Navajos relate cultural, spiritual wounds from spill from Gold King Mine spill

Economic analyses fail to capture all harm from accident

by Patrick Armijo, Durango Herald, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017

HERMOSA – The importance of the San Juan River and its riparian corridor to the cultural and spiritual practices of the Navajo Nation came into perspective Tuesday night as three members of the tribe described their efforts to overcome the lingering damage caused by the Gold King Mine spill.

A contingent of Navajo tribal members spent the first day of a two-day tour exploring the headwaters of the Animas River, the main tributary of the San Juan River, and the abandoned mines around Silverton. The old mines would be the source of the problems that led to the August 2015 spill that sent 3-million gallons of heavy-metal-laced mine waste down the Animas a century after the heyday of mining in the San Juan Mountains…

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