Margene Bullcreek, leader of Skull Valley Goshute resistance to radioactive waste dump targeted at her community, has passed on
It is with heavy hearts that we share the sad news that Margene Bullcreek passed on, on Sunday, March 1st, 2015. An In Memoriam has been issued by her colleague Ian Zabarte of the Native Community Action Council (NCAC), where Margene Bullcreek has long served as President.
As emphasized in a NIRS victory tribute, published in Sept., 2006, when the U.S. Department of the Interior effectively blocked the Private Fuel Storage, LLC high-level radioactive waste parking lot dump targeted at her community in Utah:
"The greatest commendations, of course, go to Margene Bullcreek and her organization Ohngo Gaudadeh Devia Awareness (OGDA), Sammy Blackbear, the Bullcreek and Blackbear families, and other Skull Valley Goshutes who have suffered tremendous sacrifices and painful punishments for many long years, for their tireless opposition to the proposed dump. Through it all, they have persevered and now triumphed. Their victory not only protects their own community and its future generations, but countless millions who live along the routes through dozens of states that were targeted for transporting the atomic wastes to Utah." (emphasis added)
Even before the nuclear utility consortuim PFS, LLC and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) targeted the Skull Valley Goshute Reservation, the U.S. Department of Energy's "Nuclear Waste Negotiator" already had been, for nearly a decade. Margene Bullcreek learned from none other than Grace Thorpe how to defend her community, and did so successfully and tirelessly, for decades on end. (Grace Thorpe, who served as President of NECONA, the National Environmental Coalition of Native Americans, passed on in April 2008. President Obama commended Thorpe's work in 2009 for Women's History Month.)
Learn more about the successful resistance to dozens of parking lot dumps targeted at Native American reservations by reading "Radioactive Racism: The History of Targeting Native American Communities with High-Level Atomic Waste Dumps."
Also see the 2001 NIRS backgrounder, written in the thick of the PFS fight, entitled "Environmental Racism, Tribal Sovereignty and Nuclear Waste: High-Level Atomic Waste Dump Targeted at Skull Valley Goshute Indian Reservation in Utah."
The nuclear establishment in industry and government have not stopped targeting Native American lands and communities for high-level radioactive waste parking lot and even burial dumps. But as Ian Zabarte has written, Margene Bullcreek "will be missed, but we will continue this work in the spirit she envisioned…until the end.”