S1E10: Remembering Phil Klasky and Ward Valley

S1E10: Remembering Phil Klasky and Ward Valley

Alicia PikeAlicia PikeHost
Chris ClarkeChris ClarkeHost
Matthew LeivasMatthew LeivasGuest

From the mid-1980s until the first months of the 21st Century, a coalition of desert tribes and non-Native activists worked to keep the state of California from siting a low-level nuclear waste dump in the Mojave Desert, on land sacred to at least five tribes, above an aquifer that drains into the Colorado River. Philip Klasky, an instructor at San Francisco State and a resident of the desert in San Bernardino County, played a crucial role in that campaign, which succeeded against all odds. Phil's story is a lesson in how people working together can beat those odds. He also taught us at 90 Miles from Needles the importance of Native peoples taking the lead in land-based campaigns.

Phil died unexpectedly earlier this year. We are grateful to The Mojave Project for allowing us to use their recorded interview with Phil, and to our friend Matthew Leivas of the Chemehuevi Tribe for sharing with us the Salt Songs he sang at Ward Valley in May to honor Phil.

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