Toxic Legacies

The Toxic Legacies Project examines the history and legacy of arsenic contamination at Giant Mine. The project is a partnership among researchers at Memorial University (John Sandlos and Arn Keeling) and Lakehead University, (Ron Harpelle) the Goyatiko Language Society (a Yellowknives Dene First Nation)  non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Weledeh language), and Alternative North (a Yellowknife environmental and social justice coalition that conducts public interest research).

The project is a response to the Canadian government’s Giant Mine Remediation Project to freeze arsenic underground in pepetuity, a project that has recently undergone and extensvie environmental assessment. As a “Partnership Development” project (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)), we also aim to communicate our research results in a way that will engage the community of Yellowknife and the broader concerned public.

To do this, we divided our work into five interconnected sub-projects:

The Yellowknives Dene and Arsenic (a history and memory project)

Communicating with Future Generations

The Guardians of Eternity Film

Community Land-use Mapping

Understanding Mine Remediation

Find out more about the Toxic Legacies Project

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EdgeYK articles:
Sept. 24, 2014: Giant Coverup: Years ago, arsenic killed a N’dilo toddler and poisoned many others, but it was business as usual at the gold mine. (
Oct. 1, 2015: Danger! Danger!: How will people 300 years from now understand the hazards of Giant Mine’s toxic legacy – enough underground arsenic trioxide dust to fill the Bellanca Building and potentially contaminate the entire watershed (
Oct. 1, 2015: Designing for the future at Giant Mine: A youthful perspective (
Northern Public Affairs blog:
Under the Toxic Legacies project link, perhaps we could also include a link to the book, Mining and Communities in Northern Canada: