News and Events of the Bering Strait School District
Wednesday October 22nd 2014



Elim Uranium Mine Student Blog

Student Letter to Governor Palin

To Governor Palin:

I’m writing to inform you on our situation, and why we don’t want it to happen. I am writing to inform you on our situation with the Triex company mining on our land for uranium. I am going to give you the information on it and the effects.

As you know uranium is a hard, silver-white, radioactive metal. It can react with cold water. In air it is coated by uranium oxide, corrupting rapidly. Steam and acids attack it. Uranium can form solid solutions and intermetallic compounds with many of the metals. Although uranium is radioactive, it is not particularly rare. It is widely spread throughout the environment and so it is impossible to shun uranium. Well on with the health effects.

People always experience exposure to a certain amount of uranium from food, air, soil and water, as it is naturally present in all these components. Food, such as root vegetables, and water will provide us with small amounts of natural uranium and we will breathe in minimal concentrations of uranium with air. The concentrations of it in seafood are usually so low that they can be safely ignored. Because uranium is a radioactive substance health effects have been researched. Scientists have detected no harmful radiation effects of natural levels of uranium. However, chemical effects may occur after the uptake of large amounts of it and these can cause health effects such as kidney disease. It can also ruin your reproductive system, give you cancer (including leukemia), and ruin your ecosystem.

Uranium will effect our air, water, animals, fish, everything. If you take out one thing or even change it a little in the ecosystem everything else will be affected by it too. While uranium itself is not particularly dangerous, some of its decay products do pose a threat, especially radon, which can build up in confined spaces such as basements. Uranium in air exists as dust that will fall into surface water, on plants or on soils through settling or rainfall. Water containing low amounts of uranium is usually safe to drink. Because of its nature, uranium is not likely to build up in fish or vegetables and uranium that is absorbed will be abolished quickly through urine and feces. We don’t want them to drill or mine where it will affect our land, animals, rivers, fish, etc. We depend on subsistence more than store bought because the prices here are ridiculous. Its like we need to be really rich to live here.

Anyway in conclusion we are against having Triex drill at Boulder Creek. I wanted to know what are you going to do about it to help us. There are a lot of other places they can mine it. I don’t want my future babies to be deformed. Thanks.

Irene Murray
Want to find out about the mine that is affecting Elim, Koyuk, Golovin, and White Mountain areas. Visit our student blog at More information will be coming as we prepare for our open house today.

Reader Feedback

5 Responses to “Elim Uranium Mine Student Blog”

  1. Jesmi says:

    Thanks for sharing!
    Uranium can also health effect such as kidney disease. It can also ruin your reproductive system, give you cancer (including leukemia), and ruin your ecosystem.

  2. Carl says:

    Good research. keep it up. Are you familiar with the Navajo and uranium mining? Do a google search and find out more about mining impacts to indigenous peoples…..

  3. Great work.

    Do not give up.

    Be strong and you will overcome.

    Do you know who Evon Peter is? Get a hold of him. One of you kids call him up ; he will be in Memphis next month for the conference… but call or write this group —

    I will check this website….

    If they don’t help you, or if you need more legal aid —

    Keep your blog updated! Let us know what is happening!

  4. Deb Abrahamson says:

    Greetings from the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington State. My name is Deb Abrahamson and we have formed a group of tribal members to address the concerns resulting from uranium mining on our lands.
    We have been working on community education and have developed a radiation/uranium resource section in our tribal library. We have obtained geiger counters so our people can themselves, determine if there is any harmful radiation in their driveways or foundations as uranium gravel was used for these purposes during the 50’s-70’s. A large majority of the workforce in two mines and millsites were comprised of our people and the health impacts have been severe. The toxic chemicals used for mining have infiltrated our subsistence foods, animals, waters, ceremonies, cultural lifeways.

    Do everything you can to stop any mining because these poisons only serve to kill the people, waters, lands, animals….we have witnessed loss after loss since mining has taken place on our lands. Much of the information we use came from the Southwest. If we can be of any help, please let us know what kinds of things will help you stop uranium mining on your lands.

  5. Are you ready for grilling, bar b que? Now that the weather is getting better? Have you started using the grill more? What are you planning to cook? Looking forward to?

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