This episode was originally published on December 21, 2021.
Attawapiskat has become famous across Canada and around the world. Not for the natural beauty that surrounds it, or for the Cree culture of the people who live there. Instead, it’s become a byword for the toxic legacy of Canadian colonialism.
But while Attawapiskat faced crisis after crisis, the community was sitting on a literal diamond mine run by the world’s most famous mining company.
So why is it that a community rich in diamonds is so poor? And why did the government and De Beers do so little to help them through?
Featured in this episode: Mike Koostachin, Vicki Lean, Anna Baggio
To learn more:
After the Last River by Victoria Lean
The People of the Kattawapiskak River by Alanis Obamsawin
“De Beers decision to dump sewage into Attawapiskat played role in current housing crisis” by Ossie Michelin in APTN News
“Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?” By Edward Jay Epstein in The Atlantic
Additional music from Audio Network
Credits: Arshy Mann (Host and Producer), Jordan Cornish (Producer), Kieran Oudshoorn (Managing Editor), André Proulx (Production Coordinator)
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