Grassy Narrows River Run , June 2 2016, Toronto

On a beautiful Thursday approximately 1,000 concerned people,  of all ages and walks of life,  gathered at Queen’s Park .1-DSC_04281-DSC_0436 They came by foot, transit, bicycle, wheel chairs and even a canoe to show solidarity and support for the people of Grassy Narrows. A contingent of 50 youth, elders, drummers had travelled for 2 days and over 1700 km. to again voice their concern and anger at a situation that has existed for over 5 decades.1-DSC_03731-DSC_0411 Between 1962 and 1970 Dryden Chemicals Inc., with provincial government permission, dumped 9,000 kgs. of Mercury into the Wabigoon River. The rest, as they say, is history. An ugly history of lives destroyed. a vibrant fishery and way of life altered for almost 60 years. 1-DSC_03941-DSC_0384As explained by Chief Simon Fobister unemployment went from 5% to 95%, and very serious health issues remain even in the people that weren’t even born when this occurred. Their pleas for help have so far gone unheard. Previous governments thinking the poison would simply wash away. Even more tragically the technology exists to right this wrong. The water can be cleaned and the fish can be made edible and life sustaining again. And over a couple of generations the health and well being of the people affected by this can return. But it will take some political will  to get the ball rolling.1-DSC_04571-DSC_05771-DSC_0480 Recently the Wynn government has softened their stance but in the words of Chief Simon Fobister it is indeed time for immediate action! The march from Queen’s Park to Allan Gardens, complete with hundreds of yards of blue ribbon and fish, was a symbolic river of humanity cutting through the streets of Toronto.1-DSC_06081-DSC_05431-DSC_0625 As sad as it may be that these types of gatherings still have to take place it is a very wonderful feeling to be together with this many fellow humans sharing  such a just cause. 1-DSC_04861-DSC_05031-DSC_0563To the people of Grassy Narrows, Thank You all. Thanks for coming. Thanks for speaking out and singing. Thanks for marching, drumming and dancing. As you saw, you are not alone. 1-DSC_06601-DSC_0676To our Premiere, simply, do the right thing. As one of the placards reminded us., “We are all down river”.  I read somewhere that approximately half of the world’s fresh water is within Canadian borders, surely we should take that stewardship seriously and with the utmost importance. 1-DSC_0474

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