The economic and social impact of the remedy to the mercury pollution proved nearly as devastating to the Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong Independent bands as the problem itself. The decline of tourism and the loss of traditional ways of life created social problems. Alcohol and drug abuse, family violence, suicides and depression became all too common in the late 1970s. With the 1980s the situation began to change, largely because of the efforts of the people themselves. In 1986 these efforts were greatly enhanced when a long-awaited settlement was reached with Reed, its successor company Great Lakes Forest Products, and the federal and provincial governments, which provided $16.7 million compensation to the 2 bands.
Author MATT BRAY
Links to Other Sites
Four Directions Teachings
Elders and traditional teachers representing the Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibwe, Mohawk, and Mi’kmaq share teachings about their history and culture. Animated graphics visualize each of the oral teachings. This website also provides biographies of participants, transcripts, and an extensive array of learning resources for students and their teachers. In English with French subtitles.
Mercury Rising: The Poisoning of Grassy Narrows
A video of a CBC TV report concerning mercury contamination of food fish consumed by residents of Grassy Narrows and Whitedog reserves in northwest Ontario.
Grassy Narrows & Islington Band Mercury Disability Board
The website for the Grassy Narrows & Islington Band Mercury Disability Board. Provides information about determining eligibility for benefits, the nature of mercury poisoning, a history of mercury contamination in local communities, mercury levels in fish stocks, and related issues.