The Hanford Nuclear Reservation is a mammoth, 586-square-mile chunk of desert earth in southeast Washington state. It became a secret site for refining the plutonium needed for nuclear weapons during WWII. Native American tribes and settlers were evicted off their traditional riverside villages and ripening farms to make way for the secret government mission. Workers turned cutting-edge science into factory production, churning out plutonium buttons right through the Cold War. After refining two-thirds of all the United States’ weaponized plutonium, Hanford is a boneyard of some of the earth’s nastiest chemicals and radioactive waste. Much of the cleanup is on a scale that twists the mind -- like the more than $12-billion Waste Treatment Plant being built now amid the sand and sagebrush.

Native American women were gathering roots and sacred plants long before Hanford came to be known by that name.  At Hanford women have shaped history and they are actively involved with today’s cleanup. But their stories haven’t been told as often, or broadcast as loudly. Now we’ve handed them the mic.

In Daughters of Hanford, public radio correspondent Anna King, photographer Kai-Huei Yau and artist Doug Gast will highlight the underrepresented women’s perspectives of the nuclear site in twelve radio pieces and complementary portraits. Daughters includes a radio series, a multi-platform website and a geo-mapping application. The project culminates in an interactive art exhibition at The REACH in Richland, Wash., opening on August 1, 2015.

Visit the REACH

The REACH, a gateway to the Hanford Reach National Monument, including the last free-flowing stretch of the Columbia River.

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Listen to the Stories

Listen to the stories of these incredible women.

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Support the Project

Daughters of Hanford is actively seeking sponsors. Learn how you can help.

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