Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)

December 21, 1988

Political pollution contaminating process of toxic waste dump

To the  Editor:

We need to clean up the political pollution contaminating the process of siting both toxic and atomic waste dumps in the Northwoods.  Before negotiations go any further, we need to know exactly who these people are, who want to put concentrated poisons in the headwaters of our watershed.

This irrevocable decision which is being made not only for the present but for thousands of generations into the future needs to be fully documented.  The faceless anonymity of corporations, bureaucrats and political hacks needs to be stripped away.  The individual people who play a part in the siting and dumping process need to be held to full personal accountability.  Their names, pictures, and cities of residence need to be published, accompanied by a description of the part they have taken, as well as a line-item accounting of the money, favors and other gifts they’ve received to do it.  We need a permanent and detailed record for posterity.

The toxic waste site, which the Red Lake Tribal Council publicly opposes, is being openly discussed.  Negotiations for the atomic waste dump site are being held behind closed doors; the forked-tongue implication by certain self-serving politicians is that it is no longer under consideration.  However, last year’s audit shows payments for atomic waste dump siting (Ridge) are still being received by the Tribal Council.

Neither the toxic nor the atomic waste will be contained permanently, and both will eventually contaminate the ground and surface water.  This is literally a brilliant idea.  Hunters won’t have to shine because the deer will glow in the dark.  The deer may be deformed because of the radioactivity and we may be weakened because of radiation-induced cancer and thyroid problems, but if there are deer left we’ll be able to see them at night with ease.  We won’t even have to pay light bills because we’ll glow in the dark also.  Pow-wows and bingo games will be so bright from the glowing crowd that we’ll have to wear sunglasses at midnight.

The atomic and toxic waste siting process needs to be fully illuminated.  We, the people who are a part of this land don’t need decisions made someplace else to destroy our land forever.  We hope you can see the light at the end of the tunnel—and that it’s not toxic or radioactive and glowing. Let’s preserve this land in its natural beauty.

Francis Blake, Jr.

"last minute shopping on the rez"

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