Christy Ferrato


for prep 1. Used to indicate purpose: As in, uranium is a critical component for both nuclear power generation and military nuclear weapons. From 1945 to 1988, uranium was mined on the Navajo reservation for the purpose of making atomic bombs, as part of the Manhattan Project. 2. As being or constituting: Because times were hard for the Navajo, most families were thankful when mining started on the reservation because they were given employment. The miners were used for experiments. By the late 1930s, there was no scientific doubt that the concentration of radon in the air in uranium mines was the causal agent for high rates of lung cancer among miners. 3. Because of: 133 of 150 miners died of lung cancer and various forms of fibrosis, working for the uranium mine in Shiprock. 4. Used to indicate suitability or fitness: In 1979, one of North America's worst disasters occurred when a uranium waste retaining damn at the Church Rock Mine near Gallup burst, spilling radiation and toxins into the Rio Puerco, making the water unsafe for human and animal consumption. 5. On behalf of: There were no unions for Navajo miners working on the reservation. 6. In spite of: For all the evidence documenting health problems associated with uranium mining, most miners and their families were never compensated for medical needs and loss of life. 7. With respect to: The Navajo language had no word for radiation. 8. Used to indicate equivalence in exchange: Navajo miners were paid minimum wages or less. Copies of pay stubs provided by a Navajo miner from 1949 show a wage of $.81 to $1.00 for an hour of work. 9. Used to indicate a duration of time: The people worked for years in the mines without face masks, ventilation, or clean drinking water. They breathed radioactive air and drank contaminated water. 10. In honor of: Green hard hats were awarded to men for their work at the Kerr-McGee Mine near Grants.