Our nuclear legacy and the weight of history September 22, 2023

Lanterns afloat on Green Lake commemorating the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Photo credit: Nancy Dickerman

Nancy Dickeman, former Washington PSR staff | Seattle Times

The route through the nuclear production complex took me on what I imagined my father’s trip to work at the area had been, through a desolation that held its own beauty. It was also through ancestral tribal lands that had been confiscated in 1943 from Native American tribes — the Wanapum Tribe, Nez Perce, the Confederated Tribes of the Yakama Nation, and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation — to create the nuclear complex. The guide pointed out hills, like Mooli Mooli, meaning “little stacked hills,” that rolled beyond us, a sacred tribal site. Tribal members have battled the government for access per their treaty rights, and have been crucial in the cleanup process.

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