Second run scheduled to raise awareness of Gold King Mine disaster

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye on the banks of the San Juan River in Shiprock, New Mexico. Photo from Facebook

A run and walk will take place next week to call attention to the Gold King Mine disaster that affected the Navajo Nation.

The Gold King Mine Spill Resilience Run/Walk begins with a traditional blessing at 6:30am on Saturday, September 3 at mile marker 31 on U.S. Highway 64 west of Hogback, New Mexico. It will end about eight miles later at Shiprock Nizhoni Park in Shiprock.

The park is located on the banks of the San Juan River, which suffered during the Gold King Mine spill of August 2015. The tribe shut down irrigation canals after an estimated three million gallons of toxic waste from an abandoned mine in neighboring Colorado flowed into the water system. Farmers lost crops and ranchers couldn't feed their livestock as a result.

“To this day, no one has been held accountable,” President Russell Begaye said on August 16 at the park, where he announced a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency and several private companies in connection with the spill. “No one has anted up for causing this financial, cultural, and spiritual catastrophe to the Navajo people.”

The run/walk is being organized by Duane "Chili" Yazzie, the president of the Shiprock Chapter, and Karilyn Haozous. A similar event was held last September.

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