Hundreds of Grassy Narrows Indigenous Nation supporters, including a massive 80-person strong marching samba band, paraded to Premier Wynne’s house August 25. Their banners read “You wouldn’t live with mercury in your home, why must Grassy Narrows?”
“The government has taken away our forests and given us back disease and sickness and death,” said Judy Da Silva, a Grassy Narrows Clan Mother. “Wynne promised to help us, but she did not take that commitment seriously. It is time for Ontario to listen to our people when we say no to logging that brings more mercury poison into our rivers and our bodies.”
Grassy Narrows is demanding action on ongoing mercury poisoning that has taken a tragic toll on three generations of families in Grassy Narrows. Mercury poisoning, first discovered in Grassy Narrows the early ‘70s, has left its terrible mark on three generations of Anishinaabe people – loss of balance, tremors, loss of vision, numbness, cerebral palsy, and more.
“Last summer Wynne promised to do something about this crisis. Over a year later nothing has been done to improve the lives of families in Grassy Narrows, only talk,” said Katelyn Blasick, a marching band member and Grassy Narrows supporter. “Instead of helping the Province continues to plan for more clearcut logging in Grassy Narrows’ watershed – a practice that further increases mercury poison levels in local fish.”
“For people in Grassy Narrows there is no vacation from mercury poison,” said Chrissy Swain, a young mother of three in Grassy Narrows. “We have to live with the sickness of mercury poison in our bodies and in our families every day.”
In June organizations representing over one million Ontarians wrote to Premier Wynne urging her to call an end to unwanted logging on Grassy Narrows territory. Premier Wynne has not responded.