WINDOW ROCK, Navajo Nation — Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren met with constituents representing the survivors and workers affected by the U.S. Government’s uranium legacy on Thursday.
The group, known as the Navajo Uranium Radiation Victims Committee, has advocated for comprehensive amendments to the U.S. Radiation Exposure Compensation Act as well as its ongoing reauthorization at the federal level. The amendments are aimed at including more of the workers involved in mining uranium on the Navajo Nation.
The U.S. Government was the sole purchaser of uranium extracted from the Navajo Nation throughout the time that nuclear weapons were in development.
In the process, countless Navajos were employed with little to no protective equipment, nor knowledge of the consequences of handling radioactive ore. RECA provides for recompense for some of those impacted by the mining activities or their surviving spouse or families.
The group met with President Nygren and Navajo Nation Washington Office Executive Director Justin Ahasteen to give the administration background on their group’s purpose and to detail efforts to reintroduce amendments to the RECA law in Washington in the new Congress.