Guardians of Eternity is a documentary film about the toxic legacy of an abandoned gold mine in northern Canada. The Giant Mine is closed now, but the mess that has been left behind will be with us forever. The Yellowknives Dene First Nation is on the front line because the mine is on their land.

The Giant Mine produced 7 million ounces of gold over a period of 55 years. The companies that controlled the mine made $1.1 billion (all figures in 2002 dollars) in profit and the government collected $572 million in taxes and royalties, but also provided $59 million in subsidies to the mine.

After the mine went bankrupt, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada took responsibility for dealing with the cleaning up of the site. The Giant Mine site consists of 950 hectares containing 8 open pits, 4 tailing ponds, 100 buildings, 11,500,000 cubic feet of contaminated soils, and 237,000 tons of arsenic trioxide.

Remediation of the mine site focuses on isolating and containing the arsenic trioxide using a “Frozen Block Method.” In the short term, the estimated cost of the remediation work is $903 million. However, arsenic trioxide will remain toxic to life forever.

The Yellowknives Dene First Nation has lived on the surrounding land for centuries and now they must deal with the prospect of living with arsenic trioxide for eternity.

What are they saying about Guardians of Eternity?

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The menu above contains information about Guardians of Eternity and everything else behind the project. Funding for this film is from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. If you want to go beyond the film, you will find links to other information on this website. Please take a few minutes to explore the menu above to find out how you can make the most out of this website.

For more information about the film


For more information about the Toxic Legacies Project

John Sandlos – jsandlos@mun.ca

Arn Keeling – akeeling@mun.ca

DVD copies of the French and English versions film are available for purchase.

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