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Mattagami Oil Spill

August 14, 2017

Indigenous Group: Mattagami First Nation

Business: Canadian National Railway

Issue: Two separate train derailments near Gogoma, Ontario in February and March 2015 spilled millions of litres of crude oil into nearby lands and the local watershed

Comment: Mattagami First Nation has launched a court case against CN Railway for the damage caused, which has prevented their access to and use and enjoyment of their traditional land for hunting, fishing and spiritual practices.

Last Update: Aug. 14, 2017: Indigenous Lands and Resources Today – Investigations by the Transport Safety Board have confirmed that the derailments were caused by CN Railway’s failure to properly inspect, maintain and repair their tracks, and by gaps and failures in their training and safety systems. Today, the water is covered in a slick of oil, and animals and plants in the area are contaminated. “Harvesting, hunting and fishing has always been central to our livelihood and central to who we are. Because of the oil spills, many of our people don’t go out on the land anymore. We can’t gather the food we need. We can’t share our knowledge with our young people. It’s devastating.” Chief Boissoneau