How Dams Risk Poisoning Indigenous Diets, The Atlantic ($)

A new hydroelectric facility in Canada could push dangerous amounts of methylmercury into communities that rely on seafood.

Joshua Sokol ·  November 9, 2016

On October 13, Billy Gauthier, an Inuk sculptor in Labrador, Canada, uploaded a picture of what he called his “last meal” to Facebook.  It showed the split head and tail of a smoked salmon, dimly lit, against a white plate. “Not appetizing to some but delicious to me,” he wrote. “Hope it keeps me going for a while.”  

So began Gauthier’s hunger strike. His salmon was from Lake Melville, an enormous estuary that cuts over a hundred miles from the Atlantic to inland Labrador. Since the end of September, indigenous activists in the area have been furiously opposing a new 824-megawatt hydroelectric dam under construction upstream. They fear it will poison Lake Melville’s creatures and, by extension, its people. MORE>>