APTN News, December 3, 2019. In Nova Scotia last year, an attempt was made to establish a legal precedent for environmental racism. “No more fancy talk, no more studies. Ingrid Waldron, associate professor at the Dalhousie University School of Nursing, wanted to learn more about this “environmental racism” and its impact on these communities. Environmental Racism in Canadian News Discourse. Home. Currently the longest standing blockade in Canadian history. This essay will detail the environmental justice struggles of the Grassy Narrows First Nation, point out the unfair treatment and environmental racism they have been subject to and will also. It also smacks of racism, specifically, environmental racism. … Drawing upon primary and secondary sources, as well as personal experiences, I discuss how corporations and the Ontario and … Bibliography. A decision was made, however, to let the river remediate itself. There are a lot of health issues that came out of that case – people are still dealing with the health issues and skin rashes on children. WATER CRISIS. Yet, environmental racism is not relegated to the U.S. Others are very specific to Grassy Narrows and neighboring Whitedog Nation: a paper mill that dumped mercury upstream for over a decade. In addition, large patrilineal clans divide… The notion of “environmental racism” was first articulated in the 1980s by Rev. Then there’s Grassy Narrows First Nation. OTTAWA – Whether it’s the devastating legacy of mercury contamination at Grassy Narrows, ongoing pollution from the Mount Polley mining disaster, or the looming threat of the Site C dam construction, Amnesty International says government decisions that ignore the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples must be recognized as a form of environmental racism. In light of these and other failings, Benjamin cannot but interpret the saga as one of “racism and discrimination against indigenous peoples.”. Another hard truth to confront, and remedy, on the path to truth and reconciliation. presentation-ready copies of Toronto Star content for distribution Abstract Despite recent growth in research involving environmental issues in Canada, interest in environmental racism remains scant. It turns out that the Grassy Narrows residents were told that Reed Paper had dumped ten tonnes of mercury into the Wabigoon River system between 1962 and 1970, but were told that the waterways would naturally clean themselves over time … The Grassy Narrows people have a long, deeply …show more content… Environmental justice links a number of social movements—anti-racism, Aboriginals rights, and the mainstream environmental movement—and addresses the problem of environmental racism (Gosine & Teelucksignh, 2008, p. 11). While Chief Fobister suggests his community’s unaddressed mercury contamination is a result of “wilful neglect,” it might also be the result of something more insidious. Grassy Narrows reminds Canada of unkept promises as AFN sets its priority agenda. The report, authored by UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Toxics who completed a visit to Canada in 2019, shines the spotlight on longstanding discriminatory and health devastating pollution experienced by Indigenous and Black communities across Canada including the mercury pollution crisis in Grassy Narrows, the pollution from petrochemical plants in Aamjiwnaang … Taking Action. This is a form of environmental racism… This understanding helps contextualize the environmental events plaguing Asabiinyashkosiwagong Nitam-Anishinaabeg (Grassy Narrows First Nation) and Wabaseemoong (White Dog) Independent Nations in northwestern Ontario, which started over 50 years ago at the pulp and paper mill in Dryden, Ontario. He noted in a recent email to me that the government’s failure to acknowledge the nature of the harm inflicted on the community, to conduct ongoing health monitoring, to provide specialized health services for mercury poisoning, and to clean up the river spelled out something more than neglect. For over half a century, the Grassy Narrows First Nation of Northwestern Ontario has been plagued by this odious chemical intruder in their water, fish, and bloodstreams, with appallingly flaccid government responses. The Case of Grassy Narrows Abstract: Grassy Narrows (Ontario, Canada) came to public attention in 1970 when it … Grassy Narrows chief calls on Ottawa to end delays on mercury treatment centre. Amnesty says the 2014 Mount Polley mine disaster in British Columbia, the ongoing harmful impacts of industrial pollution at Grassy Narrows, and the construction of the Site C dam in B.C.’s Peace Valley all represent instances of environmental racism and threats to fresh water. They migrated northward and westward during the late 17th and early 18th centuries in search of animals to supply the fur trade. e Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation (also known as Grassy Narrows First Nation or the Asabiinyashkosiwagong Nitam-Anishinaabeg in the Ojibwe language) is an Ojibwe First Nations band government who inhabit northern Kenora in Ontario, Canada. In Canada, as the environmental law group Ecojustice has argued, examples of environmental racism can be found among black communities in Nova Scotia, and in the contaminated water that pockmarks dozens of indigenous communities across Canada. The ongoing on-reserve water crisis, Heiltsuk Nation’s experience with the Nathan E. Stewart disaster, and the mercury poisoning of the Grassy Narrows community are but three toxic examples of environmental racism in Canada that persist to the present day. Grassy Narrows. Read More. While Chief Fobister suggests his community’s unaddressed mercury contamination is a result of “wilful neglect,” it might also be the result of something more insidious. 1) clear cutting of their lands (para. Environmental racism is the disproportionate proximity and greater exposure of Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities to polluting industries and environmentally hazardous activities. The degree of neglect and environmental racism shown toward the members of this community point toward a form of genocide carried out by both levels of government. In the tragic case of Grassy Narrows, we also cannot afford to “keep the blinders on.” As Chief Fobister recounts, when the mercury exposure came to light in the 1970s, the commercial fishing industry, the backbone of the Grassy Narrows economy, collapsed. Water crisis in Indigenous Communities Across Canada . Benjamin Chavis, then with the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice in the U.S. Though the contamination of the river and the Grassy Narrows community has been long-known and well-documented, the perduring poisoning, and apparently the leaching of mercury, continues. Hazardous waste sites, landfills, incinerators and coal-fired plants were often placed in areas comprised largely of African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and the working poor. To order Benjamin Chavis, then with the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice in the U.S. Grassy Narrows, Ontario. Though the contamination of the river and the Grassy Narrows community has been long-known and well-documented, the perduring poisoning, and apparently the leaching of mercury, continues. Environmental Racism To begin with, a definition of environmental justice is necessary. All The fur trade shifted this practice toward trapping smaller animals and trading their furs. For over half a century, the Grassy Narrows First Nation of Northwestern Ontario has been plagued by this odious chemical intruder in their water, fish, … The community of Grassy Narrows has been showing the effects of mercury poisoning since 1970, and to date clean up of the affected areas has not yet taken place. Stephen Bede Scharper, a Fellow of Trinity College, teaches environmental studies at the University of Toronto. In light of these and other failings, Benjamin cannot but interpret the saga as one of “racism and discrimination against indigenous peoples.”. March 21, 2019. Such targeting was often deliberate. Initiated on December 3, 2002, to stop the clear cutting of the surrounding forests by the world's largest manufacturer of newsprint, Abitibi Consolidated. The commission, after opposing a proposed toxic-waste site slated for a poor, largely African-American community in North Carolina, launched a regional study that revealed a disturbing pattern. The citing of dangerous chemical plants in impoverished communities, such as the Union Carbide Plant in Bhopal, India, where more than 8,000 were killed in a poisonous gas explosion in December 1984, provides a ghastly example. Sociologist Robert Bullard’s groundbreaking 1990 work, Dumping in Dixie, confirmed this trend, showing that to be impoverished, or a person of colour, in the U.S. often meant enduring a disproportionate share of pollution. For Craig Benjamin, indigenous rights co-ordinator for Amnesty International, Grassy Narrows is a clear example of environmental racism. More. 27) and subsequent degradation of their land, water and food sources. A decision was made, however, to let the river remediate itself. That means it is the result of institutional policies and practices, rather than individual beliefs and actions. To order copies of Environmental destruction. Press Release. Another example of this horrific impact of environmental racism is the mercury poisoning in the Grassy Narrows community where Indigenous people are dying young due to long-term mercury exposure. 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, Environmental Racism is Alive and Well in Grassy Narrows, Ontario government to fund new study of Grassy Narrows’ water, One family’s lonely battle against mercury poisoning: Wells. Stephen.scharper@utoronto.ca, Copyright owned or licensed by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. In Nova Scotia last year, an attempt was made to establish a legal precedent for environmental racism. expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited and/or its licensors. Another hard truth to confront, and remedy, on the path to truth and reconciliation. Ancestors of the northern Ojibwe are thought to have originally inhabited the north shore of the upper Great Lakes. Natalia Ilyniak. The Problem. In Canada, as the environmental law group Ecojustice has argued, examples of environmental racism can be found among black communities in Nova Scotia, and in the contaminated water that pockmarks dozens of indigenous communities across Canada. So declared Chief Simon Fobister of the Grassy Narrows First Nation earlier this month, commenting on the continuing, unconscionable mercury levels in the waters flowing through his community. So declared Chief Simon Fobister of the Grassy Narrows First Nation earlier this month, commenting on the continuing, unconscionable mercury levels in the waters flowing through his community. The experiences of Africville, Grassy Narrows First Nation, Boat Harbour, and Aamjiwnaang First Nation are only a few of many cases of environmental racism in Canada. The fur trade economy transformed Ojibwe social organization and resource use. He noted in a recent email to me that the government’s failure to acknowledge the nature of the harm inflicted on the community, to conduct ongoing health monitoring, to provide specialized health services for mercury poisoning, and to clean up the river spelled out something more than neglect. Such marginalized groups were perceived as weak, vulnerable citizens unable to rally against the poisoning of their neighbourhoods. And no systematic government monitoring has taken place since that time. to colleagues, clients or customers, or inquire about Though defeated, there is speculation the bill might be reintroduced. Environmental Racism 2087 Words | 9 Pages. Subject: A National Strategy to Redress Environmental Racism (Bill C-230) Moves to Second Reading in the House of Commons on December 3, 2020.. On Thursday, December 3, 2020, the MP for Cumberland-Colchester will be putting the federal private members bill A National Strategy to Redress Environmental Racism (Bill C-230) forward to second reading in the House of Commons. Environmental racism is a form of systemic racism, rather than individual racism. And no systematic government monitoring has taken place since that time. “Most people are familiar with the social determinants of health, but very rarely do we consider the environmental factors,” said Waldron. 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