A new dump across the Bay still pollutes our backyard

Dear Editor,

On March 12th, 2009, I found myself in a small office on Bay St. in Toronto sitting with Mr. Gord Miller, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario and also with the local MP of the area. Our topic of discussion was the attempt to save our most valued resource that our Great Spirit left on Mother Earth – WATER.

I was invited by Danny Beaton – the editor of The First Nations Drum, – whom I met way back at a native gathering at Cape Croker. He asked for my help in his attempt to stop a large garbage dump being opened near Penetanguishene, close to the shores of Georgian Bay.

The site now has an aquifer with the continuous flow of 600 gallons per hour. This is connected with the Municipalities of Clearwater and Coldwater, whose water systems are connected.

Mr. Miller says he has already approved the garbage dump to be opened!

As a Native person I believe it is part of my responsibility however small to get behind Danny the Mohawk in the attempt to save our most valuable resource. The biggest concern is that the dump is so close to a creek which drains into a river that empties into Georgian Bay. This should be of interest to every Canadian that depends on Georgian Bay – for their drinking water, for their livelihood through sports and tourism activities, for fishing opportunities, for inspiration to clear thinking about what is really important for our welfare on this planet.


As one who has spent a large amount of time on Georgian Bay, I have depended on its valuable resource for my very existence, especially when  I was a  child on the Cape Croker Indian Reserve. I feel I have no choice at this time but to support Danny’s attempt to stop this dump from ever having the opportunity to drain into – carrying who knows what pollutants into Georgian Bay.

Many locals will be able to remember back to the year 1953, when something in our waters wiped out our trout, whitefish and herring and depleted our carp, bass, suckers and lingcod. I know this happened – I lived it.

If it can happen once, it can happen twice. Around the table at the meeting was a representative from the United Nations. Even the area MP does not support the dump site. Also attending was native elder Jamelda Johnston, who has been an activist in trying to get our Native ship back on course.

An eagle feather to Jamelda — only with trying can we succeed! I will try to get our Council and Chief behind this effort to save our waters. The Natives of the area should have been consulted so that discussions of our natural resources can precede greed.

The Environmental Commissioner seemed to show more irritation than concern. It appeared to me he was more interested in the fact that he had made the owners of the property fill in all the Government requirements for a garbage dump than in what that dump would do to the waters of Georgian Bay.

Wilmer Nadjiwon
Cape Croker, Ontario

For more information, please contact:
Kathleen Pilcher, Chiefs of Ontario
807-626-9339 or 416-452-2474
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