Uranium in the Drinking Water?
In an article by Matt Goodlett of Omaha, Neb.'s The Reader, the question is raised of "What is Uranium Mining in Nebraska Doing to Pine Ridge's Drinking Water?"
Elisha Yellow Thunder and her daughter Laila Pettigrew have a very personal reason for their research into the mining contamination. Laila was born with a number of medical anomalies--a cystic kidney, partially developed organs and a deformity in her lower spine. She also has catheter tubing located near her collarbone that is used for her kidney dialysis treatments three days a week.
As the article states, when Elisha was pregnant with Laila, she was living in Loneman, SD, near Oglala--a hotspot for uranium contamination. Elisha began to suspect that the birth defects were due to drinking the contaminated water.
Documentary filmmaker Suree Towfighnia (Standing Silent Nation) --who is shooting a film about Laila entitled Crying Earth Rise Up (image still above from film)--explores the opinions of those who oppose and support the expansion of uranium mining over the High Plains/Ogallala and the Arikara aquifiers in western South Dakota and Nebraska.