practices of the 1920s to the 1950s.
He said the industry has learned from its past and is substantially better now.
"Radiation protection is actually quite a success story in terms of where it's come from and where's it at now. There were very high exposures to radon gas in the past, but that's all changed now.
"Our standards and measurement techniques are vastly improved. In modern uranium mines, there are no observable lung cancers above what would be seen in the general population and that's quite a success."
Huffman said if the Kiggavik project goes ahead, waste will be put into a tailings pit, and Areva will have to demonstrate over the long term that there will be no effects from that material.
He said the tailings are a manufactured product, not just waste.
"The waste is mixed with a collection of waste produced from the mill circuits that actually dilute the material.
"Yes, we are putting our waste back into a hole and covering it with dirt, but we have to make that material stable and, to get approval for the project, we have to demonstrate in advance that it will be safe to the environment.
"We also have to have a decommissioning plan in place on how to close the place down, and mitigative measures are generally in place to test the assumptions and science we advocate during the environmental assessment. So, as we go through time, things get increasingly certain."
Rankin Inlet economic development officer Damian MacInnis said the meetings were informative.
He said the material and information on display at the event showed people the Kiggavik project is not all about negative impacts.
"There would be a lot of areas positively impacted if this project goes ahead," said MacInnis.
"We hear a lot from groups in the south trying to push the negative side of uranium mining, but it's been proven to me there's a lot more positive than negative.
"I've listened to both sides and unless someone shows me something I'm not aware of, I'm fully in support of the project going ahead."
Luis Manza is the director of lands for the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA).
Manza said the Rankin meetings went well and he's impressed by the measures Areva takes to get information out to Inuit beneficiaries.
He said Areva is doing more than expected in giving everyone a chance to consult and have their concerns heard.
"Areva has been very consistent in getting information out, and it will be meeting with the KIA to address the labour force, so it was a very positive event," said Manza.
"This is a very strong company with deep pockets, and when it says it's going to do something, from what I've seen, it follows through.
"When a beneficiary had a question, they made sure they understood exactly what was being asked before responding to it.
"And they brought radiation technologists to show people, in a very clinical way, how radiation works and is monitored at a mine site, and how the decommissioning of a mine and its waste material has been carefully developed from an engineering point of view."
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for 3Mb pdf on areva explorations go to this link:
November 5th, 2010 - From Baker Lake to Rankin Inlet
The Kiggavik Project team has spent the last week in the Kivalliq region conducting open houses. So far, we have been to Baker Lake and Rankin Inlet to meet with local people. The intent of the open houses are to provide information on the Kiggavik Project, answer questions, and importantly, gather feedback from the public. This feedback is very important to us and we will use the information in our Environmental Impact Statement.
Never been to an open house and not sure what to expect?
Our open house is a "come and go" format. We have posters setup around a gym with nearly ten staff on hand, a Saskatchewan Elder, and a translator who will all help guide you through the project. Our staff includes technical experts on project design, radiation, environment, and wildlife. We are all here to answer your questions and provide you with more information on the project. Many of these conversations occur over coffee and snacks that are provided.
When we have a good crowd of people, we do an overview presentation and explain AREVA's commitments to the environment, safety, wildlife, and society. After each presentation we draw for door prizes!
Radiation Education is Popular
In our past consultations, we have been asked to talk more about radiation. We listened, and this tour, we brought along some of our radiation experts, Kristine and Dale.
They do an interesting and effective demonstration on radiation. We took a video of the demonstration and will post it sometime soon. We are also showing a new video on radiation, which you can view here.
Come and talk!
We have more open houses planned in the next week. We are flying to Chesterfield Inlet today. Click here for the full schedule. If you can't make it, please take the time to ask questions here on the blog. We just launched a new survey to get your feedback on a number of important factors. Click here to fill out the survey.
Why rethink Christopher Columbus?Students at Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon, commemorated the 500th anniversary of Columbus's arrival in the Americas by launching a school-wide "discovery." They invaded other classrooms, stole teachers' purses, and claimed them as theirs. Adapting a lesson described in the first edition of Rethinking Columbus (p. 17 in this edition), students emptied a purse in front of a teacher and her class, then remarked on its contents: "This sure is good gum, think I'll have a piece ... or two; you all know this is my purse, 'cause this is just my shade of lipstick." Kids in the assaulted classrooms figured out what was going on only when the invaders compared their "discovery" to Columbus's "discovery." The high-school students, with advance permission from other teachers, led discussions and described Columbus's policies toward the Taíno Indians on Hispaniola. They concluded by offering black armbands to students as a way to demonstrate solidarity with Native Americans' 500 years of resistance.
Just two years before, in October of 1990, theChicago Tribune had promised that the Columbus Quincentenary would be the "most stupendous international celebration in the history of notable celebrations." The Portland students' "Discovery Day" is not what the Tribune had in mind.
Prompted by widespread Native American activism leading up to the Quincentenary, educators throughout the Americas re-evaluated the social and ecological consequences of the Europeans' arrival in 1492. Teacher unions, community groups, social justice organizations, universities, and school districts initiated workshops and teach-ins. New curricula, videos and children's books appeared. In 1991, Rethinking Schools published the first edition of Rethinking Columbus, which subsequently went through seven printings and sold 225,000 copies. We were pleased to be a part of a movement to question a myth that dismissed the very humanity of entire peoples. We believe this critical work by so many has made a profound impact in schools.
But we have a long way to go. Too many children's books, textbooks, and curricula continue to tout the traditional Columbus myth. For many youngsters, the "discovery of America" is their first curricular exposure to the encounter between two cultures and to the encounter between two races.
The "Columbus-as-Discoverer" myth teaches children whose voices to listen for as they go out into the world - and whose to ignore. Pick up a typical children's book on Columbus: See Chris; see Chris talk; see Chris grow up, have ideas, have feelings; see Chris plant the flag... In these volumes, native peoples of the Caribbean, the "discovered," are portrayed without thoughts or feelings. And thus children begin a scholastic voyage that encourages them to disregard the perspectives, the lives, of people of color. Both the words and images of the Columbus myth implicitly tell children that it is acceptable for one group of heavily-armed, white people from a "civilized" country to claim and control the lands of distant non-white others.
During the Quincentenary, a more "balanced" approach to European/Native American conflict also emerged. According to a Library of Congress-produced curriculum that exemplified this seemingly neutral inquiry, "The story of the Americas, more than any other area of the world, is the story of peoples and cultures coming together," resulting in"a cultural mixture." This newer framework suggested that world history since 1492 has been a series of trades and trade-offs. "They" gave "us" the potato, corn, and a great deal of gold. "We" gave "them" the horse, sugar, and, regrettably, germs. This process planted "seeds of change," in the words of the Smithsonian Institution. While offering important insights, this approach failed to address questions of the origins of racism, economic exploitation, and resistance.
In this new edition of Rethinking Columbus, we try to offer an alternative narrative. Our goal is not to idealize native people, demonize Europeans, or present a depressing litany of victimization. We hope to encourage a deeper understanding of the European invasion's consequences, to honor the rich legacy of resistance to the injustices it created, to convey some appreciation for the diverse indigenous cultures of the hemisphere, and to reflect on what this all means for us today.
We have tried to provide a forum for native people to tell some of their side of the encounter - through interviews, poetry, analysis, and stories. The point is not to present "two sides," but to tell parts of the story that have been mostly neglected.
It would be nice to think that the biases in the curriculum disappear after Columbus. But the Columbus myth is only the beginning of a winners' history that profoundly neglects the lives and perspectives of many "others": people of color, women, working-class people, the poor.
Columbus's LegacyColumbus is dead but his legacy is not. In 1492, Columbus predicted, "Considering the beauty of the land, it could not be but that there was gain to be got." From the poisonous chemical dumps and mining projects that threaten groundwater, to oil spills on the coastal shorelines to the massive clearcutting of old-growth forests, Columbus's exploitative spirit lives on.
Likewise, the slave system Columbus introduced to this hemisphere was ultimately overthrown, but not the calculus that weighs human lives in terms of private profit - of the "gain to be got."
We've featured essays and interviews that underscore contemporary resistance to the spirit of Columbus. We believe that children need to know that while injustice persists, so does the struggle for humanity and the environment.
In a very real sense, most of us are living on stolen land. However, this knowledge must not be used to make white children feel guilty. There is nothing students can do to change history. And they should not feel responsible for what others did before they were born. However, we hope the materials inRethinking Columbus will help you teach that people of all backgrounds do have a responsibility to learn from history. We can choose whether to reverse the legacy of injustice or continue it. This is one reason that we've made special efforts in this edition to highlight people who have chosen to stand for justice.
We hope that these materials will also help students to discover new ways of understanding relationships between society and nature. Even the very words used by different cultures to describe the natural world are suggestive: compare the West's "environment" - something which surrounds us - to native peoples' "Mother Earth" - she who gives us life. Native views of the earth challenge students to locate new worlds of ecological hope.
Through critiquing traditional history and imagining alternatives, students can begin to discover the excitement that comes from asserting oneself morally and intellectually - refusing to be passive consumers of official stories. This is as true for 4th graders as it is for juniors in high school. Students can continue to renew and deepen this personal awakening as they seek out other curricular silences and sources of knowledge.
As the scholar Edward Said noted, "Nations are narratives." For too many, this country has been a narrative that started with the myth of Columbus. It's time to hear other voices. We offer this second edition of Rethinking Columbus as our contribution to a many-sided and ongoing discussion about the future.
Click here to go back to the Rethinking Columbus home page, or here to view the .pdf version of the RC Table of Contents.
Elementary School Issues
The Trial (The People vs Columbus, et al.)
Secondary School Issues
ORDER NOW - FOR CLASSROOM, EDUCATORS, LIBRARIES (all films distributed on DVD with Public Performance Rights)
The Medicine Wheel (native spirituality)
Whose Land is This? (land settlement)
Making Treaties (land settlement)
Role Models (inspiration for our youth)
Beat of the Drum (native music)
Native Women: Politics (history)
Reclaiming Our Children (wellness)
The Residential Schools (other side)
Living in Two Worlds (old and new)
Sleep dancer (a dramatic journey)
Vanishing Links (returning to her roots)
HIV - If There's a Will ..(native people)
Indianer (honoring First Nations)
Echoes of the Sisters (breast cancer)
Kinja Iakaha (from Brazil)
The Storytellers (truth and honor)
The Pipe Makers (making the pipe)
Medicine People (ceremonies)
Sacred Buffalo People (culture)
"Stupid Indians" ... "Indians are of no use" ...
"Indians don't understand anything or how to do anything"
These are the kind of insults, from supervisors, made to indigenous workers at Giumarra Vineyards. And you can imagine the treatment that goes along with this attitude. Please read the below alert and then take action.
In January we reported that a young woman, 17 years old, was harassed sexually by a co-worker at Giumarra. She complained to the company about the unwanted sexual advances, and the company did something.
When she and fellow workers complained, they were fired.
These workers are all members of indigenous groups from Mexico. In a lawsuit filed by the former Giumarra employees who are Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, they claim they were the targets of abuse, insults, and discrimination by Giumarra supervisors just because they are indigenous.
The Kroger grocery chain is one of Giumarra's biggest customers. Giumarra may not care what you think, but Kroger's will. Kroger has the power to get Giumarra to clean up its act. Tell Kroger's that you, as a customer, will not accept this treatment of the workers who tend and pick the produce that we eat. Tell them to use their power to promote the social responsibility they say they believe in.
Indigenous farm workers are doubly vulnerable. Anti-immigrant sentiment leads to serious discrimination. And they face additional cultural and linguistic barriers because they are indigenous peoples.
Take a stand for indigenous rights. Tell Kroger to do the right thing.
* The Krogers grocery chain includes Ralphs, Food for Less, Fred Meyer, QFC, Frys, Baker's, City Market, Dillions, Foods Co, Gerbes, Hilander, JayC Stores, King Soopers, Owen's Market, Scotts Food & Pharmacy, Smiths Food & Drug, Smith's Marketplace, Turkey Hill, and more.
After you take action please share this campaign with your friends and family. You can send them an e-mail, post this campaign on your Facebook and/or Twitter page by clicking here or going tohttp://action.ufw.org/page/m/3bed9d91/1456dfdd/462aab7f/2b46be67/270738600/VEsHBA/
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I am writing this letter concerning the impeding destruction of a sacred Native American site for the proposed Sports Complex. I am writing this letter on behalf of the Strong Heart Preservation Movement in Jacksonville, Alabama. I am the Co-director of this group and our work involves educating the public on the important of cultural preservation. My husband and I are both teachers who realize the importance of the human-nature connection. This connection defines us as human beings as well as identifies our interconnectedness to all life. Our prehistoric ancestors honored our connection to nature and all life, which is exemplified through sacred sites such as located in Oxford, Alabama. Modernity and economic development threaten this connection and convolutes our identities as human beings. It is up to all of us to act as a social and moral conscience to protect these sacred sites so that we preserve our identities as human beings. We learn from the past so that the present and future are better. We must think of our children and their children’s children. We have to set the positive examples now so that these sacred sites are more than a picture in a book, but very real and intact. These sacred sites are important to all of us, of all cultures and ethnicities, because they do signify our identities as human beings and define our cultures as well as exemplify and honor our spiritual essence. We can do it, and we will do anything possible to ensure that this sacred site is not further destroyed. The past must be preserved so that, in the future, our children are not lost and suffering. I thank you for your time.
Co-Director Strong Heart Preservation Movement
League of Indian Nations of North America Counselor
firstname.lastname@example.org@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@Check out Barack Obama names Sitting Bull as inspirational American in new children's book
I need your help to change that -- and fast.
Please watch NRDC’s new, two-minute video about this approaching disaster.
Global mining giants -- including the Anglo American corporation, Mitsubishi and Rio Tinto -- would gouge one of the world’s largest open-pit mines out of Alaska’s incomparable Bristol Bay wilderness.
My friends at NRDC call it the worst project they’ve ever seen -- and they’ve seen hundreds of them. That’s because this colossal mine would be built at the very headwaters of our planet’s greatest wild salmon river systems: the Kvichak and the Nushagak.
Tens of millions of salmon course through this unspoiled Eden, feeding not just an abundance of bears, whales, seals and eagles but also the Alaskan Native communities that have thrived here for thousands of years.
Nothing like this place exists anywhere else on Earth. It is a remnant of American wilderness as it used to be, the kind of mythic landscape that Norman MacLean had in mind when he famously wrote:
“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.”
And it is right here -- in the heart of this American Eden -- that foreign mining giants want to excavate their 2,000-foot-deep Pebble Mine. This monstrosity will spew some 10 billion tons of mining waste, laced with toxic chemicals,that must be held back forever by massive earthen dams up to 50 stories tall -- all in an active earthquake zone.
The Pebble Mine is an environmental disaster waiting to happen. If it pollutes the Kvichak and the Nushagak River systems, it will take down not only the world’s greatest sockeye salmon fishery but the awe-inspiring ecosystem that depends on it.
America has sacrificed too many rivers and wildlands to the mining industry, which has consistently left them despoiled and unrecognizable -- before sticking us with the astronomical cleanup costs.
There is still time to save Bristol Bay from a similar fate.
After you watch our new video, tell the mining giants you won’t let them plunder and destroy one of America’s greatest natural treasures in order to line their own pockets.
Please join with me and NRDC -- and thousands of Alaskan Natives, fishermen and conservationists -- in fighting the Pebble Mine and saving this remnant of our disappearing natural heritage.
Trustee, Natural Resources Defense Council
P.S. After you watch the video and take action, you’ll have an opportunity to forward my message to other environmentally concerned people. Please take a few seconds to spread the word. I am convinced we can stop the Pebble Mine by alerting one million Americans to what’s at stake. Building this kind of outcry needs to happen one person at a time, starting with you. Thank you for doing your part!
Many special thanks to everyone that came out to Rocking the Rez or mailed in donations! It was a fabulous day of great music, and good weather!
We are happy to announce that the funds raised during the 1st “Rockin’ The Rez" totaled $2,640.00 and it was sent out Monday, Nov. 15, 2010 to Lakota Plain Propane.
The "Rockin' The Rez" account at Lakota Plain Propane, was set up by Thunderwolf (http://www.facebook.com/l/326c1x21is_srBCAaArrWSS3KVw;www.bicona.com), However, If you send a check to the Chumash museum, it will be forwarded to Lakota Plains Propane. If you wish to send it directly to the propane Company, just ask them them to place it in the “Rockin” The Rez” account. All accounts at the Lakota Plains Propane are under account names, not account numbers
Those who wish to send a donation can write a check or money order made out to Lakota Plains Propane and send it to:
Lakota Plains Propane
Pine Ridge, SD. 57770
IMPORTANT: BE SURE TO NOTE THAT THE CHECK WILL BE FOR THE “ROCKIN’ THE REZ” ACCOUNT, SO THAT THE PROPANE COMPANY KNOW’S.
We would like to take a moment to thank : Gray Wolf, the members of GrayWolf’s blues band, The Patrick Outlaw Trio, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, The Joe Corso Band, Cody Blackbird, Bill Neal, DJ Milton Carillo and our host - comedian, Sardia Marley, AIM Santa Barbara who took their time out to help with security and first aid, , a BIG thanks Anne Begay and Kathy Peltier who fed all the volunteers with FANTASTIC chili beans and frybread, Tim Keenan, photographer and all the volunteers that took time to participate and lend a hand, and Finally, last but not least all the vendors that were there.
A special shout out to all the musicians in El-Vuh, who came by to show support, make a donation and enjoyed the music with the rest of us.
Thank you all again and we’ll see you for “Rockin’ The Rez” 2011.
"When crazy people call you crazy, you know you're sane.