Canadian Genocide Machine
Posted by feww on January 28, 2008
Canada, Racism, Genocide, and the Bomb
by Kim Petersen
Hundreds of Canadian scientists collaborated with allied scientists on the atomic bomb program, for which Canada supplied the uranium and heavy water. Canada also had representation on the Combined Policy Committee that administered the atomic bomb program. Canada’s Howe was among the committee members who approved the use of the bomb on Japan.
The uranium mine was developed by the Canadian government to satisfy US needs for the World War II effort to construct an atomic bomb. From 1942 to 1960, the Sahtugot’ine worked at the mine in Port Radium, unknowingly polluting their massive freshwater resource and irradiating themselves. In the early 1960s, the danger became apparent. The Sahtugot’ine workers started to die from lung, colon, and kidney cancers — diseases previously unknown to them.
Cindy Kenny-Gilday is a Sahtugot’ine who has worked on the issue of uranium contamination of lands and people around Sahtu. About the lethal legacy of uranium mining, she stated in 1998:
Deline [Where the water flows] is practically a village of widows, most of the men who worked as laborers have died of some form of cancer. The widows, who are traditional women were left to raise their families with no breadwinners, supporters. They were left to depend on welfare and other young men for their traditional food source. This village of young men are the first generation of men in the history of Dene on this lake to grow up without guidance from their grandfathers, fathers and uncles. This cultural, economic, spiritual, emotional deprivation impact on the community is a threat to the survival of the one and only tribe on Great Bear Lake.
Declassified documents reveal that the danger from uranium was known during the mining operation. However, neither the Canadian nor US governments saw fit to make known the health dangers. The Sahtugot’ine were sacrificed for an effort that ultimately slaughtered hundreds of thousands.