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Mercury Rising: The Poisoning of Grassy Narrows

Mercury Rising: The Poisoning of Grassy Narrows

The Story


Between 1962 and 1970, natives in two northwest Ontario communities sat down to daily meals of poison. Their staple food -- fish -- had record-high levels of mercury from a chemical plant up the river. Debate still rages over just how sick the mercury has made the people of Grassy Narrows and Whitedog reserves. There is no doubt, however, that the lingering pollution was a disaster for the natives and the lodge owners who had employed them as fishing guides. Their source of food and jobs destroyed, the bands endured years of alcoholism and despair, government neglect and, finally, healing.