NDP MPP Sol Mamakwa (Kiiwetinoong), the critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, released the following statement regarding a new deal signed between the Grassy Narrows First Nation and the federal government to construct a mercury treatment centre:
“I congratulate the leadership of Grassy Narrows on securing an agreement with Canada to receive full funding to build a Mercury Care Home in the community. For generations of people who have been poisoned by the water in their community, this step forward offers some relief.
The advocacy work of the community has been ongoing for decades, and today we honour the youth, elders and community members who have worked hard for so long to see this happen. Grassy Narrows has waited a long time for justice for the suffering their people have faced since the mercury was released into the Wabigoon river 60 years ago, damaging their way of life on their land, and their health.
The Care Home is an important step in restoring health to the community, but there’s more to do. The treatment centre needs not only construction funding, but also ongoing operations funding. And the community needs more help to work towards remediation.
The provincial government cannot turn its back on Grassy Narrows, pretending the responsibility is all federal. It will take everyone working together to, someday, once again ensure the fish from the Wabigoon River are safe to eat and the waters are safe to drink.”
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