Children of Havasupai Ask Donald Trump Not To Lift Grand Canyon Uranium Mining Ban
Students at Havasupai Elementary School in the bottom of the Grand Canyon have prepared handwritten letters to Donald Trump expressing concern about the fact that he may lift a ban on uranium-mining in the greater Grand Canyon area. The ban was put in place by President Obama in 2012 over a 1 million-acre area around Grand Canyon National Park and was to last for 20 years. On February 14th, Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez, Arizona State Representative Eric Descheenie and a half-dozen others took part in a 15-mile round-trip run into and out of the canyon to the village of Supai, home of the Havasupai Tribe. According to a release, Descheenie told the students at an assembly that the officials would make sure the children’s words were received by the president. Descheenie said, “You have a powerful voice and it must be heard.” He and Havasupai Chairwoman Carletta Tilousi were set to hand-deliver the letters to the White House later. According to the release, the school itself did not express an official position on the mining question and the students wrote their letters outside of class. The Trump administration is reportedly interested in lifting the ban in an effort to expand domestic production of energy and minerals. The ban had been challenged in court, but last December, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit allowed it to remain in place.