Mercury Justice Now: Updates from Grassy Narrows

Join Judy Da Silva (Grassy Narrows), Lee Maracle (Sto:lo), Vanessa Gray (Aamjiwnaang) and other guests in Toronto

Monday, November 6 at 7pm

Room 610 – 155 College Street

Health Sciences Building, University of Toronto  (more…)

Grassy Narrows wins $85 million for a mercury cleanup!

Grassy Narrows wins $85 million for a mercury cleanup

After decades of unrelenting pressure from Grassy Narrows activists and their supporters, the Ontario government announced last month that they had dedicated $85 million to the remediation of the English-Wabigoon river system, which was contaminated with 9 tonnes of mercury in the 1960s by a paper mill.

This incredible step forward should be cause for celebration, but concerns remain that it can be undone by future governments. (more…)

Banner drop on Grassy Narrows territory

On May 18, 2017, a banner was installed to notify tourists that they are entering Grassy Narrows territory, where the lakes and river system are still contaminated by mercury dumping that occurred in the 1960s. 

The banner reads: “1962-1972. Grassy Narrows Territory. 99% Lakes Poisoned.”

Photographs by Taina Da Silva. 

(more…)

Two upcoming events in Grassy Narrows

March 30, 2017

Kiizoongatizimin Niimiitiwin

Pow-wow 

Location: Youth Center, Grassy Narrows 

1:00pm Grand Entry

8:00pm Travel Song

MC: Stanley Skead

Host Drum: Grassy Narrows Men (more…)

Grassy Narrows wins cleanup promise after 40 years!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Chief Simon Fobister received momentous news when he met Premier Kathleen Wynne on Friday.

Premier Wynne promised to him that Ontario would clean up the English-Wabigoon River system and the Dryden Mill and that this cleanup would be led by Grassy Narrows First Nation!

This is a moment for cautious celebration, but the work is not done. No schedule has been announced, and the remediation has not begun. Promises made before have been broken.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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…)

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 2014riverrun@gmail.com to register or for more info.
 
Check back here for more details.

(more…)

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

grassy narrows

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

(more…)

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.

(more…)