© 2024 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Your Call

Demon Mineral exposes impacts of uranium mining on the Navajo Nation

On this edition of Your Call, we discuss Demon Mineral, a new documentary that follows Indigenous scientists, elders, and activists as they document the effects of over 500 uranium mines on Diné Bikeyah, the sacred homelands of the Navajo people in Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

According to the NIH, exposure to uranium can cause a wide range of adverse health impacts, including renal failure and diminished bone growth to damage to the DNA. Effects of low-level radioactivity include cancer and subtle changes in fertility or viability of offspring. These effects can be delayed for decades or for generations.

One activist featured in the film, Helen Nez, whose family was an unwitting participant in one of the only multi-generational studies on uranium exposure’s impact on genetics, has endured the loss of six of her seven children.

Demon Mineral premieres October 14 at the Mill Valley Film festival.


Dr. Tommy Rock, citizen of the Navajo Nation, producer of and lead scientist featured in Demon Mineral

Hadley Austin, director of Demon Mineral, 2020 Redford Center Fellow, and 2021 Bay Area Video Coalition Fellow

Web Resources: 

NPR: For The Navajo Nation, Uranium Mining's Deadly Legacy Lingers

The Gaurdian: ‘Ignored for 70 years’: human rights group to investigate uranium contamination on Navajo Nation

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.