Water crisis in Indigenous Communities Across Canada . "To be clear, funding is not an obstacle in these discussions. By Elizabeth McSheffrey, Community Journalism Trainer In Ojibway, the word […] "Â, With files from Olivia Stefanovich and Jorge Barrera. she said.Â. Report. It's all connected to the land." "We remain steadfast in our commitment to meeting the specific health needs of Grassy Narrows," Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O'Regan said in a statement Saturday. Officially aboriginal or indigenous rights in Canada were recognized by the British Royal Proclamation of 1763 which states that “Nations or Tribes of Indians with whom We are connected, and who live under our Protection, should not be molested or disturbed in the Possession of such Parts of Our Dominions and Territories as, not having been ceded to or purchased by Us, are reserved to them, or any of them, as their Hunting Grounds.”  Although some the early traders were fairly respectful, the rapidly encroaching settlers mostly did not respect this proclamation. Human Rights Watch: "June 27 marks three years since federal and provincial authorities in Ontario, Canada, promised to clean up decades-old mercury contamination. Playing next. 4:16. Singh reacted to the news on Saturday while he was campaigning in Grassy Narrows, an Indigenous community in northern Ontario that has been dealing with mercury poisoning in its water supply for years, and has been under a water advisory since 2013. In the absence of such an order, the federal government is asking to have the decision put aside and refer the matter back to the tribunal for review in accordance with directions set by the Federal Court.Â, Singh called the appeal a "betrayal of reconciliation. Home Wet'suwet'en Haudenosaunee Mi'kmaq ... deals with wildlife, but it is not a statute about how to protect human health,” says Joseph Castrilli, a lawyer with the Canadian Environmental Law Association. "Â, Isaacs, 39, said she was born with mercury in her body and experienced severe mental health problems as a child because of it. Grassy Narrows and Whitedog’s residents show just how much is at stake in the global push to eliminate mercury. Baskut Tuncak, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, said he has heard during a two-week tour with various stops that members of Grassy Narrows … Ontario's Progessive Conservative government made it a campaign promise to clean up, or remediate, the Wabigoon River … Fobister said a water test showed chemical compounds known trihalomethanes (THMs) that form when the chlorine used to disinfect … On Friday, the Attorney General of Canada filed an application for a judicial review and for a stay of the ruling with the Federal Court — just over two weeks before the federal election and days before the Oct. 7 deadline for filing an appeal. stripping intact forest regions of Grassy Narrows Territory into chunks of 20,000 barren acres or more. 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. Grassy Narrows' historical and legal rights are respectively recognized and affirmed under section 25 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and section 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982. As an adult, her legs are starting to go numb, and she's unable to swallow easily. They were mutually recognized by other indigenous nations, and conducted trade and had relations with their neighbors. Well, some say. The Canadian Press . They used the land and occupied it. International human rights standards clearly establish that these rights should be freely enjoyed by everyone, without discrimination. Her children are also showing similar symptoms of mercury poisoning.Â, She said there's a double standard between cities and Indigenous communities in Canada.Â, "How come in the cities they have clean water?" 5 years ago | 1 view. The Indigenous community of Grassy Narrows, Canada, has been devastated by mercury poisoning. Tag Archives: Grassy Narrows WATER: A Human Right AND Responsibility, River Run Walk for Grassy Narrows in Toronto. Through a long process of deception and force by the Canadian Government the community has been dispossessed of their lands by Provincial legislation. Well, some say. Grassy Narrows First Nation fears further mercury poisoning as Ford government ends assessments for clear-cut logging. Taking Action. Box 500 Station A Toronto, ON Canada, M5W 1E6. Yet, although Grassy Narrows has inherent, historical and legal rights which have been repeatedly upheld in the courts and on an international field by the United Nations, their rights are being blatantly violated. Add some “good” to your morning and evening. This week the Liberal government announced it would challenge a landmark human rights ruling to compensate apprehended First Nations children harmed by the on-reserve child welfare system and under-funded child and family services. Understanding Indigenous Rights. Young people from the Grassy Narrows First Nation in northwest Ontario are fighting for a healthy future for themselves and their community. Ancestors of the northern Ojibwe are thought to have originally inhabited the north shore of the upper Great Lakes. A UN human rights expert says the need to address mercury … This consultation must be undertaken “in good faith, and with the intention of substantially addressing the concerns of the Aboriginal peoples whose lands are at issue.” The dealings of the Crown must further be considered honourable. And now massive clearcut logging. The Grassy Narrows community members are descendents of this Nation and are therefore entitled to exercise the rights established in this treaty, including the “right to pursue their avocations (of hunting and fishing) throughout the tract.” This is commonly understood to include the right to trap animals for food, and to exercise these rights both for sustenance and commercial purposes. In some cases of strong claims and high impacts, the courts have acknowledged that consent must be obtained. It is the premier’s responsibility to ensure that their rights are finally respected and upheld." Ottawa. The clean water, our way of life, our traditions, even the wild rice picking and blueberry picking were all disappearing. Grassy Narrows youth were one of ten global cases focused on young human rights defenders leading the charge for change in their communities. Learn more about specific Supreme Court of Canada rulings regarding indigenous rights. Grassy Narrows. The mercury poisoning of Grassy Narrows—also known as Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation—dates back to the 1960s, when the pulp and paper mill in Dryden, Ontario, owned by the Dryden Chemical Company dumped 9,000 kg of mercury into the Wabigoon and English River systems. Canada is one of only four countries who voted against the declaration. The Ontario Government currently grants multinational corporations like Weyerhaeuser the rights to clear-cut log Grassy Narrows' area, stripping intact forest regions of Grassy Narrows Territory into chunks of 20,000 barren acres or more. Trudeau said he is not challenging the tribunal's conclusion that compensation should be awarded.Â, "We need to compensate those who've been harmed, but the question is how to do that," Trudeau said. "Those are conversations that we cannot have during a writ period.". Treaty 3 has also … Follow. Published June 6, 2019 Updated June 6, 2019 . Human rights at Grassy Narrows. Browse more videos. Grassy Narrows has asked for $19 million to build the mercury treatment centre the government committed to in 2017. Chrissy Isaacs said. "It feels like forever. The letter writing campaign is being launched ahead of the global Human Rights Day in December. Traditionally, Ojibwe hunted large game for subsistence. Grassy Narrows Rights Learn more about the provincial, national and international rights that have been afforded to Grassy' Narrows. More, We Have Never Experienced Such Concern: Transnational Bonds of Solidarity from Minamata to Grassy Narrows and Whitedog First Nations, Grassy members remain vigilant about logging, Grassy Narrows First Nation fears further mercury poisoning as Ford government ends assessments for clear-cut logging, Mercury levels higher in Grassy Narrows residents who died young, new study finds, Grassy Narrows signs deal with Ottawa to build mercury care home, Grassy Narrows reminds Canada of unkept promises as AFN sets its priority agenda, Grassy Narrows chief calls on Ottawa to end delays on mercury treatment centre. For the community it was devastating: fishing was a vital part of their way of life. More than 400,000 letters of support from around the world called for justice for Grassy Narrows and contributed to the successful signing of an agreement to build a mercury care home. The severe mercury contamination of the rivers and lakes. Grassy Narrows First Nation is one of the 10 cases included in the organization’s Write for Rights event. That figure caused disputes between the federal government and the community, as Ottawa's analysis found it would cost about $10 million to build the facility. Research and Investigation. He says he will do 'whatever it takes. Posted on August 7, 2014 by admin. In order to absolve themselves of any responsibility for their actions, the federal government and Reed Paper Company (which had bought out the Dryden Chemical Company) ended up paying a settlement to Grassy Narrows, … In addition, the behavior of the Canadian Government is also in violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which asserts that “Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired.”. In the 1960s, a pulp mill upstream dumped an estimated nine tonnes of mercury into the river system, contaminating the fish and making them dangerous to eat. About $2 billion has been invested in fixing the water systems in Indigenous communities since 2015, but a report in 2017 by the Parliamentary Budget Officer said Ottawa will need to invest a minimum of $3.2 billion to bring First Nations water systems up to the standards of comparable non-Indigenous communities in order to eliminate boil water advisories. A mercury treatment centre and care home was set to open in Grassy Narrows next month, based on a commitment made by former federal minister of Indigenous services Jane Philpott two years ago. WATER CRISIS. ', Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau held a town hall in Saskatoon Thursday night, No agreement between Ottawa, Grassy Narrows over proposed mercury care centre before election call, Where the party leaders are on Day 25 of the federal election campaign, CBC's Journalistic Standards and Practices. 50 years on, the community’s youth are determined to get justice. The decision could leave the federal government on the hook for billions of dollars in compensation. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh attacked the Liberals' record on Indigenous issues, saying the government's decision to appeal the latest ruling on compensation for Indigenous children demonstrates the kind of inaction that can be expected if they're re-elected.Â. On October 3rd, 1873 Treaty 3 was signed between the Crown and the Chiefs of the Salteaux Tribe of the Ojibway Indians. Last week I walked with those in support of Grassy Narrows and the River Run Walk. We say that clean water is a Human Right. In 1871, Grassy Narrows First Nation, together with other Ojibway tribes, made a treaty with the Canadian government, The Crown, in the person of Queen Victoria, giving up aboriginal title to a large tract of land in northwestern Ontario and eastern Manitoba, Treaty 3 between Her Majesty the Queen and the Saulteaux Tribe of the Ojibbeway Indians at the Northwest Angle on the Lake of the Woods with … The Supreme Court of Canada has repeatedly upheld historical indigenous or aboriginal rights, and clarified that in any development with potential impact on treaty rights the Crown has a duty to meaningfully consult and accommodate the affected First Nation, at a minimum. Die Grassy-Narrows-Blockade wird seit 2002 von einem aus rund 1300 Mitgliedern bestehenden Indianerstamm des Anishinabe-Volkes in der kanadischen Provinz Ontario, der Grassy Narrows First Nation, durchgeführt.Sie richtet sich gegen das Abholzen ihres traditionellen Gebietes, das sie als unverzichtbare Quelle für ihre Kultur betrachten. the Canadian Government is also in violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. ", Catherine McKenna, a Liberal candidate in Ottawa who serves as environment minister under Trudeau, acknowledged Saturday that there's "still a lot more work to do. The centre, once completed, would provide frontline care for those afflicted with mercury poisoning, as well as provide further study on its impact on the human body. Closed Captioning and Described Video is available for many CBC shows offered on CBC Gem. A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you. I figure that the Right to Life is an Indigenous Human Rights issue. 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