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Chief Rudy Turtle of the Grassy Narrows First Nation has long-been advocating for the clean-up of mercury in the English and Wabigoon river systems – which has been impacting and poisoning Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong members for generations. In 2012 he joined the Mercury Working Group to discuss issues and solutions with representatives from the Ministries of Environment, Aboriginal Affairs and Natural resources, and has since spoken out many times on the need for proper mercury testing and rehabilitation of the people and land.

Last year Turtle announced a ban on future industrial activities like logging, mining and mineral staking in the Whiskey Jack Forest, much of which is included in the Grassy Narrows First Nation traditional territory. Traditional hunting, fishing and trapping (of which Turtle takes part) are allowed, as well as building traditional cabins, sustainable harvesting of plants and animals, eco-tourism, scientific study and environmental remediation.

Rudy Turtle

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