Environmental Racism: There’s Something in the Water
For Immediate Release: September 29, 2020
Marginalized people most often feel the negative impacts of environmental devastation. In Canada that means Indigenous, Blacks and other people of colour. The pattern has - and continues - to repeat itself.
“It’s environmental racism. It's blatant and systemic.” Said Evan Ferrari, Executive Director of eMERGE Guelph Sustainability. “As a society we all have to take responsibility for this regardless of whether it happens in Nova Scotia, Sarnia or Grassy Narrows” he continued.
One of the most egregious cases in the country is on the Pictou Landing First Nation in Nova Scotia. There, a pulp and paper mill dumped toxic effluent directly into Boat Harbour, on the reserve, for over 50 years. It's been devastating for the community.
Professor Ingrid Waldron will share with Guelph her work on this issue that led to an award winning book and a documentary by actor Ellen Page. (The film went on to be highlighted at TIFF and now can be found on Netflix -see below).
“In Canada, your postal code determines your health,” says Dr. Waldron of Dalhousie University in Halifax. “We know that where you live has bearing on your well-being. Indigenous and black communities are the ones that tend to be located near hazardous sites.”
With deep roots in Nova Scotia, actor Ellen Page found it difficult to sit by and watch things get worse. “You see how these issues are life or death, literally,” she said to Time Magazine. “The lack of response by the government and how much individuals have been silenced in these situations is absolutely just atrocious and appalling.”
Dr. Ingrid Waldron will discuss the legacy of environmental racism in Indigenous and Black communities in Canada and present the approach we all must take to address the effects of environmental racism in Guelph and around the country.
Joining Ingrid will be Kween, Executive Director of the Guelph Black Heritage Society. Kween and Ingrid will discuss Boat Harbour while looking at the issue of racism locally - environmental and otherwise.
Join eMERGE as they host Dr. Ingrid Waldron, the author of " There’s Something in the Water".
About eMERGE Guelph - eMERGE Guelph Sustainability fights climate change to build a healthier society. It does this by engaging, and equipping Guelphites to transition to a 100% renewable energy (100RE) economy. It uses the narrative of achieving 100% Renewable Energy by 2050 as a positive goal to win this battle. This is done primarily by helping people reduce energy and water use through an individual residential focus along with community events, outreach and engagement that promote smart behavior, policy and improved efficiency to help Guelph build a road map to beat climate change and achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050.
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