Senator Hawley’s Bold Move to Right the Wrongs of Radiation Exposure

Senator Hawley’s Bold Move to Right the Wrongs of Radiation Exposure

In a groundbreaking effort to address the long-standing injustices faced by Native Americans, particularly the Navajo Nation, Senator Josh Hawley champions the expansion and renewal of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). This pivotal legislation seeks to compensate those unjustly exposed to radiation by federal activities, marking a significant stride toward rectifying past wrongs.

A Beacon of Hope for the Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation, profoundly impacted by uranium mining, stands at the forefront of this legislative battle. The proposed RECA expansion is a beacon of hope, extending coverage to uranium miners active between 1971 and 1990. This change is not just a legislative adjustment; it’s a lifeline for countless individuals and families within the Navajo community.

The story of Leslie Begay (video below), a dedicated Navajo Nation member and former uranium miner, sheds light on the relentless efforts and sacrifices made by the community to advocate for this cause. The haunting legacy of cancer and untimely deaths among community members underscores the urgent need for this legislative amendment.

A United Front for Justice

In Washington, DC, a united front emerged as Speaker Crystalyne Curley and Executive Director Justin Ahasteen of the Navajo Nation Council joined forces with Republican Senator Hawley to advocate for RECA’s extension and enhancement. Their collective voice amplifies the call for justice, urging Congress to acknowledge and address the health and environmental devastations inflicted by uranium mining and nuclear testing. The proposed amendments aim to extend RECA’s coverage until 2040, broaden its scope to include more affected workers and regions and enhance the compensation and support for the victims.

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This legislative endeavor, backed by bipartisan support, is not just about compensation; it’s about acknowledging the sacrifices made by the Indigenous Peoples of the United States and Native Americans in the nation’s quest for security. It’s a call to action for Congress to uphold its responsibility and ensure this vital program is not overlooked. Join us in supporting this crucial cause as we stand in solidarity with the tribal nations and all affected communities, striving for a future where justice prevails.

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