Author Bio

June L. Lorenzo, Laguna Pueblo/Navajo (Diné), is an attorney and consultant. Her law practice has included serving as attorney for Native nations, US Senate and US House of Representative committees; the US Department of Justice (voting rights litigation), in land claims litigation, and in human rights advocacy for Indigenous Peoples before the United Nations and the Organization of American States. Currently she serves as a Judge at Zia Pueblo, and practices law in tribal and state courts in New Mexico. She remains engaged in projects at Laguna Pueblo, including advocacy on uranium legacy issues, protection of sacred sites, and protection of cultural patrimony. She holds a JD from Cornell Law School and a PhD in Justice Studies from Arizona State University. junellorenzo@aol.com


Building on a human rights framework and culturally-based notions of gender and earth, this article examines the Jackpile uranium mining experiences at Laguna Pueblo with a specific view toward impacts on women at the Pueblo. Community members have raised concerns about the environment and human health for years but employing the language of human rights is only very recent. Thirty years after closure of the mine, we have begun to use a human rights lens to analyze what has happened in our community. As an Indigenous woman, attorney, researcher, and scholar from Laguna, I contend that strategies for the community moving forward can be enhanced with human rights considerations, beginning with self-determination. I assert that any such conversation is incomplete without further consideration of the impacts of mining on Indigenous women and the feminine that exists in the lives of Laguna people.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.