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Native American group accuses U.S. of genocide

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Native American speakers at a small grass-roots meeting at the Indian Walk-in Center in Salt Lake City Friday spoke out against the genocide they say the U.S. government is perpetrating against their people.

The genocide, they said, is accomplished when Indian tribes give in to the monetary and governmental pressures that encourage nuclear waste to be stored on their land.Ian Zabarte, a representative from the Shoshone tribe near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, told of the killing off of his family as the nuclear fallout from government testing in the '50s caused his people to become sick and develop cancers.

Skull Valley Goshutes opposed to their tribe's negotiations for nuclear waste storage on their land also took the opportunity to air their fears of the destruction of traditional life that the storage facility would bring.

The Goshutes are exchanging the health of their children and land for money by allowing nuclear waste to be stored on their lands, said Garth Bear, vice president of an opposition group known as Ohngo Guadedeh Devia Awareness.

The meeting was part of a bigger Native American demonstration held earlier in the day to mark the 23rd anniversary of the fatal Indian-F.B.I. shootout at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.