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Trudeau’s Grassy Narrows insult worth more than a shallow apology

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The people in Grassy Narrows have been sick for a long time. The culprit is industrial pollution from the Reed Paper mine in Dryden that dumped 9,000 kilograms of mercury into the English-Wabigoon River poisoning the fish the people relied on as a dietary staple.

This happened in the 1960s and 70s. The devastation is generational; mercury accumulates in the body and is passed down to the next generation, who continue to accumulate to pass onto their children. The genetic devastation to the people is — well — genocidal; 90 per cent of the people in Grassy Narrows exhibit signs of mercury poisoning. The way both Ontario and the Canadian governments have turned away from this nightmare is a disgrace on all of us.

To be sure, Grassy Narrows isn't the only First Nations community that's suffered irreparable harm at the hands of settler society. Clean drinking water continues to remain but a faint hope in many communities across the country. Services and supports for children, from prenatal and maternity care to education and access to health care are inadequate to the overwhelming need after decades of hostile disregard by governments and the settler population. But Grassy Narrows, perhaps because of its........

© St. Catharines Standard