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Activists share toxic legacy of Giant Mine in lm ARTS CULTURE FILM 20 Wednesday November 11 2015 6.8103 in x 6.3125 in By DALI CARMICHAEL NotevenamonthaftertheGiantMineCshaft head frame was pulled down folks in the city were considering how to preserve its legacy for future generations. In actuality a team of researchers and activ- ists have been working with community mem- bers in Yellowknife for several years to com- memorate the operations through workshops and partnerships between community groups and governments alike. Theseeffortsofoneparticulargrouphavebeen captured in the lm Guardians of Eternity a full-lengthdocumentaryaboutthetoxiclegacy of Giant Mine which premiered in Yellowknife on Saturday to an audience of over 100 people. Thislmissevenyearsinthemakingsaid regionallmmakerFranceBenoit.Ivebeenin Yellowknife 25 years so this is something Ive been following all along. I care about the envi- ronment and so my rst look at it was from an environmentalpointofview.ThenIwantedto become more aware of the Yellowknives Dene FirstNationYKDFNpointofviewofGiantMine because we almost always hear from the City of Yellowknife or from a mining point of view. The lm captures the YKDFNs struggle to communicate the dangers of what lies under- ground to future generations and features el- ders Mary Rose Sundburg and Fred Sangris. Figures from the Giant Mine Remediation ProjectEnvironmentalAgreementindicatethe GiantMinesitecontains237000metrictonnes ofarsenictrioxidewastefrozenundergrounda byproductoftheroastingprocessusedtosepa- rate mined gold from ore. This lm is going to get a discussion going saidBradHeathalongtimeresidentofthecity. Justtheconceptofdealingwithforevertryand think about what you know about your great grandparents lives - you know virtually noth- ing.Howdoyoucommunicatewithgenerations to come about the toxic legacy Its really scary and I dont know what the answer is. I think it was very well put together said Cathy Overvol a life-long Mtis citizen of Yel- lowknife. It expresses the same concerns that theMtisofYellowknifehaveexpressedforever thatthemineisabighazardandwasandalways willbe.Asfarasthereleasingofthislmitwas veryappropriatethetimingwasrightandthat head frame couldnt come down fast enough. I pity the people that have fond memories be- cause... we just dont share them. Thelmisjustonecomponentofseveralproj- ects spanning over the last few years focused on the future of the mine site. We had originally done a project under a different grant called the Abandoned Mines in Northern Canada Project that ran from 2009 to 2013 said John Sandlos an associate pro- fessor of History from Memorial University. During that process we - from sort of becom- ing aware of the issues at Giant Mine - we got connected with some people locally. Alterna- tivesNorthsKevinOReillyFranceBenoitand several people who are YKDFN members and basically through a number of conversations thatoccurredatsocialeventswecameupwith the idea that there could be really good public outreach and community-based projects to be perused in Yellowknife around commemorat- ingthelegacyofarsenicpollutionatGiantMine. We called the project Toxic Legacies. Thatprojectexaminesthehistoryandlegacy of arsenic contamination at Giant Mine with partnerships from Memorial and Lakehead Universities the Goyatiko Language Society and Alternatives North. The breadth the proj- ect covers is expansive. Were in the process of designing curricu- lummaterialfortheNorthernStudiesprogram weretryingtoproducehighwaysignageforthe newhighwaypulloutthatoverlookstheoldgiant minesite.Weveheldworkshopslocallyonhow youwouldcommunicatewithfuturegenerations about the toxic hazard at Giant Mine he said Theturnoutatthelmpremiereseemstodem- onstratethoseeffortshavenotgoneunnoticed. I took a language class from Mary Rose SundburgsaidKerryWhelerayoungmother. The YKDFN used to not live in this area spe- cically because it was so bountiful and that made a really big impression on me. Know- ing the reality of our landscape and how af- fected it is by the mine and the devastation that will exist for years and years and years is really profound. I hope that science continues to play a role and that this idea of keeping our critics arsenic tracks frozen is going to work and that a potential plan of actually having it xed at some point I like that idea because its scary that it would have to be frozen forever. Canada and the GNWT have become co- proponents to undertake a site remediation project. At the Guardians premiere Yellow- knife mayor Mark Heyck also announced a new related oversight partnership between the YKDFN the city of Yellowknife the terri- torial and federal governments as well as Al- ternatives North. Thisisanincrediblyimportantstorytotell and not just for current generations but most certainly for future generations Heyck said. PhotoBillBraden The Giant Mine headframe in Yellowknife was nally collapsed last month.