The Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Project at Muskrat Falls has been contentious since construction began in 2013. Recent studies by Harvard University scientists have shown that if the dam reservoir is not fully cleared of vegetation before flooding begins, there will likely be a significant increase in methylmercury in the watershed.
Labradorians have united to call on the federal and provincial governments to prevent this contamination, which will contaminate fish and game stocks, bringing an end to traditional lifestyles.
Actions against the flooding of Muskrat Falls have included a two week hunger-strike carried out by young Labradorians, the occupation of the Muskrat Falls construction site by 50 land protectors, and demonstrations attended by hundreds of people in Labrador and cities across the country.
This pressure led to an agreement made with the provincial government and Indigenous leaders promising consultation before beginning to flood. Despite the united efforts of Innu, Inuit, Metís, and settlers in Labrador, flooding of the Muskrat Falls reservoir began on November 5th, 2016.
This blog post was written by Christina Tellez, a Friend who has been involved in local grassroots efforts to prevent methylmercury contamination.
For news on Muskrat Falls we encourage you to visit The Independent and APTN.
Learn more about free, prior and informed consent and the human rights of Indigenous Peoples.