Grassy Narrows

Justice for Grassy Narrows

This year, Amnesty International is highlighting a case right here in Canada, of youth from Asubpeeschoseewagong (“Grassy Narrows First Nation”) who are fighting for justice in the face of 50 years of mercury poisoning in their community.

Because of government inaction, generations of young Indigenous people have grown up with devastating health problems and the loss of their cultural traditions. It’s time for the government to keep its promise to deal with the mercury crisis “once and for all” so that young people can grow up in a healthy and thriving community.

Get to know some of the youth from Grassy Narrows and hear what makes their community special to them. 


The Indigenous people of Grassy Narrows First Nation have fished the waters of the English-Wabigoon River for generations, but since mercury was dumped into the river upstream from their community in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the fish have become dangerously contaminated. Fishing – mainly of walleye – is a primary source of food and cultural identity in Grassy Narrows. Because government has failed to address the mercury crisis, generations of young people have grown up in Grassy Narrows with serious health concerns and the loss of cultural traditions. 

The youth of Grassy Narrows have a right to their Indigenous economic system and to be secure and able to sustain themselves and their families by engaging freely in all their traditional and other economic activities. Walleye are an important part of that. Young people in the community are saying enough is enough, it’s time for the government to address the mercury crisis once and for all! 

Here’s how you can show your solidarity and support:

1) Create your own Grassy Narrows walleye.

Download this template of a walleye fish. Cut out the shape or draw your own! Colour and decorate it. 

2) Write your message

Write a short, personal message of support for the young people of Grassy Narrows on your walleye, followed by your name, city, and country. For example: “Mercury justice now! I support the youth of Grassy Narrows!” 

3) Share your walleye message

Take a photo of your walleye message and share it on social media and invite your friends to do the same. Tag your photos with #FreeGrassy and #SolidarityWalleye. 

4) Send us your walleye message 

Mail your walleye message to 312 Laurier Ave. E., Ottawa ON K1N 1H9 or email us a scanned copy at


5) Follow your inspiration

Feeling really inspried? Make walleye fish chalk art or have a fish barbeque where many can gather to learn about Grassy Narrows and create solidarity walleye messages! Take lots of photos of your activism and be sure to share them on social media or email them to


Use our photo essay and videos to promote solidarity with grassy narrows at your event or online. 


Visit WWW.FREEGRASSY.NET to learn more.