(Toronto, March 28, 2019) – “It’s unfortunate and I find it unbecoming of the Prime Minister to be so disrespectful and cruel by adding insult to the decades long and tragic on-going situation affecting Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong First Nations.
While I acknowledge the Prime Minister’s apology, in order for it to be meaningful, he needs to take concrete action and collaborate with the two communities to address the ongoing mercury crisis.
I understand the community has requested a visit, and as Regional Chief, I do support the community in its request for a visit by Prime Minister Trudeau, perhaps alongside the local Member of Parliament and Minister O’Regan. I visited Grassy Narrows this past fall and I know that when the Prime Minister sees and feels the real pressures and environment that he will acquire a true appreciation and an ability to grasp the severity of this tragic situation. That kind of lived experience could provide him with a deeper understanding of the impact and the urgent need to address it.
Let’s take this moment and use our energy to create a positive movement forward with undeniable actions. There’s real opportunity to work in true partnership and build on the activities to date, like making the health, safety of the community and treatment centre a priority and move quickly.
We need the federal government, the province and the First Nation leadership working collaboratively to make real change for Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong First Nations and the time do that can’t continue to be tomorrow, it needs to start now.”
Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald
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