Stephen Lewis speaks with Grassy Narrows

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On July 29, 2014, a group of people from Grassy Narrows spoke at a public forum about the current conditions on their reserve. Several generations have now been affected as a result of the mercury which settled at the bottom of the river in the 1960s and '70s. And now, Grassy Narrows is also faced with a threat by the Ontario government to clear-cut on their territory.

The people of Grassy Narrows are demanding that the government apologize and take responsibility for the mercury pollution on their reserve; to compensate the survivors of mercury poisoning and make sure they have quality health care; to clean up the river; and to not allow clear-cutting on their land, which the provincial government is threatening to do.

Lending his support to the voices of the people of Grassy Narrows at the Public Forum was Stephen Lewis. Best known now for his international work around HIV/AIDS, he was an member of Provincial Parliament and also leader of the Ontario NDP when the issue first came to the legislature back in the 1970s. An MPP from 1963 to 1978, and leader of the NDP Party from 1970-78, he is now best known for his international work related to HIV/AIDS. He is currently a distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson, and also Board Chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

00:00 - Welcome by Emcee Wanda Nanibush

1:16 Opening - Grassy Narrows Women's Drum Group

7:31 Elder Steve Fobister Sr. -- an elder, a hunter and trapper and has been instrumental in demanding justice for Grassy Narrows. 

 22:56 Chief Roger Fobister Sr. -- Chief of Grassy Narrows, Chief Fobister was instrumental in the fight for Indigenous control of Indigenous education. He has also been involved in negotiating Indigenous self government at the community level, and also the fight that Grassy Narrows has faced for many years.

45:44 Stephen Lewis 

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