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River Run 2012: Take action with Grassy Narrows Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek

Jun/05/2012 - 1:54 am

Please join us in Toronto for River Run 2012, where we’ll continue a tradition of community lead action for justice—for our people, and for the protection of the water, air, and forests that give life to us all.

GRASSY PEOPLE SPEAK
Tuesday June 5th, 6:30 p.m. (location tba)

FISH FRY
June 6 or 7, fish fry (details tba)

MARCH AND RALLY
Friday June 8, Noon. Grange Park.

more info: FreeGrassy.org

In April 2010, we marched together as one wild river flowing onto the steps of Queen’s Park to deliver our demands on World Health Day. We ask that you join us again this year to make clear to those at Queen’s Park that we’re as strong as ever, and will continue to demand justice for our people and protection for our environment.

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

Over 40 years ago our people were poisoned by mercury from 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. It’s an inescapable truth that this poison will affect everyone if we don’t stand together to protect our water.

For decades the GNAA community members 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.

Joining in River Run 2012 is a great opportunity to show your support and to join us in the fight to protect Indigenous rights and the water, air, land, and creatures that we all depend on.

Migwetch

Grassy Narrows Asubpeeschoseewagong Women's Drum Group

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 went from to 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, in 2010, a newly translated Japanese study on the health of GNAA residents showed that while mercury levels were going down, the health impacts of mercury poisoning in GNAA are worse now than they were in the 70's.

Now a new report confirms these findings and reveals even more of the truth.

This has huge consequences for GNAA and neighbouring communities. It also has important implications for everyone about the long term cumulative health impacts of chroic low level mercury exposure.

The study indicates 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, incinerators, mine tailings, and other industrial processes.

Now is the time to act! Demand justice for our people, and protection for the water!