Flint, Baltimore, Philadelphia ... Churchrock? The list of communities facing drinking water crises is ever growing, but some communities don’t get mentioned in the media or the halls of power. When the Flint water crisis made national headlines, Americans were shocked that any community's drinking water could be sacrificed just to save a few bucks. But contaminated water is a fact of life for many communities impacted by this nation's fetishistic fascination with atomic power.
The Navajo (or "Diné" in their native language) village of Churchrock straddles a dusty arroyo called the Puerco River in the northwestern corner of New Mexico. This inauspicious village is ground zero in the fight to prevent uranium mining from doing further damage to the land and its people. To fully understand the current fight, one must look to history first.