The two First Nations are the latest to join the growing list of communities whose long-term advisories have been lifted since 2015, but another 60 long-term advisories remain in effect as the clock winds down on the federal government's promise to end all long-term advisories by March 2021. Jianne Turtle, 13, daughter of Grassy Narrows Chief Rudy Turtle, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “should keep his promise” to address the mercury crisis. Previous reports indicated that water turbidity was at 120 times Ontario health guidelines and there was the presence of potentially cancer-causing disinfectant by-products. Grassy Narrows. After one more round of tests, Turtle sent out the letter. Follow up with the persons involved and their contacts has started according to…, Children in need across the district will get more help in the new year, after an announcement by Firefly. Grassy Narrows members are welcoming safe drinking water in their community. Boil water advisory lifted in Grassy -12°C . Our forthcoming print edition will further investigate the remediation plans of Dr. Rudd and his team. Among the instructive parallels that Jing Jun makes in his portrayal of trauma in a Gansu village under Maoism is the wretched fate of a First Nation community in Grassy Narrows, northwestern Ontario—as detailed harrowingly in Anastasia M. Shkilnyk, A poison stronger than love: the destruction of an Ojibwa community (1985, with an introduction by Kai… December 6, 2020 04:05 AM. A recent health study demonstrates the depths of the health crisis experienced by the Grassy Narrows First Nation as the result of mercury poisoning, including learning disabilities and nervous system disorders among youth born long after the initial disaster. The advisory was put in place in September 2019 due to ongoing issues with the well. Grassy Narrows members don't have to use bottled water anymore. Grassy Narrows’ fight for clean water is a struggle for environmental justice By David Suzuki with contributions from Ontario and Northern Canada Director Faisal Moola. Their landbase is the 4145 ha English. The water crisis in this Northern Ontario First Nations once again exposes the failure by the federal government to provide access to safe and clean water to First Nations. "I'm happy. They migrated northward and westward during the late 17th and early 18th centuries in search of animals to supply the fur trade. Grassy Narrows members remain concerned about the impact of forestry on their land. The Trudeau government has promised to end drinking water advisories in over 100 First Nations by 2021, but the solutions so far have stopped at short-term, Band-Aid fixes. You'll…, The Northwestern Health Unit has reported one new case of COVID-19 in the Kenora region. The federal government’s response underscores the severity of the water crisis, which extends far beyond Grassy Narrows. “People need to start stepping up to protect the water, to make sure things do not get any worse,” she said. As of January 2016, drinking water advisories were in effect in 85 First Nations communities across Canada, with the majority in Ontario. So while the main reaction from residents of the First Nation has been "positive," Grassy Narrows Chief Rudy Turtle said, "some of the comments we're getting [are] people saying…finally. The community had been dealing with three boil water advisories, with some unable to use drinking water for seven years. A spokesperson for the federal ministry said the website is currently being updated, but CBC News could not confirm which boil water advisories were ended nor how many community members, if any at all, are still affected by an advisory at the time of publication. 10, 2020. An agreement to connect Wauzhushk Onigum's water and sewer system with that of Kenora was not reached until June 2020, with the completion of construction taking place in September 2020. . "We are shooting for a new water treatment plant, and it's because our population is growing and will continue to grow…so I'm looking ahead and it's much better that we get a bigger water treatment plan so that we'll be able to meet the demand in the future.". A June "For decades logging hurt our way of life, and made our mercury problem worse," said First Nation member Joseph Fobister in an email last week. Box 500 Station A Toronto, ON Canada, M5W 1E6. Turtle said the three separate public water systems in the First Nation were merged into one system in December 2019. The health unit defines the Kenora region as: English River 21, Jaffray-Mellick, Keewatin, Kenora , Kenora…, Staff with the Northwestern Health Unit have confirmed the first COVID-19 related death in the region. But I don't blame them because they've been on this advisory for so long that it's kind of, you know, it's unbelievable that they could finally drink it.". Write for Rights: Support from across Canada and the world for Grassy Narrows youth . A drinking water advisory in Little Saskatchewan First Nation (Manitoba) on a well that serves the band office became long-term on September 26, 2020, after being in place for more than 12 months. 1:59 Grassy Narrows pleading for … Star Exclusive. . In addition to protesting their government, the community turned to more traditional means as well. The Grassy Narrows First Nation is now demanding a full clean up of the site, saying “No more fancy talk, no more studies. Ending long-term drinking water advisories. Kenora in Ontario, Canada. Chief Rudy Turtle says they got $5.2 million from Indigenous Services Canada and $1 million dollars from the province, so they could lift boil water advisories that had been in place for seven years since 2013, as well as extend service to new parts of the community. The project cost a total of $14.6 million, with the federal government contributing the majority of the funding to make it happen. Indigenous Services Canada website lists three long-term boil water advisories for the First Nation, two of which are still listed as being in effect since 2012 and 2017, respectively. Write for Rights Cases 2020; Home. When the City of Kenora and Northwestern Ontario want local news, weather, and sports online and on-demand, they turn to KenoraOnline. Adolphus Cameron says they've been working with their elders for many years, as they look…, Rat Portage, Kenora join to help provide clean water, Increased COVID-19 risk in Rainy River area: NWHU, Four cases of COVID-19 reported on Boxing Day, Three new cases of Covid-19 reported in the region, Whitedog hopes new laws will help bring more children home. Water Canada has provided ongoing coverage of Grassy Narrows’ struggle to remediate their watershed and gain recognition and support from government and public institutions with respect to their crisis. But it's truly, truly good that now they can just turn to the water taps.". One day later, the Wauzhushk Onigum Nation celebrated the end of their long-term boil water advisory at the completion of the $14-million project to connect the community to the city of Kenora's water and sewer system. Some had been without clean drinking water since 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel All Rights Reserved. Grassy Narrows and Wauzhushk Onigum, two First Nations in northwestern Ontario, celebrated the ending of long-term boil water advisories at the end of September … A letter from Chief Rudy Turtle says tap water is safe to use again. A letter from Chief Rudy Turtle says tap water is safe to use again. Out of respect for the…, Whitedog First Nation is looking forward to implementing their own customary care code for child welfare. Boil water advisory lifted in Grassy. The third is listed as being resolved in 2017. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh held a press conference in Grassy Narrows, Ont. Grassy Narrows Chief Says Federal Funds To Fix Water Crisis 'Not Flowing' A human rights watchdog released a report calling on Canada to give First Nations equal rights to clean drinking water. The community had been dealing with three boil water advisories, with some unable to use drinking water for seven years. But Turtle says he is now looking to secure safe water for future generations. The Wabigoon River has been sacred to the people of Grassy Narrows for generations. As Kenora, Ontario's website for local job listings, free classifieds, garage sales, community events, business directory and weather cancellations, KenoraOnline is your connection for local information. SNOWFALL WARNING ... 01 October 2020 04:16 Written by Mike Aiken. Environment Minister Glen Murray announced in Jun 2017 article, CBC news: Ontario will spend $85 million to clean up industrial mercury contamination that is poisoning the people at Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong First Nations in NW Ont KenoraOnline.com is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds. Grassy Narrows leaders marched alongside hundreds of supporters through downtown Toronto to demand action amid the ongoing mercury poisoning crisis in the northern Ontario First Nation. A letter from Chief Rudy Turtle says tap water is safe to use again. Grassy Narrows people with higher long-term mercury exposure were far more likely to die early according to an authoritative new study published Monday evening in the Lancet Planetary Health scientific journal. The First Nation declared a state of emergency in August 2015 after they did not receive answers from the federal government to questions about the safety of their water. Residents of Grassy Narrows and Wauzhushk Onigum First Nations, both located in northwestern Ontario, are finally able to drink from their taps as they celebrated lifting long-term boil water advisories this week. River 21 Indian Reserve. Approximately 36 per cent of the advisories had been in place for more than 10 years, and in some cases more than 20. Meanwhile, Chief Chris Skead of the Wauzhushk Onigum Nation celebrated the fruition of a partnership with the city of Kenora that was several years in the works. The health unit defines the Rainy River District as: Alberton, Atikokan, Barwick,…, Northwestern Health Unit has received reports of three new positive COVID-19 test results in the Kenora region. It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges. Fobister was commenting on the release of Ontario's new forestry strategy Thursday. The federal government has pledged solutions to Attawapiskat‘s drinking water crisis, ... Grassy Narrows pleading for mercury care home funding. “I am a believer of honesty and I believe in praying. The The Wabigoon River has been sacred to the people of Grassy Narrows for generations. CBC's Journalistic Standards and Practices. With files from Jody Porter and Jeff Walters, Audience Relations, CBC P.O. The fur trade economy transformed Ojibwe social organization and resource use. Indigenous Services Canada lists three boil water advisories in Grassy Narrows First Nation, with the first of them being issued back in May 2013. According to Indigenous Services Canada, about 1,200 members of the community had been under a boil water advisory. “This is about reminding people how important water is, especially in a time of destruction and environmental crisis,” said Chrissy Swain, a mother from Grassy Narrows and spokesperson for the group, speaking about being at Keys Lake today. This has definitely made life easier for our community members, and they don't have to worry about getting bottled water. “Mr. Little Saskatchewan, MB as of September 26, 2020. Advocates for the community say it remains one of Canada's worst examples of the effects of legacy pollution. Grassy Narrows Water Crisis Kiera, Robyn, Ashley, Christiana About Grassy Narrows Where Is Grassy Narrows? Community members in Grassy Narrows First Nation, also known as Asubpeeschoseewagong, received a letter from Chief Rudy Turtle on September 29 which read: "As of TODAY the boil water advisory is NOW lifted. © 2020 Golden West Broadcasting. December 27, 2019. Boil water advisory to end as Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation finalizes water agreement with Kenora, Ont. The NWHU says it was an elderly individual with other health issues. Grassy Narrows is located about 100 kilometres northeast of Kenora. The fur trade shifted this practice toward trapping smaller animals and trading their furs. Negotiations about bringing clean water to the First Nation began between the two communities in September 2018. Another report from 2011 noted the presence of uranium in well water, which doesn't meet provincial health guidelines. Kit Young Hoon, medical officer of health at the Northwestern Health Unit, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the District of Rainy River.…, Northwestern Ontario will be shut-down over the next two weeks, as Ontario’s Boxing Day lockdown took effect as of 12:01 a.m. this morning. Grassy Narrows toxic tap water not fixed by boiling, expert says, Grassy Narrows First Nation declares emergency over bad water, Federal government announces $7.2M for safe drinking water in Wauzhushk Onigum. ", He added, "it is also the celebration of a partnership with the City of Kenora that has been discussed for many years.". Grassy Narrows members don't have to use bottled water anymore. Moreover, in June 2017, the Ontario government pledged $85 million to clean up the industrial mercury contamination. One person lives in the Rainy River District, and the other two people have primary residences…, "Now is the time to act," is the message coming from Dr. ", Turtle added, "Some people are a little leery or apprehensive ... and I think for some it'll take a little bit of time to finally trust the water. Then, after months of work and the installation of new equipment in the existing plant, he received a letter from Health Canada saying that the water was safe for human consumption. The water tower is seen on the Grassy Narrows First Nation reserve in northwestern Ontario on Friday, May 18, 2018. Empowered Kids will provide assessment help for kids dealing with FASD, as well as supports…, With billions to serve, Santa's making quick work of his deliveries around the globe today. Closed Captioning and Described Video is available for many CBC shows offered on CBC Gem. Grassy Narrows declared a state of emergency over its unsafe drinking water in 2015, after a boil-water advisory had already been in place for nearly two years, as it tried to get more information from the federal government about the safety of its water. The youth of Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) First Nation are demanding the Canadian government keep its promises to finally address the mercury crisis in their community. But advocates say clear-cutting will mean more mercury in the water system — which has already poisoned 90 per cent of Grassy Narrows residents. Two First Nations in northwestern Ontario are finally able to drink from their taps as they celebrated lifting long-term boil water advisories this week. Jul. Skead said in a release, "today is first a celebration for the citizens of our First Nation who will finally have safe drinking water after being on a boil water order for over 3 years. Grassy Narrows is an Ojibway First Nation band government who inhabit northern. Grassy Narrow’s fight for clean water began almost immediately after the discovery of mercury in the water. This means you can safely consume the tap water.". Northwestern Health Unit has received reports of three new positive COVID-19 test result in our area. In addition, large patrilineal clans divide… Water bottles are seen at the local water supply site on the Grassy Narrows First Nation, in northwestern Ontario, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. For almost 50 years, the people of Grassy Narrows have fought to make the government aware of their crisis. "Grassy Narrows continues to call for compensation for all community members for the impacts of the ongoing mercury crisis and for all support required to restore their health, way of life, livelihood, self-determination, lands and waters," the press release said. His reindeer helped him make it through the Far East and into Australia first thing this morning. 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