“We are fighting and always will fight for our clean safe land, which we call home and will forever be our home. We just want what’s right.” – Annie Sneaky, 14 years old
For more than five decades, the people of the northwestern Ontario Indigenous Anishnaabe community of Grassy Narrows First Nation have been forced to live with the devastating consequences of government indifference to their lives and safety. In the 1960s, the provincial government allowed massive amounts of mercury waste to be dumped into their river system.
Today, fish in the waters around the community still contain dangerously high levels of toxic methyl mercury. And because of government failure to deal with this threat, the people of Grassy Narrows -- whose traditions and economy revolve around fishing -- now face the worst community health crisis in Canada.
Methyl mercury is an extremely dangerous environmental contaminant. Exposure can cause debilitating loss of motor control among many other severe, chronic health problems. For children, exposure to mercury can impair mental and physical development. The young people of Grassy Narrows have the right to grow up in a healthy environment and a thriving community.
Urge the federal government to help restore what mercury has taken.