Environmental Justice Program

TWU’s Environmental Justice Program

Program Manager: Kathy Sanchez 505-747-3259 x1203 kathy@tewawomenunited.org

Program Coordinator: Beata Tsosie-Pena 505-747-3259 x1203 beata@tewawomenunited.org

Mother Earth

Taking care of our Mother Earth and protecting all our relations. This cultural-based program emphasizes life-ways-Native-sovereignty and the two-world harmony-butterfly model of eco-systemic sustenance. TWU implements and teaches traditional Indigenous forms of healing medicines and foods to counteract the negative impacts that pollution and nuclear contamination have on our bodies, minds, spirits, lands, air and water. To work towards international non-proliferation and disarmament, we engage the UN’s policy of “no safe or friendly use” of nuclear weapons.

Program Goals

  • Increase local awareness of environmental issues and provide a forum for networking and education between members of affected communities
  • Advocate for the needs of our communities through international,, national and local avenues
  • Share the knowledge of healing, protecting and supporting environmental health
  • Promote dialogue between generations, cultures, and professions about environmental justice


  • Hosting annual Gathering for Mother Earth to share information and practices regarding holistic, ecological, wellness approaches to environmental health.
  • Visits to contaminated communities throughout the world

Environmental Health and Justice Projects

  • Gathering for Mother Earth
  • Actions in Concert with Others—TWU, along with Communities for Clean Water (CCW) and Gilbert and Kathy Sanchez, filed a lawsuit against the Department of Energy (DOE) and LANL for violations of the Clean Water Act.  CCW is a network of organizations representing river, spiritual, and acequia groups that have come together to hold LANL accountable for contamination to New Mexico water supplies. As a Tribal community living downstream of LANL, TWU is particularly concerned about the current and future health of our water, land and people. TWU has been organizing and educating our communities within the Northern New Mexico on these and other issues since its inception.

The LANL Project History

For over 63 years, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has been dumping and discharging its toxic and radioactive wastes onto Tewa ancestoral land. This land is revered as sacred to our people. It contains sacred sites and has sacred land usage. The meaning of life can be found within these spacial dimensions. LANL is surrounded by four Pueblos. San Ildefonso and Santa Clara Pueblo sit adjacent to LANL, both downwind and downstream. The contamination from this dumping and discharging has been devastating to our land, water, air, food, and the overall well being of our people and ways of life. Recently, a sampling project was conducted in our homes to track contamination. Proof of major contaminants were found in our very own homes. Despite proof of this historical devastation, LANL continues to discharge and dump its toxic waste.

Intern’s LANL Research Findings

Red Dust by Morgan Drewniany


NM Environmental Law Partner

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