The Ute Mountain Ute community of White Mesa, located in San Juan County, are hosting their third annual rally, protest and spiritual walk on Saturday, May 18.
A press release on May 7 said the event is aimed at protecting the White Mesa Ute community’s health, water, air, land, culture and sacred sites from the nearby White Mesa uranium mill. All supporters are welcome to attend the event.
The rally begins at 11 a.m. at the White Mesa Ute Community Center in White Mesa, about 85 miles south of Moab off of U.S. Highway 191. The community center is located on the west side of the highway. Turn in at the Mobil gas station and continue one block south to the community center.
The rally will be immediately followed by a spiritual walk to the Energy Fuels White Mesa uranium mill.
The citizens of the Ute Mountain Ute community of White Mesa said in the press release that they are concerned about contamination from the nearby uranium mill and the desecration of sacred sites and cultural resources.
“They are bringing toxic waste, radioactive waste, from places all across the United States to the mill in White Mesa,” said Yolanda Badback of the Indigenous-led organization White Mesa Concerned Community. “In the past, some has spilled. I can smell the mill from my house when it’s running. We are the closest community. If there’s a spill, or an accident, it’s my children who ride the school bus on these roads with the trucks every morning. That’s why we’re standing up and saying: Enough. We want to keep our home and our children safe.”
Thelma Whiskers, also a member of the White Mesa Concerned Community organization, echoed Badback’s concerns and said she is worried about the mill on their reservation in White Mesa.
“We are just a small community of about 300 people,” Whiskers said. “Saturday is day I spend with my family, my kids and grandkids. On Saturday, May 18, please come walk with us and support clean air and clean water for our children and our grandchildren here in our Ute Mountain Ute community.”
Indigenous-led community organization invites public to attend May 18 event
“On Saturday, May 18, please come walk with us and support clean air and clean water for our children and our grandchildren here in our Ute Mountain Ute community.”