Anishinabek show support for Grassy Narrows

UOI OFFICES, ON, April 7 /CNW/ - Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee says that the government hasn't done enough for the First Nation communities effected by mercury poisoning from the English-Wabigoon River system.

"The communities of Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong have gone far too long without having their health concerns addressed," said the Grand Council Chief during a peaceful protest today at Queen's Park. "The fallout from river contamination 40 years ago continues to affect those who are born today.

"Would members of the Ontario Legislature or the House of Commons tolerate a situation where their families' primary source of water and food was contaminated by a lethal poison? I doubt it very much.

"The Anishinabek Nation fully supports the Grassy Narrows community in their fight to be heard by governments," said Madahbee. "Governments and industry have polluted First Nations' land and water for decades. Enough is enough."

The Chiefs in Ontario office also released a water declaration titled "Water Declaration of the Anishinaabek, Mushkegowuk and Onkwehonwe" in 2008. The goal of the Water Declaration is to assist First Nation communities in dealing with the water challenges they face. The Water Declaration speaks to the relationship of First Nation peoples to the waters, the condition of the waters, water rights and treaties, and self determination. The Water Declaration is a tool that can assist all peoples in protecting the waters from contamination.

A peaceful protest called "A River Run" took place April 7 starting at Grange Park and continuing on to Queen's Park where Chief Simon Fobister delivered the community's call to action on World Health Day. The "River Run" included men, women and children, First Nations and non-Aboriginal people in a show of support.

The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 40 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.

SOURCE Anishinabek Nation

For further information: For further information: Marci Becking, Communications Officer, Union of Ontario Indians, Phone: (705) 497-9127 (ext. 2290), Cell: (705) 494-0735, E-mail:, - add Anishinabek Nation

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