Amnesty International UK. Giver the long history of broken promises and stalled government action, Grassy Narrows and their supports remain vigilent about whether or not this promise will be fulfilled. A proposed law to incorporate the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Declaration) into Canadian law, which had been passed by the House of Commons, was blocked in … It's all connected to the land." First name. “Federal and provincial management of the lands and territories of Grassy Narrows have left a legacy of extreme environmental contamination and a long-ignored community health crisis,” said Craig Benjamin, Amnesty International’s Campaigner for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Thanks to you, the Canadian federal government has agreed to build a long-awaited treatment centre for the First Nations community of Grassy Narrows who have been affected by mercury poisoning. Saturday, June 15, 2019 - 11:22 Young people from Grassy Narrows are travelling to Toronto for a massive rally on June 20th to focus attention to urgency of addressing the crisis of mercury poisoning facing their First Nation. Their lands have been flooded, the community relocated and their waters badly contaminated. The Indigenous community of Grassy Narrows in north-western Ontario, Canada, has been pushed to the brink of destruction by the actions of governments and corporations. Fishing is central to their culture, traditions and economy. CTV News Winnipeg. 1 The people of the Asubpeeshoseewagong Netum Anishinaabek (Grassy Narrows First Nation) in northwestern Ontario have said no to industrial development in their traditional territory. “It’s no coincidence that three of our highest priority human rights cases in Canada all revolve around contamination and threats to the rivers and lakes on which Indigenous peoples depend for their livelihoods and ways of life,” says Tara Scurr, business and human rights campaigner with Amnesty International Canada. In 2008, the Boise paper company – a major client of AbitibiBowater's Fort Frances mill – announced that it would stop buying pulp from wood logged at Grassy Narrows until the community gave its consent. “Our survey confirms what leaders of Grassy Narrows have been saying for decades,” said renowned environmental health scientist and lead author Dr. Donna Mergler. 50 years on, the community’s youth are determined to get justice. Grassy Narrows First Nations youth are renowned for their activism, art, and leadership in spite of mercury burden. Amnesty International Canada’s position on the conflict over logging at Grassy Narrows 312 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa, ON K1N 1H9 1 800 AMNESTY | www.amnesty.ca. Don't have an account? Create one now. Amnesty International ist die weltweit größte Bewegung, die für die Menschenrechte eintritt. For decades, the Grassy Narrows Indigenous community have been suffering the effects of mercury poisoning in one of Canada’s worst health crises. Back page: O Amnesty International 'Anis > Tle been a commu ity's yo rassy ter th was ng effects seen o a sential part ofthei:r -waý of life. Because of government inaction, generations of young people have grown up with devastating health problems and the loss of their cultural traditions. Let protecting human rights be your legacy. Supreme Court ruling: Issue of logging at Grassy Narrows still unresolved, 312 Laurier Ave E. Ottawa, ON. - Judy DaSilva, Grassy Narrows, "We have struggled for many years to save our way of life in the face of clear-cut logging, which has contaminated our waters and destroyed our lands. Join the global movement for human rights. Meg Illman-White, a minister at Knox United Church, has been writing letters as part of this campaign for 11 years. Amnesty International backing Grassy Narrows youth with letter writing campaign; Amnesty International calls Facebook, Google rights abusers; Other … Every December, Amnesty supporters across the globe will write millions of letters for people whose basic human rights are being attacked. In February 2017, the long efforts of the people of Grassy Narrows finally led to a promise by the provincial Premier that the river would be cleaned up and that Grassy Narrows would lead the efforts. These remarkable victories, however, have taken place against the backdrop of an ongoing, unresolved and largely unacknowledged tragedy. The Indigenous community of Grassy Narrows, Canada, has been devastated by mercury poisoning. Amnesty International is working with youth from Grassy Narrows on a letter-writing campaign. “All measures must be taken to ensure that this facility is established quickly, effectively and in collaboration with the people of Grassy Narrows in order to uphold the community’s right to much-needed health care resulting from years of grave human rights violations. We want that mercury cleaned up. The authoritative report is the first study to link higher rates of health and wellbeing challenges in Grassy Narrows’ children with exposure to mercury, a potent neurotoxin, from local fish. The youth of Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) First Nation are demanding the Canadian government keep its promises to finally address the mercury crisis in their community. In 2002, community members at Grassy Narrows launched a blockade to stop clearcut logging in their traditional territory. Month. Like their parents and grandparents, Grassy youth are asking federal officials to build a mercury treatment facility and properly compensate community members. Forgotten your password? Forgotten your password? However, the province has never ruled out renewed logging, with or without the community's consent. By the early 1970s it was discovered that natural processes had transformed the mercury into the deadly form of methyl-mercury which had accumulated in fish to such levels that commercial fishing in these waters was shut down. Last week, Neskantaga First Nation demanded action from federal parties on its 20-year boil-water advisory, the longest running drinking water advisory in Canada. Healthcare win for Grassy Narrows Youth. Write for Rights demands justice for youth from First Nation in northwestern Ontario WINNIPEG – Amnesty International’s annual global letter-writing campaign is taking aim at the devastating mercury crisis that youth in Asubpeeschoseewagong, also known as Grassy Narrows First Nation, have been fighting to end. “It is long past time for the government to take responsibility to fix what they have broken, clean up our river, and help us out rather than kicking us while we are down.” -- Grassy Narrows Chief Roger Fobister Sr. For almost a decade, Amnesty International has stood with the people of Grassy Narrows in their long struggle to determine for themselves the fate of the forest and waters on which they depend. The youth of Grassy Narrows continue to fight for environmental justice. The blockade is one of the longest running Indigenous land protests in Canadian history. 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. For almost a decade, Amnesty International has stood with the people of Grassy Narrows in their long struggle to determine for themselves the fate of the forest and waters on which they depend. Issues; Campaigns; Priority Countries; Projects; Legal Briefs- Partners in Justice; Get Involved. Shortly afterward, AbitibiBowater announced that its Fort Frances mill would stop processing wood from Grassy Narrows. Sign in; Register; E-mail. Join the global movement for human rights. In the original trial decision, an Ontario court concluded that – because of the terms of the Treaty and the particular history of the region – only the federal government, not the provincial government, has the authority to make decisions about development on the portion of the Grassy Narrows traditional territory called the Keewatin area. The protecting of Indigenous rights in Canadian law requires a process of good faith consultation and meaningful accommodation of Indigenous concerns whenever government decisions might affect the rights of Indigenous peoples. On human rights day, a teen from Grassy Narrows is one of 10 youth chosen by Amnesty International for their Write for Rights campaign. It is hard to imagine a people more deserving of rigorous human rights and environmental protection -- and the respectful collaboration of our elected officials – than the people of Grassy Narrows. CTV News Winnipeg. Judy Da Silva, Grassy Narrows, quoted today in The Toronto Star One of the things that has stayed with me with from Amnesty’s first official research mission to Grassy Narrows, almost 15 years ago, was the story shared by a young mother who had only recently learned about the dangers of mercury contamination of their river system. Schreib einen Brief an den kanadischen Premierminister. Darwin and Afeni are from Grassy Narrows, Canada, a first nations reserve that has been devastated by mercury poisoning. Imagine the difference it could have made if, instead of denying that mercury was even a threat, these governments had shouldered their responsibilities and worked with the community from the outset to ensure that young people could practice their rights and traditions in a safe and healthy environment.”. OTTAWA, Oct. 13, 2015 /CNW/ - Over ninety organizations and First Nation communities sent an open letter to federal party leaders today urging them to prioritize funding commitments to end the drinking water crises in Indigenous communities. Today Grassy Narrows released a ground-breaking new report by renowned mercury expert Dr. Donna Mergler. Grassy Narrows has long asserted that the mercury poisoning of the English and Wabigoon rivers in Northwestern Ontario continues to impact new generations of their children, and are in Ottawa to call upon Prime Minister Trudeau to take action. Amnesty International’s ongoing research at Grassy Narrows has confirmed that the province of Ontario has allowed large-scale logging to proceed without adequate human rights protections and in violation of its own obligations under Canadian law. Canada: 'A place to regain who we are': Grassy Narrows First Nation, Canada 21 June 2009, Index number: AMR 20/001/2009 Canada: 'A place to regain who we are': Grassy Narrows First Nation, Canada 21 June 2009, Index number: AMR 20/001/2009 About Amnesty International These children did not choose this legacy of poisoning they have inherited.” - Judy DaSilva, Grassy Narrows environmental health coordinator and a mother of five. Instead, the provincial government continues its effort to clearcut their traditional territory over the opposition of the people of Grassy Narrows. Amnesty International is backing youth from Grassy Narrows First Nation in their bid for clean water by focusing its annual, global letter writing campaign on the community’s decades-long fight against toxic mercury poisoning. Because of government inaction, generations of young Indigenous people have grown up with devastating health problems … You can help Save lives, Stop torture, Bring justice and Protect human rights. For decades, the Grassy Narrows Indigenous community have been suffering the effects of mercury poisoning in one of Canada’s worst health crises. The Grassy Narrows people have a special relationship to the river. Over the past 50 years, toxic mercury has poisoned rivers and fish vital to the Indigenous Anishinaabe community of Grassy Narrows. Canada K1N 1H9. Today’s Supreme Court ruling on logging at Grassy Narrows reaffirms important limitations on the power of governments in Canada to make decisions that could undermine the ability of Indigenous peoples to live off the land. We put our trust in the … Astonishingly, information obtained by the community over the last year, along with recent media reports, paints a picture of the treatment of Grassy Narrows at the hands of both the federal and provincial governments that is even worse than anyone had imagined. Grassy Narrows issue page. In a September 2007 briefing paper, Amnesty International urged the province of Ontario to respect the moratorium called by the people of Grassy Narrows so that their rights would not be further eroded by continued large-scale resource extraction activities taking place against their wishes. This is the first study of its kind in Grassy Narrows, and the most comprehensive assessment of the health of the community to date. “The federal and provincial governments owe the people of Grassy Narrows a debt of justice. Responding to today’s announcement, Amnesty International Canada said that the First Nation’s assertion of its inherent rights is an opportunity for the federal and provincial governments to finally treat the people of Grassy Narrows with justice and respect. Support us on Patreon! The people of Grassy Narrows consider clear-cut logging to be an unacceptable threat to their remaining ability to live off the land, and a key factor in the persistent contamination of their territory. They are among ten youth activists featured this year in Amnesty International’s annual global letter-writing campaign, Write for Rights. The mercury contamination of the waters of the Grassy Narrows First Nation – a situation now a half-century old and still unresolved – is one of the more notorious environmental disasters in Canadian history. Learn more . Amnesty International is urging its members and supporters to do all they can to help this vital and timely campaign. For more than a decade, the community has been fighting against large-scale, clear-cut logging on their traditional lands. In the face of a successful community blockade of logging, the province has entered into talks about the long term management of the forest. This year, Amnesty International chose to highlight ten cases from around the world, but one case hit close to home for many at Tuesday’s event: the issue of mercury poisoning for members of Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) First Nation, Distroscale. Amnesty International responds to the tragic passing of Grassy Narrows leader Steve Fobister Sr. - Oct 19, 2018 Get Rid of Ads. Amnesty International Canada 30 May 2019 PUBLIC STATEMENT Grassy Narrows deserves better than delays and half-measures Our organizations are deeply disappointed that the federal government has failed to take decisive action to guarantee that survivors of mercury poisoning at Grassy Narrows will get the medical care they need and deserve. To help amplify their urgent call, the youth-led campaign for mercury justice was one of the focal cases of last month's global Write for Rights campaign, marking the beginning of a year-long campaign to mobilize Amnesty members and supporters in Canada and around the world. The youth of Grassy Narrows continue to fight for environmental justice. Community members had worked as guides and as staff in the many commercial fishing lodges. Mercury justice now #FreeGrassy. Read Amnesty International's daily press releases and tweets, Provide hope to prisoners around the world, even in their darkest hour, Learn more about leaving a gift in your will, See the latest book, discussion guide and peruse the bookshelf, Canada: Stop investing in environmental and human rights harm, AI Canada feature films on Guatemala and Mining, Corporate accountability civil lawsuit filed in Vancouver, Canadian Extractives As Development Slideshow. Grassy Narrows youth were one of ten global cases focused on young human rights defenders leading the charge for change in their communities. Read Amnesty International's daily press releases and tweets, Provide hope to prisoners around the world, even in their darkest hour, Learn more about leaving a gift in your will, See the latest book, discussion guide and peruse the bookshelf, Canada: Stop investing in environmental and human rights harm, AI Canada feature films on Guatemala and Mining, Corporate accountability civil lawsuit filed in Vancouver, Canadian Extractives As Development Slideshow. “I believe some babies in our community continue to be born sick because of the mercury poison that is still in the river. The young people in this study were born and grew up after the federal and provincial governments had already washed their hands of the mercury crisis at Grassy Narrows. 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