The people of Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishnabek (Grassy Narrows First Nation) are now one step closer to justice. More than 50 years after untreated mercury was dumped into the English and Wabigoon Rivers, causing widespread mercury poisoning and loss of cultural traditions, the community has finally signed a deal with the federal government for a mercury care home.
In 2017, the federal government committed to building a mercury care home for community members suffering from the impacts of mercury poisoning. After years of delay, a $19.5 million dollar agreement to build a care facility was finally signed on April 2nd. This agreement is an important step forward for justice, but long-term funding for the operation and services of the facility still needs to be secured.
“Canada, and Minister Miller have made sacred promises to us in this contract and in person, and we will make sure that those promises are honoured. We will see that the Mercury Care Home is built well, built quickly, and meets the care needs of our people.” – Chief Rudy Turtle
While more pressure is needed to secure long-term funding, this agreement is certainly a victory for the people of Grassy Narrows who have been calling for justice for decades. Amnesty International supporters have been taking action in solidarity with Grassy Narrows for more than 10 years. This past December, Grassy Narrows was included as a case in Amnesty’s annual Write for Rights campaign. More than 400,000 letters from around the world called for justice for Grassy Narrows, including 15,000 letters here in Canada. Thank you to everyone who continues to support the people of Asubpeeschoseewagong in their call for justice so that they and the next generations of young people can have a healthy future.
>>> Learn more about Amnesty’s work in support of Grassy Narrows