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Two First Nations want to find out cause of sickness

The Grassy Narrows First Nation and the Wabauskang First Nation of Ontario are undertaking a study to find out why people on the reserves are getting sick.

A preliminary study showed high levels of heavy metals and mercury in foods like otter, beaver and fish. The First Nations want to know if the chemicals are linked to cancer, type two diabetes and thyroid conditions among their people.

In the 1960s and 1970s, contamination from a pulp mill upstream was linked to birth defects in Native children and other health problems. The government made the First Nations shut down their fishery.

Get the Story:
First Nations' study targets mercury, illnesses (CBC 8/11)

Ongoing Series:
Mercury Rising: The Poisoning of Grassy Narrows (CBC News)