Grace Thorpe Honored
Working for Nuclear Free Zones across America

NEWS FROM INDIAN COUNTRY: The Independent Native Journal
LATE Oct. 1999
By Suzanne Westerly
Los Alamos, New Mexico (NFIC)

Where the "Atomic Age" began

On September 26th, Grace Thorpe was one of the peace activists honored at the Nuclear-Free Future Award ceremony. Grace was given the "Resistance Award’ for her work fighting the movement to store nuclear waste on Native American land and founder of NECONA (National Environmental Coalition of Native Americans).

Peace and justice activists from all over the world gathered together under the crystal-clear blue skies of Northern New Mexico to honor heroes of the Nuclear Age.

Grace, from the Sac and Fox Nation, ad daughter of the famous Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe, became involved in nuclear waste issues when she heard her tribe was thinking about storing radioactive in a site called an MRS (Monitored Retrievable Storage).

The Sac and Fox Nation was one of 17 tribes originally targeted as MRS site. All but three have withdrawn from the process.

The Tribes were promised $100,000 just for letting the nuclear power industry draw up a preliminary study. Grace didn’t want nuclear waste dumped in the land of her ancestors.

"I thought about all that has happened to our people over the years. Every treaty we have made has been broken." She educated herself, and then her people; the dump was firmly rejected in February 1993. But this was only the beginning for Grace, who continues to work with other tribes to set up Nuclear Free Zones on Tribal Lands.

Grace speaks with wisdom and humor as she travels across the nation educating and organizing. "Radioactive waste is the most lethal poison known in the history of man," remarked Grace.

Grace’s Indian name, No Ten O Quah means the "Woman of the Power of the Wind that Blows Up Before a Storm’ and all that know Grace agree the name suits her well.

Grace is the Director of NRCONA. Besides working on nuclear issues, Grace is also actively pursuing having her father, Jim Thorpe, honored as the Athlete of the Century.



The image of the Rainbow Serpent from Aboriginal Australia in 1992 unites people from all continents in Salzburg, Austria, for the World Uranium Hearing. The Serpent is the guardian of sacred boundaries, protecting the integrity of Life and Creation. In 1999, the celebration of the Nuclear-Free Future Award in Los Alamos, New Mexico, birthplace of the Nuclear Age, will bridge Australia and North America, connecting the Rainbow Serpent with Avanyu, the Water Serpent of the Tewa Pueblo World.

Like many members of the Laguna Pueblo, Dorothy Purley found work at Anaconda's Jackpile Mine, the largest open pit uranium mine in the western hemisphere during its thirty years of operation. For seven years she worked near Anaconda's crushers, uninformed about the dangers of radioactive exposure. Since 1993 she has been battling cancer. Yet she is a strong voice against the costs of nuclear development nationally and internationally. Twice she has gone to Japan to establish her link to the devastation of the nuclear blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

When Washington targeted Native American lands as ideal sites for the storage of toxic and radioactive wastes, they didn't realize they were up against the Woman of the Power of the Wind that blows Up Before a Storm (No Ten O Quah, Grace's Sac & Fox Nation name.) At her urging, in less than a decade a good thirty tribes from over seventy reservations ranging from the Mojave in the West to the Onondaga in the East - have created Nuclear Free Zones.
Grace and Dorothy, representing both ends of the nuclear chain,
share the Nuclear-Free Future Resistance Award.

A researcher at Russia's Ministry of Atomic Power (MINATOM), Lydia Popova turned whistle blower, at great personal risk. Today she is the director of the Center for Nuclear Ecology and Energy Policy of the Socio-Ecological Union, an umbrella federation of 250 grassroots environmental organizations from around Russia. She helped build a solid bridge to the American anti-nuke movement.

After the catastrophe in Chernobyl, Michael Sladek, a medical doctor in the small town of Schönau in the Black Forest of Germany, together with his wife Ursula and others, founded the initiative, Parents for a Nuclear-Free Future. Theirs is an encouraging grassroots success story. Today, the citizens of Schönau control their own local power grid which is fueled by a bundling of renewable energies.

As a Senator from Arizona and U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall learned first hand about the governmental deceit which nurtures the nuclear industry - "an industry willing to kill our own people". He laid the foundation for the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, and forced a measure of democratic accountability on the military-industrial complex. Since 1978, in lawsuits against the U.S. Government, he has represented those sacrificed on the front line to the nuclear arms race - Navajo uranium miners, workers in bomb factories and downwinders.



Fuller Lodge
2132 Central Avenue, Los Alamos
7:00 Sunrise ceremony at Tsankawi
10:00 Opening Prayer and Address by Corbin Harney,
Western Shoshone Nation
Introduction by Claus Biegert, Founder,
Nuclear-Free Future Award

Presentation of the Nuclear-Free Future Awards by
Karl Grossman, N. Scott Momaday, Buffy Sainte-Marie
Simon Ortiz, and Joseph Weizenbaum

Music by Peter Gordon
12:00 Premiere film screening Cry at the End of the 20th Century by Kanseki Productions
1:00 Buffet Lunch
2:30 "For the Seventh Generation" - Dialogue with Los Alamos National Laboratory
4:00 Closing Prayer by Prisclla Vigil, Tesuque Pueblo

The Nuclear-Free Future Award was established to honor individuals and organizations for their difficult, often unrecognized work to rid the world of the nuclear menace. An international jury selects the recipients for $10,000 awards in the categories of Resistance, Education and Solutions and bestows a merit award for Lifetime Achievement.

New Mexico Contact: Eda Gordon 505-988-3021



Ben's Pojoaque Pueblo Pow Wow Grounds
State Road 502, 1.8 miles west of Pojoaque Junction
7:00 Sunrise Ceremony at Pow-Wow Grounds
Blessing of the Runners at Tsankawi

Circle to Change the Heart:
Sacred Run around Los Alamos

8:30 Youth, spiritual leaders, tirbal people and concerned organizations will share their stories, thoughts and moral support to affirm possibilities for a nuclear-free future.

Information, arts, and crafts, food and healng booths

Workshops to educate and encourage youth in their roles as community-hearted leaders

Multicultural drumming, dancing and singing
5:00 Feast honoring the Runners and the Recipients of the 1999 Nuclear-Free Future Award
7:00 Musical Celebration with David Amram, Willie Dunn, Liam O'Moanlai, Ulali and special guest Arlo Guthrie

A gathering of local, national and international community people to unify consciousness about our threatened eco-system and translate our words and prayers into sustained action to keep Mother Earth sacred.

Hosted by Tewa Women United: 505 455-3964

The Atomic Age was started by humankind.
By humankind it can be ended. Wouldn't you like to play a part?
With one dollar a day, you can help
those struggling to eradicate the nuclear menace.

Yes, I will support the Nuclear-Free Award with one dollar a gay. I'm aware that means each and every day and adds up to $365 per year. Please find my check enclosed with this form. At the end of the year I shall receive a tax-deductible receipt from the Seventh Generation Fund (American sponsor with 501 C3 status.)
_____  $365

       One-time donation of:

       I would like to make an Award nomination for the year 2000.
       Please send me the forms.

       Name:  _______________________________________________________

       Address:  ____________________________________________________



       Signature:  __________________________________________________

       Date:   _____________________________ 

Please send check to: Seventh Generation Fund
P.O. Box 4569 Arcata CA 95518 USA

An Event of the Nuclear-Free Future Award and Tewa Women United
The Nuclear-Free Future Award is a project of the Seventh Generation Fund.
NECONA     top

Sept. 21, 1999 from-
PO Box 1682 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504

The 1999 NUCLEAR-FREE FUTURE AWARD will be the focus of an international gathering in northern New Mexico to honor the work of making the world nuclear-free. Coming up Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, September 26.

On Saturday Tewa Women United will host the Third Annual Gathering for Mother EARTHh at the Pojoaque Pueblo Pow-Wow Grounds. Throughout the day, there will be multicultural music and dance, story telling by young and old, and sharing of information to affirm the possibilities for a Nuclear-Free Future. The day will begin with a relay run, creating a Circle of Peace around Los Alamos and end with a Pueblo feast and musical celebration by headliners Arlo Guthrie, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ulali, and David Amram, Liam O'Moanlai (pronounced o-may-lee), among others.

This is a free event but donations of whatever you can afford to support a Nuclear-Free Future will be welcomed and appreciated.

On Sunday, at 10 am the Nuclear-Free Future Awards will be presented at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos. The 1999 recipients are: Indigenous elders Dorothy Purley and Grace Thorpe, for their resistance at both ends of the nuclear chain; Lydia Popova, a researcher who blew the whistle on the Russian Ministry of Atomic Power; Michael and Ursula Sladek who organized their community in the Black Forest of Germany to stop using nuclear power and established their own local grid using renewable energy; and Stewart Udall for his life work to protect and defend the victims of radiation exposure. Following the award ceremony will be the premiere of the film, "Cry at the end of 20th Century", and a dialogue with Los Alamos National Laboratory focusing on visions for the Seventh Generation. Indigenous Elders will open and close the day with prayers for peace

Contact: Eda Gordon, Local Coordinator, 099 Nuclear-Free Future Award - 9S~O2 1 Persons to be interviewed:
Claus Biegert, Director, Nuclear-Free Future Award - 505- 920-8336
Kathy Sanchez, Tewa Women United, 505-747-7100

Third Annual Gathering 4 Mother EARTH, hosted by Tewa Women United. Pojoaque Pueblo Pow-Wow Grounds (State Rd. 502, 1.8 miles west of Pojoaque Junction), beginning with 7 am Sunrise Ceremony and Sacred Run Around Los Alamos, and continuing through the day with multicultural speakers and musicians; information, food, arts and crafts and healing booths, youth activities; and a traditional feast honoring the Runners and the Recipients of the 1999 Nuc1ear-Free Future Award. Musical Celebration at 7 pm with David Amram. Liam O'Moanalai, Ulali and special guests Arlo Guthrie and Buffy Sainte-Marie, among others.

Presentation of the 1999 Nuclear-Free Future Awards to Dorothy Purley and Grace Thorpe (Resistance); Lydia Popova Education); Michael and Ursula Sladek (Solutions); and Stewart Udall (Life Achievement). Fuller Lodge, 2132 Central Avenue, Los Alamos, 10 am. Premiere showing of "Cry at the End of the 20th Century" - a film about Los Alamo. Music by saxophonist Peter Gordon; Dialogue "For the Seventh Generation" with representatives of Los Alamos National Laboratory. For more information:
Eda Gordon, Nuclear-Free Future Award, 505-988-3021
Kathy Sanchez, Tewa Women United, 505-455-3964

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