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2014 GPP Minor Field Work Trip Internship PDF Print E-mail

Need to find somewhere to go for your field experience but don't have the money for a $1500 plane ticket? Want to help people that have been discriminated against and forgotten? We need your help!

Click Here to Apply Now - Deadline April 30th, 2014

Issue #1 - The Bennett Freeze

In 1966, the commissioner of Indian Affairs, Robert Bennett, halted development on 1.6 million acres of tribal land in northeastern Arizona that was claimed by both the Navajo nation and the Hopi tribe. Bennett imposed the ban to stop either tribe from taking advantage of the other while they negotiated ownership.
The ban became known as the Bennett Freeze. It meant the 8,000 or so other Navajos living on the land couldn't erect homes, open businesses or even repair their roofs. No roads or schools were built, no electric, gas or water lines were permitted.

The land dispute dragged on for over 40 years, paralyzing residents in a state of poverty rarely seen in America. Because few Hopis lived on the disputed territory, the ban affected mostly Navajos.
The tribes settled their differences in 2006 -- most of the land went to the Navajo -- and in May 2009, President Obama cleared the way for federal funding to help rehabilitate the area, but no money has been earmarked yet.


You will be helping with needs assessments in this area (i.e. figuring out what the people need), weatherization projects (actually helping people rebuild their homes), planning future trips for Project Pueblo members to go on, helping Forgotten People build digital infrastructure (scanning documents, helping with grants, designing website layouts, etc.), and educating members of the Navajo people (on technology, issues of political action, health, law, business, etc.). You will also be developing and conducting survey assessments and developing policy initiatives

You will have a director supervisor and will be provided with mentorship throughout the internship.

Issue #2 - Uranium Contaminated Water

Close to a hundred percent of the demand for Navajo uranium stemmed out of the U.S. government's pursuit for nuclear weaponry during the Cold War. The Navajo miners were regularly exposed to radioactive conditions that were sometimes in excess of 750 times the generally accepted radon limits, which led to many instances of cancer, death, and other diseases. Additionally, the miners' families sometimes contracted diseases as well when they came into contact with deadly radioactive uranium from contaminated clothes that were brought into the home. Furthermore, more contamination occurred when concentrated uranium was being blown all over the land surrounding the uranium mills (for up to a ½ mile radius).

Even after uranium mining ceased, there were still radioactive problems that persisted through the mill tailings (the leftovers from the conversion process). Many Navajo buildings such as schools, homes, and public and private buildings have been contaminated from the tailings. Many rivers and underground water supplies have been contaminated to the point where the people and animals that drank from these sources have contracted diseases.

Forgotten People (the NGO you will be working with) just completed a water project that addresses the need for access to safe drinking water for 12 homes located in the Black Falls community within the Navajo Nation. The homes do not have access to piped water and the public water sources within a 10-mile radius are unsafe due to uranium and other contaminants. The families currently obtain their water either from unsafe sources or by hauling it for long distances. The development of safe drinking water systems for 10 families was funded in part by a US EPA environmental justice grant. Now that the Commission on Emergency Management signed a historic Declaration of Public Health Emergency on January 15, 2010 for 100 families in the Black Falls/Box Springs/Grand Falls area of the former Benett Freeze, Forgotten People's new phase is obtaining funding to install safe drinking water systems for 100+ families in this area.


You will be helping with installing safe drinking water systems in homes. Home Depot will supply discounted materials, and you will be working with locals. Also, you will help with research and assessments for future water installations and you will help with long-term solutions (i.e. finding clean wells, etc.).

When: Sun. June 1-Sat. Aug 2, 2014 (8 weeks). You will be working approximately 40 hours/week for a minimum of 200 hours.

Where: Navajo Nation (specifically the Former Bennett Freeze around Tuba City, AZ)

Organizations/NGOs: Project Pueblo and Forgotten People

Lodging: You will be staying with local families

Who: 3-5 GPP minor students


Transportation: we encourage that you carpool there. Please also budget another $50 each for driving around the reservation during your 4 weeks.

Lodging:  $150 from each student to stay with a host family for the month because of water/electricity/wear and tear.

Food: You will provide for your own food. You will have access to a kitchen and a refrigerator. There is a supermarket in Tuba City (Basha's) that you can buy food from and a big city (Flagstaff, AZ) that is 1.5 hours away. Navajo families will provide some meals from time to time. We encourage you to collaborate with the other GPP students to organize food.

Apply: Click here to apply Deadline: April 30th, 2014

Contact: For information regarding trip logistics, please contact Sean Wycliffe: 714-235-5268 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For information regarding project logistics, please contact Marsha Monestersky: 928-401-1777 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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