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Yakama Nation to Hanford Nuclear Reservation: Step Your Game Up, Sis

The Yakama Nation has had it up to HERE with the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The Tribal Council is expressing their frustrations quite diplomatically, indeed, but I, being a non-tribal member, will not mince words and just say it like it is: Washington state, you need to step ya game up, sis, and clean up this mess!

If you don’t know the back story, let me give you THE TEA!

For decades, the Washington State Department of Ecology has been promising that Hanford will clean up all of the toxic nuclear materials left in the soil since World War II. Promises, promises.

With the news of this week’s tunnel collapse at the Hanford site, the Yakama Nation received an important notice of intent from Washington state government officials.

The Yakama Nation Tribal Council was informed by the “Tri-Party” (consisting of the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, and Washington state officials) that “there have been no injuries (from the tunnel collapse) and (there was) no detected release of radioactive materials.” Whew!

Yakama Tribal Council Chairman, Chi’ Qwax (JoDe Goudy), was NOT amused, and immediately sent out a swift rebuke, with a hint of SHADE.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, Chairman Chi’ Qwax expressed dismay that the continued existence of the Hanford site is “yet another legacy of hundreds of years of Euro-American doctrines of domination and dehumanization of the Native peoples.”

This is not the first time the tribe has expressed frustration at the snail’s pace for toxic cleanup.

The Tribal Council says they are “extremely disappointed,” yet relieved that no harmful radioactive elements escaped during the tunnel collapse, but they are fed up with all the extensions for cleanup deadlines (which are currently set for the year 2042).

The council has sent out a personal invite to President Trump’s pick for Secretary of the Department of Energy, Rick “Oops” Perry, to come and visit the site for himself. Chairman Chi’ Qwax says he wants Secretary Perry to come “discuss this and other serious concerns at the Hanford Nuclear Site so that we can take actions to properly protect our Yakama homelands and the Columbia Plateau.”

Let’s hope Secretary Perry goes to Hanford to meet with the Yakama Nation Tribal Council, and let’s hope he comes prepared to get this mess cleaned up ASAP.

For more information, please contact Contact: Rose Longoria, Yakama Nation Environmental Restoration/Waste Management Program,
lonr@yakamafish-nsn.gov, (509) 865-5121, Ext. 6365.

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