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Stand with Grassy Narrows Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek

Apr/06/2010 - 6:30 pm

Please join us in Toronto as we demand justice for our people and protection for the water, air, and forests that give life to us all.

Public Talk. Tuesday April 6
6:30 p.m. Steel Workers Hall, 25
Cecil St. (S of College, E of Spadina).

40 years ago our people were poisoned with mercury by a paper mill that contaminated our river upstream. Our people are demanding justice because we are still dealing with the ongoing health impacts of this avoidable disaster. We want to sound the alarm that this poison will affect everyone if we don’t stand together to protect our water.

For decades our GNAA grassroots people have been on the front lines of the movement to defend the earth, and to uphold Indigenous self-determination, culture, and spirituality. We have kicked out logging giant Abitibi for now, but there is still much work to be done. This is a great opportunity to show your support, and to join us in the fight to protect the water, air, land, creatures, and rights that we all depend on.

River Run - creative march and rally. Wednesday April 7, Noon. Meet at Grange Park (Beverley St. S of Dundas, behind the AGO). Together we will form a wild river that will flow to Queen’s park to deliver our demands on World Health Day. We invite Indigenous people to wear your regalia. Others are invited to wear blue, or dress as your favourite wild creature.

To endorse, donate, or for more information contact us at: riverrun2010@gmail.com

Migwetch

Grassy Narrows
Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek

BACKGROUND

On April 6, 1970 the government of Ontario banned fishing on the Wabigoon River due to mercury contamination from a pulp mill in Dryden. Overnight unemployment in GNAA to rose from 10% to 90%, a primary food staple was lost, and the devastating neurological health impacts of mercury poisoning set in. At the time the government said it would take months for the mercury to wash out of the river system.

Forty years later, a newly translated Japanese study on the health of GNAA residents shows that while mercury levels are going down, the health impacts of mercury poisoning in GNAA are substantially worse now than they were in the 70's. This has huge consequences for GNAA and neighbouring communities. It also has important implications about the long term cumulative health impacts of low level mercury exposure. The study concludes that Health Canada safety guidelines for mercury consumption are not strong enough to protect us from the nearly universal mercury contamination still being spread by coal fired power plants, mine tailings, and other industrial processes.

We need to act now to demand justice for our people, and to protect the water.