Project

The Methyl-Mercury Misery

Goal: To explore and analyze the role of government in the mercury poisoning disaster that occurred at the Grassy Narrows and Whitedog First Nations’ Reserve in Canada through the 1960's, 1970's and 80's.

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Project log

Myron King
added a research item
During the 1960's and 1970's, many First Nations people located on the Grassy Narrows and Whitedog Reserves in Ontario were poisoned after drinking water or eating fish that contained high levels of Methyl-Mercury. The mercury was an industrial by-product from a local paper mill. The Federal and provincial governments played a large role in the politics surrounding the disaster, including control of the mercury contamination response early on. A history of forced relocation due to government decision-making also helped set the stage for limited trust for the government, as well as general discontent with government interactions in the peoples' lives on the reserves. Inadequate response to the disaster left First Nations' people misinformed, unprotected and without economic options to properly carry them through it. The Grassy Narrows and Whitedog peoples' struggle continued long after the poisoning. A comprehensive risk-management plan for First Nations' communities is long overdue.
Myron King
added a research item
A People Left to Die: The mercury poisoning events at Grassy Narrows and how government indifference significantly contributed to the disaster affecting an entire First Nations community. During the 1960’s and 1970’s, many First Nations people located on the Grassy Narrows and Whitedog Reserves in Ontario were poisoned after drinking water or eating fish that contained high levels of Methyl-Mercury. The Federal and provincial governments played a large role in the politics surrounding the disaster, including control of the mercury contamination response early on. Inadequate response to the disaster left First Nations’ people misinformed, unprotected and without economic options to properly carry them through it. The Grassy Narrows and Whitedog peoples’ struggle continued long after the poisoning, and a comprehensive risk-management plan for First Nations’ communities is long overdue.
Myron King
added a project goal
To explore and analyze the role of government in the mercury poisoning disaster that occurred at the Grassy Narrows and Whitedog First Nations’ Reserve in Canada through the 1960's, 1970's and 80's.