Canadian National News Reports On DeBeers Dumping Sewerage At Cree Reserve Outside Of Victor Diamond Mine In Northern Ontario
By Marc Choyt, Director FJA USA
Canadian diamonds mining companies have done everything they can to position Canada as the truly “conflict free” alternative to African diamonds. In the market, they demand a premium. The issues related to Canadian diamond mining are not as pristine as their marketing suggests.
Different mines have different issues. Back in 2009, I conducted this interview with Tracy Williams on how Canadian diamond mining impacts the Northwest. The notion of “conflict free” does not extend to environmental destruction.
More recently, I covered the issue of blockades at the DeBeer mine. I became aware of the terrible living conditions of the Cree community that lives next to the mine. I interviewed activist, Mike Koostachin, who said of his current situation: “They (DeBeers) have our tribal government. Instead of cutting off your arms and feet like they did in Africa, they are cutting off our land, our food from the land. The people are the land.”
Because of FJA coverage of the issues at the Victor Mine, Jackie Hookimaw contacted me about this story in the Canadian news, which exposed DeBeers’ dumping sewage in their community. She wrote, “So abusive! My poor parents- to this day; nothing was done for their home! I hope they still see justice!”
Here are some addition quotes from Jackie in the story:
“My father, he noticed at three in the morning there was a big awful smell and there was something leaking into the basement,” said Hookimaw.
A sewage backup flooded the dirt basement floors of several homes in the community, including Hookimaw’s parent’s home.
“The sewage backup happened around the same time that De Beers, the international diamond company currently operating a mine 90 kilometers from the community, disposed of their sewage sludge by dumping it into the community’s lift station, said Hookimaw.”
You can read the full story here.