Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation, also known as Grassy Narrows, is an Ojibway community 80 km north of Kenora, Ontario, with just under 1,000 members who live there. During the 1960s and 1970s a pulp and paper mill contaminated the soil and the nearby English-Wabigoon river with mercury that has resulted in widespread poisoning of soil, animals and people. The full extent of the poisoning has only recently been fully acknowledged, though the community has been feeling the effects now for generations. In this study students will look at the science behind heavy metal poisoning and also the long-term effects it has on people and their culture. It will also examine how non-indigenous industry directly affects the lives of Indigenous people. This lesson will highlight how this community is closely connected to its environment, not just physically but mentally and spiritually, and look at ways of accessing voice from that community.
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