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Posted on Jun 15, 2016 in Library, MASE in the News

Memories Come To Us In The Wind And The Rain

Memories Come To Us In The Wind And The Rain

Oral Histories and Photographes of Navajo Uranium Miners & Their Families

May 30, 2016

Introduction by Doug Brugge

The Navajo Uranium Miner Oral History and Photography Project was a university-community collaboration which I initiated and led. Many people were involved in many different roles, but critically, it was Timothy Benally and Phil Harrison who conducted the interviews and Esther Yazzie who played a leading role in both cultural and linguistic interpretation. 

The interviews published here conducted in 1994-5, but I have found since that the stories are quite generalizable because indigenous populations are often close to mining and their experiences are quite similar. 

To me the heartfelt opinions of the people Timothy and Phil interviewed, along with the photographs I took of them, preserve an important historical record that remains relevant today as uranium (and many other types of mining) continue to be sited near indigenous communities all over the world.

Doug Brugge, PhD, MS
Tufts University School of Medicine
Boston, MA, USA

The Interviews

The interviews which follow are, with the exceptions of those originally done in English, presented in both Navajo and English. The original interviews were considerably longer than the excerpts presented here. We have selected passages our of the complete interviews that are representative of what was said throughout. We have also chose statements so that the book as a whole covers the broad range of points raised during the 25 individual interviews.

Because different people translated and transcribed different interviews the translation/transcription styles and approaches are not necessarily consistent with one another. For similar reasons, the comments that have been preserved in Navajo are not always identical to those presented in the English translations.

Read the book here: Memories-Come-To-Us