Nature’s Past Episode 66: Communicating Toxic Legacies

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Episode 66: Communicating Toxic Legacies

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The site of the former Giant Mine near Yellowknife, Northwest Territories holds a toxic, deadly legacy. The abandoned gold mine left behind 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide held underground. The hazardous by-product of gold mining at this site is kept stored beneath the Earth through artificial freezing. It will remain toxic for thousands of years.

The latest paper for Papers in Canadian History and Environment by John Sandlos, Arn Keeling, Caitlynn Beckett, and Rosanna Nicol titled, “There is a Monster Under the Ground: Commemorating the History of Arsenic Contamination at Giant Mine” examines this history and the challenge of communicating the dangers of the arsenic contamination to future generations.

This episode features an interview with John Sandlos and Caitllynn Beckett.


Caitlynn Beckett
John Sandlos

Music Credits:

“Positive Warmth (2015)” by Alumo

“SGO – End Credits (2006)” by XCYRIL

Photo Credit:

Aerial view, Giant Yellowknife Mine. Credit: Busse/NWT Archives/N-1979-052-1927.


Kheraj, Sean. “Episode 66: Communicating Toxic Legacies” Nature’s Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast. 16 October 2019.

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Sean Kheraj

Associate Professor and Vice-Provost Academic at Toronto Metropolitan University
Sean Kheraj is a member of the executive committee of the Network in Canadian History and Environment. He's an associate professor in the Department of History and Vice-Provost Academic at Toronto Metropolitan University. His research and teaching focuses on environmental and Canadian history. He is also the host and producer of Nature's Past, NiCHE's audio podcast series and he blogs at

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