Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Canada First Nations Community Alarmed by Shortage of Male Births

For nearly half a century, land around the Aamjiwnnang First Nation, has been almost completely surrounded by Canada's largest concentration of petrochemical manufacturing. While growing up, Ada Lockridge never thought much about the pollution from smokestacks or by oil slicks in the local creeks. But now, because of a shocking discovery, she worries all the time. There are two girls born for every boy in her small First Nations community. Experts say this ratio is so out of normal that it indicates serious environmental contamination by harmful chemicals.
The question is which ones?

Another even more pressing question is what else are these pollutants doing to the 850 members of this Chippewa Indian First Nations community? Statistics indicate that 25% of Aamjiwnaang children have behavioral or learning disabilities; Aamjiwnaang children suffer from asthma at three times the national rate; and 40% of women on the reserve have had at least one miscarriage or stillbirth.

The Aamjiwnaang are getting increasingly worried and obsessed about the pollution of their reserve. With every new baby, "We have to worry what's the matter with that child, five years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now." said Ron Plain, a member of the Aamjiwnaang environment committee. Some have suggested that the whole band should simply leave the reserve for a healthier place. But Plain wants to stay and fight by using the band's veto power over pipelines as a bargaining chip. In allowing companies a right-of-way, Plain says the Aamjiwnaang could require funds be established for air monitoring, cleaning up hazardous waste, and other environmental projects.

A clean up is definitely needed but these things take time. Perhaps this First Nations group should assess the best options for the future health of their people.

For more cultural items, see Canada First Nations Art at Free Spirit Gallery.


swanky panky said...

Have you heard about Deline NWT. It's near the Great Bear Lake, near where they want to put the proposed Mackenzie Valley Natural Gas Pipeline. It is a radioactive uranium mine that is killing the northern peoples. You might want to look it up... "Eldorado Nuclear", "Manhattan Project", "Village of Widows", how the Canadian government held a covert operation that ended up in the bombs dropped in Hiroshima.

Clint said...

Somehow I'm not surprised. Thanks for your comment.

Hoka-shay-honaqut said...

That rots.