“Ninety-five percent of my food is what I eat off of the land.” – Inuit hunter quoted in Harvard University study of potential health impacts of the Muskrat Falls dam
In a matter of days, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador could begin the first phase of flooding for the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam. Doing so will set off a chain of events that will threaten the health and culture of downstream Inuit hunters and fishers for generations to come.Threats to food and culture ignored
A 2015 peer reviewed scientific study concluded that the Muskrat Falls dam would increase levels of deadly methylmercury flowing into the downstream Lake Melville estuary by at least 25 percent and potentially by as much as 200 percent.
A follow-up study released earlier this year warned that almost half of the Inuit community of Rigolet would be exposed to methylmercury levels in seals and other wild foods exceeding Canadian health guidelines, with exposure increasing by up to 1500% for some individuals.