Poisoning Paradise - Part one of four





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Published on Oct 15, 2008

Poisoning Paradise -“ A Native View of the Swan Hills Waste Treatment Centre
Produced in 1996 at Lesser Slave Lake, Swan Hills and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

€œAs a people, we have always hunted in those areas. Many of our people have trap-lines in the immediate area. Yet (they) say that we are not directly affected. And I say, who, if we aren't?"
- Jim Badger, Grand Chief, Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council (1995)

The Swan Hills has been traditional hunting, trapping and gathering territory for thousands of years. The Swan Hills Special Waste Treatment Centre (SHSWTC) is Canada'€™s largest hazardous waste incinerator €- designed to be the final destination for all of the worst of the worst of Canada's toxic waste. Once again, the Woodland Cree are fighting to save their traditional territory and way of life.

"Poisoning Paradise" chronicles the ongoing battle against the SHSWTC from the point of view of Grand Chief Jim Badger. Elders from the community share their stories and warn about how the SHSWTC is affecting traditional activities.

"Poisoning Paradise"€ also touches on the technical shortcomings of a post-use approach to controlling hazardous chemicals; the biased approach of the Natural Resources Conservation Board; and the controversial business relationship between the Alberta government and the operators of the SHSWTC."€œPoisoning Paradise"€ also offers an introduction into Woodland Cree life in northern Alberta.

The story is told from a First Nation point of view, stressing their frustration at being closed out of decisions that affect their lands. Specific companies and government policies are criticized.

"Poisoning Paradise" is available on DVD. A chronology of events with updates to the story is also available upon request. Contact http://rbcc.ca

Related links

Total running time: 42 minutes
Released: 1996
Producers/Directors: Barb Allard & Kelly Reinhardt
Original music: Laura Vinson & Free Spirit
Major funding: Dragonfly Productions, Meridian Productions, Rainbow Bridge Communications Company


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