The Nuclear Truth Project (NTP) aims to build support and political will to maintain momentum for our ultimate goal – the total elimination of nuclear weapons and redress of associated nuclear harms. This can be achieved by seeking assistance for those who have been harmed, preventing future and further harms, and addressing any possible remediation of harms from the widespread ecological damage that has already been done.
Our Vision: the total elimination of nuclear weapons and associated nuclear harms. This includes redress and assistance for those who have been harmed, the remediation for the widespread health and ecological damage from past and present nuclear activities, and preventing future nuclear harms.
Our Mission: Our mission is to build support and political will to maintain momentum for our Vision by supporting Indigenous Peoples and affected communities with advocacy, education, and networking. This extends to educating the general public and governments about the harms of nuclear activities. We seek to engage people in local, national and international discussions about radioactive violence and how interrelated nuclear activities have and continue to affect their/our lives.
Our Goals: The overarching goals of the Nuclear Truth Project are to:
Educate – Document and demonstrate to people the genocidal nature of nuclear weapons and the harms that nuclear weapons and associated nuclear activities have caused and continue to cause;
Advocate – Build agency to empower people, including those who have suffered disproportionately and those who face nuclear annihilation;
Network – Build accountability and transparency measures to aid in the implementation and universalization of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and strengthen solidarity between and within nuclear impacted communities.
THE PROJECT AND THE TPNW (NUCLEAR BAN)
The NTP recognises the collaborative work to achieve the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which bridged the divide between diplomats, activists, academics, and affected communities. This resulted in a remarkable reframing of the narrative to humanitarian disarmament principles. Instead of a technocratic focus on the military doctrine of deterrence, the work to achieve the Treaty concentrated on the humanitarian and ecological effects of nuclear weapons use and threat of use, encompassing the vast array of nuclear activities inherent to the bomb project. Those who have suffered disproportionately through nuclear use, threat of use, development, production and testing and who share the goals of the TPNW are at the center of the Nuclear Truth Project effort.
In harnessing the intent within the TPNW, we seek to uplift engagement with Indigenous Peoples and affected communities, and recognition of the importance of lived experience expertise.
The TPNW takes note of “the unacceptable suffering of and the harm caused to the victims of the use of nuclear weapons (hibakusha), as well as of those affected by the testing of nuclear weapons.” Furthermore, it recognizes the “disproportionate impact of nuclear weapon activities on Indigenous [P]eoples” as well as the “disproportionate impact on women and girls”. The TPNW also has clear positive obligations for victims assistance and environmental remediation for those Peoples and places impacted by nuclear weapons use and testing. Such recognitions and provisions within the TPNW offer many affected communities the expectation that they will achieve a seat at the table in redressing radioactive violence. They also create a need for better understandings of how to work in good relation with, within or alongside Indigenous Peoples and affected communities, to ensure greater burdens are not imposed on them while seeking to access or provide assistance and environmental remediation. This has been the focus of our work.
CHALLENGING NUCLEAR SECRECY
In August 2023 we launched a new report that examines the hierarchies, ethics and barriers to access within nuclear archives. The Challenging Nuclear Secrecy report provides insights to the many layered issues when seeking nuclear truths, and makes three key calls for governments, civil society and communities to consider.
The Nuclear Truth Project recognises that those with lived experience are knowledge holders and provide expert evidence and insight both for intercommunity knowledge exchange and for informing broader policy and action. By centring survivor and nuclear affected community perspectives, and focusing on the expertise of lived experience, the NTP aims to coalesce these knowledges along with other scientific, ecological, and health evidence. As the effects of radioactive violence will endure long after we have achieved the total elimination of nuclear weapons and broader nuclear harms, the work of the Project is also about communicating nuclear truths to present generations and informing future ones. We hope this report contributes towards this and sparks conversations on nuclear accountability.
NUCLEAR TRUTH PROTOCOLS
The work to develop protocols through the Nuclear Truth Project began in 2021-2022, led by affected community members. The aim was to protect affected community members, shield from further trauma and harm, and ensure nuclear justice is centered in the work to redress both historic and any future harms from nuclear activities. We believe protocols are an essential element when working in relation to communities that have been harmed by nuclear experimentation, colonialism and aggression. Successfully challenging nuclear colonialism, racism and elitism is most effectively done by the people whose lives have been directly impacted, along with the support of intentional allies. Protocols are essential tools for those sectors wishing to engage with Indigenous Peoples and affected communities – academics, media, diplomats, governments, activists, aid organizations, and others.
Throughout 2023, the NTP held community consultations on the Protocols. As part of these, the Nuclear Truth Project (NTP) engaged several Indigenous and affected communities members to work within their communities at their own pace and focus around the Protocols. By sharing information between these activists in different places, we worked to strengthen links between affected communities around the globe. An open online survey sought further feedback also. The results of these conversations are detailed in a new report, Talking Protocols. The Protocols are a living document – see the latest version here.
DNA has the ability to repair itself through complex mechanisms and pathways when damage occurs. Its intricacy of repair can be compared to the creation of beaded items in Native Culture. Designs are thought out ahead and require skill and patience to be able to bead such intricate pieces. When a beaded necklace comes undone, the stones/beads are restrung by using what is already there. The design used is from the Crow Nation. The use of the flower design symbolizes the idea of regrowth.
We would like to acknowledge the use of Ms. Quetawki’s images from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, the University of New Mexico NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy.
We are grateful to Zuni Pueblo artist Mallery Quetawki for designing the beautiful Nuclear Truth Project logo. Combining many symbols familiar within the nuclear free movement, this stunning design evokes both the strength and the long story of the movement we are a living part of. As the artist explains;
“The olive branch is the offering for peace, the arrows are signifying the work towards a common cause and the peace symbol represents the outcome. The handprint represents unity and the sunflower represents remediation. The DNA strand represents the positive outcome for all living things.”