Environment featured Racism Weekend Video

Weekend video: In the shadow of the dam

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – This weekend we feature In the shadow of the dam, APTN’s brand new and excellent documentary on the indigenous resistance to the Muskrat Falls project in Labrador.

Protests, hunger strikes, financial scandals and spectacular cost overruns, the arrest of Independent.ca journalist Justin Brake, and an occupation by land defenders briefly made headlines, then most national and Nova Scotia news media mostly stopped paying attention after the province and Nalcor, the Crown corporation in charge of the project,  promised to address the issues.

Turns out those promises weren’t quite what they were cracked up to be at the time.

This documentary by APTN investigative journalist Trina Roache puts it all in perspective. It talks about the continuing risks of methylmercury accumulation downstream from the Muskrat Falls development, and what that will do to the food chain and the traditional ways of the Indigenous peoples who live there.

As well, we meet many of the land defenders who went to jail for what they believe in, and others still caught up in the Court system.

For Nova Scotians, especially progressive Nova Scotians who care about things like reconciliation and indigenous rights, all this is  extremely relevant. The so called ‘clean power’ generated in far away Labrador will be delivered to Nova Scotia via the Maritime Link, and this makes the destruction wrought by Muskrat Falls, the heavy handed policing, the trampling of indigenous rights and the poisoning of entire communities very much our problem.

You can’t condemn environmental racism and violation of Indigenous rights in Nova Scotia, and remain silent on what’s happening in Labrador right now. It’s that simple.

Check out our coverage of Muskrat Falls here.

If you can, please support the Nova Scotia Advocate so that it can continue to cover issues such as poverty, racism, exclusion, workers’ rights and the environment in Nova Scotia. 




  1. The damming and consequent destruction of the marine fish life of the ( Churchill, Hamilton, Grand and/or Mistashipu River) by far largest Atlantic Salmon Spawning River in the Province of Nfld & Labrador is completely 100% ignored, brushed aside whenever it was brought up to any of the current politicians in power. I know because I raised that concern time and time again to our Upper Lake Melville Labrador MHA Perry Trimper himself coming from the Annapolis Region of Nova Scotia now with his own business interests directly tied into the Muskrat Boondoggle. It turns my stomach whenever I see that maked vehicle in his driveway or see his wife driving around in that Red Flagged Pickup Truck like the many dozens of other vehicles distinctively marked by long fiber-glassed poled with Red Flags on them. The nerve of that foreign politician Trimper to say there is no documented evidence to show that Atlantic Salmon swim up river on-toward Churchill Falls which is common local knowledge by the original people of this Central Labrador Area. I have been requesting that at least a fish ladder or fish-way be installed to lessen the impact on the Salmon Lake Trout Pike Smelts Brook Trout and what ever other fish have been using the river for thousands of years into time immemorial. Its a curse case by greed on out land and rivers for mainly foreign interests in my opinion. The whole thing stinks of corruption with political profiteers calling the shots.

  2. That was a great show. Every word spoken by the Labrador Land Procters is true. The Sad reality is we as Labradorians and people living down stream from this project were Never listened too.. I feel this project was started to bring hydro to Danny Williams mini city on the Island part of the province. Ball was against it when he was the leader of the Opposition, but just fell in line when he became the Premier of NL. Our Elected have no voice to stand up for the people that elected them. As someone who was raised in Mud Lake and now lives full time in Mud Lake, was flooded out of Mud Lake on May 17,2017. Our community is one that is doomed. The independent study of what caused the flood was another way for the NL government to do as they wish and Continue with the project. The information given by the residents of Mud Lake was never used and the flood according to the Independent Study was “Natural “! Mud Lake is 200 years old at least as a settlement. The trappers would never leave their families in harms way. Not only are we loosing our fish and being poison with methlmercery, but in Upper Lake Melville the people’s lives and homes are at risk with no thought of loss of life. We are expendable and can be written in history as the Beothic Indians were wiped out,so too will this Grand River. Mud Lake was once called Grandvilliage. That too was changed by an outsider with no thought of the locals.
    It is a sad time in the province’s history and history will show the injustice served to the people of Labrador especially for $’s.
    In the end it’s not about safety of people, health of people, (which in the end will be dollars spent on health care due to the methyl mercury poisoning ), but dollars made in a Corporation that is OWNED by the people.
    There is no way this project is not corrupt! Time will show all of the hands that were and are in the pot. The federal government is as guilty as the province of NL. Indigenous Reconciliation is just words that governments use to cover themselves.

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