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Archive for March 3rd, 2008

Those touched by cancer on Alberta reserve tell their stories at legislature

Posted by mhudema on March 3, 2008

EDMONTON — Janelle Vermillion owns a house in the tiny northern Alberta community of Fort Chipewyan. Her family, including her brother, still lives there. She considers it home.But the 27-year-old woman says she will never again feel safe living there.

“I just want to move back home,” she said, fighting back tears as she gestured to the pink-clad six-month-old baby in the stroller in front of her.

“But this is my daughter, and I don’t want to bring her back.”

Vermillion was one of about 200 people who rallied on the steps of the Alberta legislature Saturday calling on the provincial government – whatever form it takes after Monday’s election – to pay more attention to rates of cancer and illness in the community 600 kilometres north of Edmonton.

Many people believe oilsands development and major forestry mills in Fort McMurray, which is upstream from Fort Chipewyan, have led to contamination of the water and wildlife in the region.

Emotions ran high as the crowd listened to stories from people who have lost loved ones to cancer. The community of 1,200 has seen six deaths in the past month. Some who planned to attend the rally were instead at home attending a wake.

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Fort Chip. residents rally at legislature

Posted by mhudema on March 3, 2008

March 1, 2008

By The Canadian Press


People rally at the Legislative grounds to support the people of Fort Chipewyan. Increasing numbers of people from the aboriginal community in Fort Chipewyan have been diagnosed with cancer and other auto-immune diseases. (Jack Dagley/Special to Sun Media)

EDMONTON — People who have lost multiple family members and friends to cancer on a northern Alberta reserve choked back tears as they told their stories at a rally Saturday in front of the Alberta legislature.About 200 people, many of whom who made the 800-kilometre drive down from Fort Chipewyan, stood before the legislature steps holding signs with slogans such as “Water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.”

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