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FARMINGTON — U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva will be in Window Rock, Arizona, on Oct. 2 to host a Navajo Uranium Miners Forum.

Grijalva, D-Ariz., is interested in listening to and collecting comments from former uranium miners, health care experts and community and family members about the impacts of uranium mining activities on the Navajo Nation, according to a press release from the Office of the Speaker.

Grijalva, chairman for the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, said in the release that his visit was arranged in response to meeting a Navajo uranium miner this summer and seeing the strength it took for the miner to visit the Capitol because of health problems.

"This forum will be an opportunity for me to listen to the Navajo community directly about uranium's role in their past, present and future. Far too often, Congress only listens to the administrative or industry perspective. This is a time to hear the Indigenous perspective," Grijalva said in the release.

Comments about the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act will be collected at the forum as well.

Grijalva is among several members of Congress who are sponsoring a proposal to amend RECA and extend compensation to individuals who worked in uranium mines or mills beyond 1979.

The amendment also calls for increasing the number of states where test sites for nuclear weapons exposed residents to radiation.

The forum will start at 9 a.m. on Oct. 2 at the Department of Diné Education, 1 Morgan Boulevard, in Window Rock.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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