Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Website Offers Searchable Oral History Archive About Hanford

Atomic Heritage Foundation
Veronica Taylor, an elder of the Nez Perce tribe, grew up along the Columbia River at Hanford.


When the federal government decided to make plutonium in southeast Washington, early farmers and whole villages of Native Americans were kicked out. Now a new collection of oral histories tells some of these stories of the Hanford site.

Veronica Mae Taylor was an elder of the Nez Perce tribe. She died in 2013. In 2003 she sat down for a videotaped interview.

Taylor grew up along the Columbia River around Hanford. She said despite being forced off the river, and the pollution that followed, the Hanford area will always be home to sacred gravesites, plants and animals for tribal people.

“And we'll always have our feeling for this area,” Taylor said. “It'll never go away. This land will never go away in our hearts. Ever.”

The online archive also tells the stories of engineers, women settlers and even Army generals at Hanford. You can find them at

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.