CHARLIE ANGUS' LETTER TO SUPPORTERS - DECEMBER 7, 2018
Updated: Jan 4, 2019
Nearly 3 months have passed since I wrote to you about the ongoing crisis in Grassy Narrows. I had just travelled to the community and I shared with you my shock that over 80% of the children attending school there suffer some level of cognitive damage from the mercury poisoning of the Wabigoon-English River.
That's almost 90 days of this government not understanding that for the people of Grassy Narrows, urgency means action now.
What does the widespread poisoning by mercury mean for this generation of children at Grassy Narrows? It means seizures, physical disabilities, vision and hearing issues, behavioural problems, depression. One teacher told me that in some children their cognitive learning is so affected they may learn that 2+2=4 one day, only to forget it the next.
This week I was with the youth from Grassy Narrows as they took their fight to Ottawa. These young leaders are brave and committed to their community and deserve so much better from this government.
Please take a moment to watch this exchange with Minister Jane Philpott where I ask her to respond to the medical call for an "urgent need for action."
Friends, I was really disappointed with Minister Philpott's response.
We don't need more self-congratulations and spin. We need a recognition that what has been done to the people at Grassy Narrows is an unprecedented environmental and cultural crime.
I've spent months trying to prod Indigenous Services officials into responding to the lack of special education funding for children at the school in the community. Click here to read my letter to the minister on the issue.
It shouldn't be this way.
If you want to help, please email Minister Philpott and urge her to commit to a full special needs assessment for every single child in this community. If you prefer to send a letter by mail, the address is:
Indigenous Services Canada Terrasses de la Chaudiere 10 Wellington North Tower Gatineau, QC K1A 0H4
I will continue to work with the people of Grassy Narrows. They are a proud and determined people. It is an honour to stand by their side. Join me.
Thank you, Charlie