Researchers with The Health Effects Monitoring Program were in Yellowknife this week.
The 10 year program is part of the Giant Mine Remediation Project, and hopes to test for levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and other metals amongst members of the YKDFN, North Slave Metis Alliance, and Yellowknife public.
Stacey Sundberg is the new local coordinator. She is working for the Institute of Circumpolar Health and is a member of the Yellowknives Dene.
“Having local people that know the people and how Yellowknife works and how the people work around here, and to get a sense of how this program will roll out in Yellowknife. This is the first ever study for the Giant Mine during the Remediation Project, so I think it’s going to be a good one and I feel so honored to be here and work with my own people,” explained Sundberg.
The research is being headed up by the University of Ottawa’s Dr. Laurie Chan.
Project Coordinator Reneta Rosol says they’re looking for earlier research pushed by the Dene Nation in the 1970’s.
“People have voiced their concern and want to know if we can get our hands on those results from the 70’s. We are currently working with the archives and getting access to them. Based on what we find we will make a decision whether we can incorporate study or if we need to have another plan, depending on what we find.” said Rosol.
The group wants to collect toenail, urine and saliva samples from participants of the study this September.
Letters are being mailed out in the coming weeks seeking participants.