On August 27, 2015, the First Nations community of Grassy Narrows declared a state of emergency over unsafe drinking water.
This only compounds the effects of decades only mercury poisoning of its water system, further poisoning the people of the territory.
Bottled water delivery has already begun to help ease the crisis for residents.
Of course it's not only the people who risk being poisoned but also the plants and animals of the territory -- either because they are hunted and gathered and then consumed by humans, but also because Mother Earth and its living waters and forests, as well.
Drinking water tested by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment found turbidity at a level 120 times the safety limit. Also found were high levels of chemicals that are considered carcinogenic.
Grassy Narrows is a community in resistance as they have fought for the right to clean water for years; the whole area had already been under a boil water advisory for the past year but this strategy does not have the ability to remove possible carcinogens.
Grassy Narrows hosts the longest running blockade on Canadian soil as they try and protect their territory’s resources from exploitation and ruin.
Of issue is not only the mercury poisoning from defunct industry that has led to Minimata disease among generations of residents but also the poisonous effects of clear cutting, further dump mercury and other chemicals into the river system.
According to a 2005 report, while eighteen per cent of fish are unsafe to eat around unlogged lakes, one hundred per cent are unsafe to eat around logged lakes.
In a community that not only relies on the water, but the plant life and game found on their traditional treaty three territory, animals hunted have been found to contain tumours in their bodies.
This is yet another way that the community of Grassy Narrows has been poisoning, not only by pollution but by government neglect to act upon these serious environmental issues.
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.