The people of Grassy Narrows have sustained themselves for thousands of years on their traditional territory – 2,500 square miles of forest, lakes, rivers north of Kenora, Ontario. Now plans for clear-cut logging, mining and the legacy of residential schools, hydro damming, relocation, and mercury poisoning threaten to uproot their way of life.

Grassy Narrows sues Ontario over mercury health threat from clearcut logging

grassy narrowsToday the Grassy Narrows First Nation is filing legal proceedings against Ontario asking the Divisional Court to overturn provincial plans for a decade of clearcut logging on Grassy Narrows’ homeland. 

This small Indigenous community fears that clearcut logging will release mercury into local waterways further poisoning local fish and people who are already bearing the burden of mercury that was dumped into their river by a paper mill in the 1960s.  Grassy Narrows alleges that the logging plan will prolong and deepen the ongoing tragedy of mercury poisoning in their community and therefore violates their Charter rights to security and freedom from discrimination.  This could become the first case to successfully use the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to protect people against harm and discrimination arising from environmental degradation.


Grassy Narrows declares State of Emergency over unsafe drinking water

LATEST RELEASE: Feds waited 15 years to act on tainted tap water in Grassy Narrows.

Grassy Narrows – Today the Grassy Narrows First Nation is declaring a state of emergency over unsafe drinking water conditions in the community.  The community is delivering bottled water door to door to ensure that their families, many of which have already been impacted by mercury poisoning, have safe drinking water.  Drinking water tests done by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment found turbidity at a level 120 times the safety limit.  Chemicals that are possible human carcinogens were also present at elevated levels.  (more…)

Report: Mercury poison levels in Grassy Narrows still in highest risk category

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Mercury levels rising in the sediment of some lakes

Grassy Narrows:  A newly released government commissioned report has found that mercury levels in the sediment of Grassy Narrows’ Wabigoon River remain up to 20 times above natural levels, while fish are up to 15 times above consumption guideline levels.  This places the river above the frequent adverse effects level – the highest risk threshold used by Environment Canada to trigger remediation in the St. Lawrence environmental risk assessment.  The Wabigoon River is the site of one of Canada’s most infamous ongoing environmental health disasters which began when 9,000 kg of mercury were dumped by a paper mill upstream in the 1960’s.  No clean-up has been done even though multiple generations of Grassy Narrows families have been poisoned by the mercury.

Check out media reports on this story


Grassy Narrows Women’s Gathering planned at Slant Lake

ALGrassyNarrowsRiverRunBannerJoin us for four days of camping, ceremony, teachings, and healing under the light of the full moon.  The Grassy Narrows Women’s Gathering will be held at the Slant Lake blockade site on Asubpeeschoseewagong homeland.

September 25 -28, full moon weekend.
Please email to register or for more info.
Check back here for more details.


Grassy Narrows Community Members Walk to Protect Territory, Youth Group Release Statement on Logging

Ashley Loon water colourToday, community members in Grassy Narrows undertake a “Walk to Protect Grassy Narrows Traditional Land Use Area from Destruction.” The event is a display of ongoing resistance to industrial logging in their Territory by people in Grassy Narrows.

Today also, the Grassy Narrows Youth Group publicly released a position statement against logging signed by more than fifty young people. The statement is a reminder that the current generation of Youth is as committed to protecting the Territory as earlier generations from the community have been.