Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 7, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
Wednesday, March 7, 1973 THE LETHBR1D6E HERALD 21 Mercury in fish destroying Indians way of life GRASSY NARROWS, Ont. CP) A provincial govern- ment team of experts today will earn that mercury is destroy- ng the way of lile on this )jibwa reserve 60 miles north of Kenora in northwestern On- ario. Band councillor and former chief Andy Keewatin looked out over the English River Monday and said in a trembling voice: 'Most of my people used to be commercial fishermen and guides but when they found Receives blast L. H. Johnston, president of the Canadian Food Pro- cessors Association, testi- fied Tuesday before the special Commons commit- tee on food prices. The commiltee blasted the group calling it an outright lobby. _______ mercury in the fish of the river they told us not to eat the fish any more. "Three years ago the welfare budget for the 460 members of the reserve was Now it is Last week, Natural Resources Minister Leo Bernier said he hopes the provincial govern- ment will soon be able to make more positive statement on mercury which is believed to enter the EnElish-Wabigoon sys-1 terns from, a chemical plant at Dryden, Just east of here. The provincial government team today will visit this re- serve and White Dog reserve west of Kenora and is expected to come up with some recom- mendations. However, the problem has be- come much more than mercury alone. There have been wide- spread sociological implica- tions. Chief Art Assim, 33, said many of his people have lost their will to work even if they could find jobs. "The alcohol problem is get- ting worse every day and. we don't know how to stop it. We need help." There are oilier signs of a general breakdown in condi- tions. The only road to the reserve is threatened with washouts be- cause ot the spring thaw and is miles of hazardous driving over washboard and mud. There is only one telephone at the reserve. It didn't work Mon- day. Tlie schoolyard and slreels are lillered with dog dung. At the entrance to the school Mon- day, there was a skeleton of a dog and a little farther up the street the carcass of a dog which had been partly eaten. Some of the children attend ing the frame elementary school wore threadbare clothes. The school is plagued with truancies. One teacher said: enrolment dropped in proportion to the amount of drinking. I have 18 in my class and there were only lour there this afternoon. There was a big party in Kenora during the weekend." An employee oE the nearby Hudson's Bay Store said could always tell when parents are on a drinking binge. :'That's when they'll buy pop and chips and things like that. When they're not drinking they provide decent meals." Although the Indians hava been told not to eat the fisli, many of them cannot afford to do without. The cost of meat, high in I he south, Is worse in the North and some people sim- ply cannot afford it. Tension easing in Haiti By ERNESTO MENDOZA PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (Reuter) Tension is easing in this Caribbean country, which has a lengthy history of at- tempted coups. Since Jean-Claude Duvaher, 21, took power after the death of his father Francois (Papa Doc) Duvalier, the country has begun to relax. One recent indication is the fact that- a Roman Catholic religious order had its radio transmitters returned. Papa Doc seized the transmitters, used to communicate with the order's remote mission posts, for fear they would be used by guerrillas who attempted sev- eral invasions during his 14- year rule. There are thousands of Hai- tian exiles in the United States and in the Dominican Repub- lic, which shares the island of Hispanic-la with Haiti. The white marble and con- crete presidential palace is still guarded with tanks and anti- aircraft guns and the grounds are clear of trees and shrubs, giving strategically-placed ma- chine-guns a clear field of fire. EXILES RETURN But when Jean-Claude Duva- lier took over, president for life just as his father was, he of- fered, amnesty to all Haitian ex- iles, except Communists and trouble-makers, since then, 000 exiles have returned, says Information Minister Fritz Cin- eas. The activities of Papa Doc's secret police, the Tonton Ma- coutes, have been curbed and some of their leaders exiled from provinces where they had become virtual warlords. An unknown number of politi- cal prisoners still languish al Fort Dimahche hut several hun- dred have been released since Jean-Claude became president and the life sentences of 35 per- sons were reduced to 10 years in December. The 35 were jail ed after a coast guard revolt in 1WO, the last coup attempt be- fore Papa Doc died. The government recently re leased 12 more political prison- ers after three gunmen kidnap- ped U.S. Ambassador Clinton Kiwx and the U.S. consul-gen- eral. The kidnappers had de- manded the release of 30 pris- oners, but the government said it could not find the others. left by recluses CARNSTON, R.I.