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

Updated: Westlake home damaged in Tuesday afternoon fire

Woman and her cat escaped injury when fire hit home

Ponoka council to discuss labour contract

Town workers can serve 72-hour strike notice

Policy analyst to run for Alberta Liberals in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake byelection

Nick Jansen says health and education should be preserved

Sharing the road during motorcycle season

Being visible to other drivers is important

VIDEO: What separation from parents does to children: ‘The effect is catastrophic’

This is what happens inside children when they are forcibly separated from… Continue reading

Ten Humboldt Broncos bus crash survivors meet in Las Vegas for NHL awards

HUMBOLDT, Sask. — Ten of the 13 survivors from the Humboldt Broncos… Continue reading

Triathletes young and old prepare for weekend event in Red Deer

Woody’s Triathlon goes Saturday and Sunday

Driver knocks over metal barricade, rolls several times in crash near Olds

A man is in hospital after his SUV trashed into the QEII… Continue reading

In tit-for-tat, Trump threatens more tariffs against China

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has directed the U.S. Trade Representative to… Continue reading

Commons Speaker says no to Tory calls for emergency debate on Canada-U.S. trade

OTTAWA — The official Opposition is calling for an emergency debate in… Continue reading

Accused homeowner to testify in own defence in Hamilton murder trial

HAMILTON — A Hamilton-area homeowner accused of gunning down a suspected truck… Continue reading

Opioid death toll nearly 4,000 last year, new data shows

OTTAWA — New government figures show that nearly 4,000 Canadians died from… Continue reading

Smoking hits new low; about 14 per cent of US adults light up

NEW YORK — Smoking in the U.S. has hit another all-time low.… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month