Health in Grassy Narrows ‘significantly worse’ than other First Nations: report

TORONTO — A new health survey commissioned by Grassy Narrows First Nation shows that decades after mercury was dumped into a river system, the physical and mental health of people there is “significantly worse” than that of other First Nations in Canada.

The community-based health survey found that there are fewer elders in Grassy Narrows, which they say suggests people there are dying prematurely.

It also found that residents of the northern Ontario reserve are 37 per cent more likely to have suicidal thoughts than other First Nations and are 28 per cent more likely to attempt suicide.

The study also indicates that adult residents over 50 who reported eating more fish as children had experienced poorer success in school and are two times more likely to have an annual income of less than $20,000.

Donna Mergler, a mercury expert at Universite du Quebec a Montreal, who conducted the study, says it is the strongest evidence to date that links a number of “grave” health problems in the community to eating mercury-contaminated fish.

Mercury contamination has plagued the English-Wabigoon River system for half a century, since a paper mill in Dryden, Ont., dumped 9,000 kilograms of the substance into the river systems in the 1960s.

The Ontario government has pledged to spend $85 million to remediate the contamination of the river.

Just Posted

One strong wind leaves years of replanting work for Red Deer parks staff

High visibility boulevards already replanted, neighbourhood work starts next year

Red Deerians await local cannabis stores

So far 31 stores in Alberta awarded licence to operate

Rimbey RCMP seek missing man with health concerns

Has anyone seen Bill Harris of Ponka County?

Central Alberta born jaguar dies

Mia was the first jaguar in the world to receive stem cell treatment

Updated: Two men facing kidnapping charges in connection with abduction

48-year-old woman was allegedly abducted in Red Deer on Oct. 17

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Local Sports: Rudy Soffo valuable to Kings on the court

When Rudy Soffo first saw the RDC basketball Kings roster he was… Continue reading

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Most Read