mercury nightmare at grassy narrows
The water was deemed fit for human consumption again just this October, which Fobister said came after years of work on water treatment facilities and local pipes. He died without knowing whether his community will succeed in persuading the federal government to accept his vision for a treatment centre to provide specialized treatment and palliative care for some of the hundreds of Grassy Narrows people who are believed to suffer from mercury poisoning. A First Nation of about 650 people near Ontario’s border with Manitoba, Grassy Narrows’ water was contaminated by tonnes of mercury dumped into its water system by an upstream paper mill. By 1970, the Ontario government closed down the commercial fishery and issued formal warnings against fish consumption, a dietary staple of Grassy Narrows residents, due to the extremely high levels of toxic mercury found in fish. Fobister said a water test showed chemical compounds known trihalomethanes (THMs) that form when the chlorine used to disinfect water reacts with natural organic matter such as vegetation and dead leaves. Researchers find 90% of Grassy Narrows residents show signs of mercury poisoning Negotiations over the design and budget of the treatment centre are stalled, according to Grassy Narrows leaders, and the plan could be jeopardized if there is no agreement before the expected federal election this fall. Meanwhile, Grassy Narrows people continue to die early due to mercury poisoning, while others suffer without the specialized care and support that they need. Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language. Read more about cookies here. Full Disclaimer. Canadians were shocked by the first revelations of mercury poisoning at Grassy Narrows in the early 1970s, yet little was done. The protesters were escorted out, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sarcastically thanked them for their “donation.” He later apologized, acknowledging that his response had “lacked respect.”. “It’s great news for a whole community We’re finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.”. Please log in to listen to this story. Links contained in current issues of The Canadian Reader and What in the World? Grassy Narrows: The most toxic community in Canada, says scientist. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests. We apologize, but this video has failed to load. “Part of that trust is putting the money away in a trust (fund) to be used for the community to treat their people, so that they can live in dignity.”. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. William Olscamp, a spokesperson for Indigenous Services, said the department believes it is making progress toward an agreement on the treatment centre. Meanwhile, Fobister said he fears his community will bear the consequences of the mercury contamination until the river is cleaned up, noting such a process could prolong the ordeal for several more generations of Grassy Narrows residents. Pramel Mishra 10th February 2020 Grassy Narrows, a reserve known as the English river Indian reserve 21, has been affected by the impacts of mercury poisoning. The people of Grassy Narrows are living with the devastating consequences of a half century of mercury contamination of their rivers and lakes. We encountered an issue signing you up. Grassy Narrows' Chief and Council approved the study and agreed that the manuscript be submitted. Grassy Narrows has dealt with the effects of mercury contamination for decades, after a nearby paper mill dumped it into the nearby river system in the 1960s. In 1962, Dryden Chemical Company began operating a chloralkali process plant in Dryden, Ontario using mercury cells. Thank you for your patience. That means: If you do not see your comment posted immediately it is being reviewed by our moderation team and may appear shortly. Fish, mercury consumption linked to lifespan at Grassy ... "For the community of Grassy Narrows, premature death also means that there are fewer elders to pass on traditional teachings and knowledge. No mercury was detected in the drinking water in Grassy Narrows during monitoring, Health Canada said. Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4. Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoog First Nations, Ontario; First Nations in Ontario Canada have been exposed to harmful levels of mercury contamination in the Wabigoon River system where 90% of the people show signs of mercury poisoning. The announcement follows a meeting between “After what’s happened in the past 50 years, this should be one of the federal priorities, and they shouldn’t be worrying so much about the money.”. When the fish are healthy, the land is healthy, and maybe, maybe then the youth, 50 years from now, they'll have good health. After his funeral service on Saturday at the Grassy Narrows church, Simon Fobister’s coffin is carried to a motorboat, which took the coffin to the island where his family plot is located. “It affects the youth (with) common signs of symptoms like what you get from mercury poisoning like rashes.”, Last week, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller described the lack of action on the local mercury contamination as “an aberration in our history.”. Many die in faraway hospitals in cities such as Thunder Bay, where Mr. Fobister died, about 550 kilometres from his home. He said his community will allow construction workers to enter the community despite the fear of COVID-19. But despite his efforts, the Japanese study in 2010 found that 74 per cent of those with diagnosed or suspected mercury poisoning were still not receiving any compensation. “From birth, even today, you get stuff that affects the nerves,” Fobister said. “I hope it’ll become a state-of-the-art place where we can study the effects of mercury poisoning,” he told a news conference last week. This is a direct result from Reed Paper dumping mercury upstream of the communities nearly six decades ago. Grassy Narrows First Nation, or the Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation, is a small First Nations community in northwestern Ontario. This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. We learned about the 20,000 pounds of mercury dumped into the English-Wabigoon River system upon which Grassy Narrows lives depend. OTTAWA — The federal government has signed an agreement with Grassy Narrows First Nation that will see a long-promised treatment centre for residents with mercury poisoning finally built in the community. The study published Monday in the journal Lancet Planetary Health concludes that Grassy Narrows residents who prematurely died before the age of 60 had five times more mercury in their body over the years they were studied, compared to those who lived to be older than 60.