Episode 75: Uranium Mining at Elliot Lake
The nuclear arms race and global confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union in the mid-twentieth century brought new settler pressures on the resources of Indigenous people in Ontario. At Elliott Lake on the territories of the Serpent River Anishinaabek, the Canadian government and private corporations sought to extract uranium and other mineral resources, part of what historian Lianne Leddy calls “Cold War colonialism.”
The mining activities at Elliot Lake produced toxic hazards with consequences for the people of Serpent River First Nation who lived with those environmental legacies. Traditional practices of fishing and hunting among the people of this homeland were jeopardized by the extractive industrial activities of the settler government and private corporations. In response, members of Serpent River First Nation resisted and fought for remediation of their traditional territories, a fight that continues to this day.
This complicated history is explored in Lianne Leddy’s new book, Serpent River Resurgence: Confronting Uranium Mining at Elliot Lake, published by University of Toronto Press. I caught up with Lianne to learn more about this history.
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Leddy, Lianne. Serpent River Resurgence: Confronting Uranium Mining at Elliot Lake. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2022.
“Wizard” by Fresh Body Shop
“Sadness Credits” by ABSounds
“Kids” by Bluejay Studio
“Denison Mines and Tailings” by Dick Loek, 1991.
Kheraj, Sean. “Episode 75: Uranium Mining at Elliot Lake” Nature’s Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast. 30 June 2022.
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