Copyright © 2017 Albuquerque Journal
In a section of Northern New Mexico’s Navajo Nation, Marina Eskeets says, locals don’t talk about issues unless asked first. That’s why it wasn’t until she was older that she learned the full extent of what disaster did to her community.
Eskeets, a photographer and multimedia artist, grew up in the town of Naná’áztiin, on part of the Rez in New Mexico, surrounded by old uranium mines. She was always aware of the mines, but later discovered that, in 1979, a breach from a mine near Church Rock east of Gallup caused about 94 million gallons of radioactive solution to flow into the Rio Puerco River and seep into the surrounding land.
The area was not listed as a state disaster site, as requested by the Diné people, and the spill was never cleaned up by the corporation involved because the mines closed shortly after.