Nuclear Princeton is working with the animation company Twiddle Productions to create a short animated film that will help members of Princeton University and the greater Princeton area understand how Princeton has directly contributed to the destructive consequences of nuclear research on Native communities. The film focuses on Nathaniel Furman, a Princeton professor of chemistry who was involved in the Manhattan Project and the creation of the atomic bomb. He worked on identifying uranium in ores and on purifying and measuring trace contaminants in uranium samples. His work on the nuclear bomb directly contributed to contamination in the Navajo Nation which has had incredibly detrimental impacts on Navajo environmental and human health. The Navajo Nation is currently home to more than 500 uranium mines and refinement mills which continue to leach radioactivity into the environment. It is estimated that almost 1/3 of individuals in the Navajo Nation use water from sources that contain uranium or arsenic. Cancer rates, mortality rates, and birth defects among Navajos are disproportionately elevated. In addition to the effects on the Navajo Nation, the creation of the nuclear bomb has devastated numerous other Indigenous communities, including but not limited to Native tribes of the Columbia Basin, Western Shoshone, Iñupiat Village of Point Hope, Aleut Native Corporation, and more. With this short film, we aim to create a community-accessible resource to raise awareness for the detrimental effects of nuclear weapons on Indigenous communities and Princeton’s involvement in these projects.
Scriptwriter: Thomas Dayzie ‘22 (Navajo Nation)
Project Manager: Keely Toledo ‘22 (Navajo Nation)
Animation Company: Twiddle Productions
Media Director: Brooke Kennedy ‘23 (Walpole Island First Nation, Ojibwe)