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  • My daughter and I visited our environmental legacy two years ago. It's called the Bingham Canyon Mine and it is the largest manmade excavation on the earth. If you were on the moon, you would notice the Great China wall and this huge open pit mine near Salt Lake City, Utah. We are connected to this monstrosity because our ancestor- General Patrick Edward Connor, started mining in Utah in the 1860s. He is called the "Father of Mining of Utah", a bit figure in that state's history, who claims to have made the first "strike" in Utah.

    This means something to me because I have learned more about environmental toxins than I would like to know. The extractive industries- mining- is poisoning us and our earth. Those toxins have entered my body by my breathing, drinking and eating- Damn! Amazingly, mining is still the largest polluter in the US. And those pollutants have invaded my flesh, my blod, my womb and my breasts and have possibly affected my daughter and granddaughters.

    I am violated by the actions of my great, great grandfather- whose work afforded our family a good portion of its prestige and wealth. I am outraged that a part of who I am, myself, my family identity, is based on poisoning the earth and our living kin. What has been passed onto us two women? We need to know more about our environmental lineage so we can prevent passing it onto our children and grandchildren.
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