In November 1985, Wabaseemoong Independent Nations (formerly Islington, formerly Whitedog) and Grassy Narrows First Nation negotiated an out of court settlement with the federal government, the province of Ontario, and two paper companies (Reed Incorporated and Great Lakes Forest Products Limited) for all claims due to mercury contamination in the English and Wabigoon river systems. In 1986, both the federal government and the province of Ontario enacted legislation to carry out the terms of the settlement.
The settlement provided for the establishment of a Mercury Disability Fund and a Mercury Disability Board.
Members of Wabaseemoong Independent Nations and Grassy Narrows First Nation whose health may have been affected by mercury poisioning in the English and Wabigoon river systems may be entitled to an award from the Mercury Disability Fund.
The Mercury Disability Board supervises the administration of the Fund and oversees a claims and appeals process that is available to all Wabaseemoong and Grassy Narrows band members or those who are registered Indians who were customarily resident on one of the two reserves before the first day of October 1985.
If you are a community member of either Wabaseemoong Independent Nations or Grassy Narrows First Nation or a registered Indian who was customarily resident on one of the two affiliated reserves before the first day of October 1985 and believe that you may be affected by mercury contamination from the English and Wabigoon river systems, you may be eligible for an award. Click on the Claims Process link for more information.
Eligibility to Apply for Benefits
For a person to be eligible to apply for benefits (per legislation), that person must be a current member of Grassy Narrows First Nation or Wabaseemoong Independent Nations; a past member of one of the two bands; or a registered Indian who was customarily resident on one the two first nation communities prior to the first day of October 1985