Prime Minister asked to help dying children in Tyendinaga

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been asked to help find out why there’s been a spike in childhood leukemia on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

APTN National News
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been asked to help find out why there’s been a spike in childhood leukemia on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

Harper received a letter from concerned mother Kimberly Maracle Friday demanding to know what the Canadian government is doing pinpoint the cause.

“As a mother living on this territory, with a 12 year old child going to school on the territory at the same school that the other children are coming down sick … What is the Canadian government going to do about this situation?” said Maracle in her email. “Are your offices aware of this epidemic?”

Tyendinaga is a community of about 2,600 people about 2 hours east of Toronto. Within the last year three cases of leukemia have been confirmed on the reserve and another two just north in Tyendinaga Township. APTN National News reporter Delaney Windigo first reported the story Nov. 5.

She spoke with parent Dawn Sero who lost her daughter Paula, 13, in September a few months after she was diagnosed. Fellow resident Shawn Brant’s daughter is currently fighting for her life in The Hospital For Sick Children in Toronto.

In recent days, APTN National News has been in contact with Chief Don Maracle who says water tests at the Quinte Mohawk School have come back showing no contaminants but further water tests haven’t been able to pinpoint a cause.

Maracle says Health Canada has agreed to be part of a committee to root out the problem. Doctors, scientists, band council members and parents will also sit on the committee.

“Health Canada has been contacted by (Maracle) requesting that the department participate on a committee of stakeholders to undertake a further investigation. Health Canada has agreed to participate,” said a spokesperson in an email. “In keeping with best practices for investigating disease clusters, Health Canada offers to conduct analyses, in conjunction with local and provincial health partners, to help identify possible trends and risk factors in situations of this nature.”

Kimberly Maracle questions whether the band council has done enough.

“There is an epidemic of our children getting sick on our territory,” she wrote, adding other children have brain tumors and open sores on their bodies. “We are in a crisis situation.”

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Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.

5 thoughts on “Prime Minister asked to help dying children in Tyendinaga

  1. Hmm, maybe a long shot in saying this but here it goes. Human trafficking allegations against the Mohawk tribes could be a possible source indicator. Just saying.

    1. This is not a time for personal opinion. Let the professionals do their work with the community to find the source and come up with an action plan to address matter.

  2. Tragic. I hope the community doesn’t turn on itself. I sent a request for attention on the childrens behalf to a prominent Doctor. Hopefully the chain can be broken. It’s heart breaking.

    1. sometimes, while children are being sick, from the way the adults in society demand the things they demand, like plastic products and rubber products and such,(all Earthern Oil by-products are the number one cause of cancer and tumours and cysts, I should know according to the surgeons that operated on me to remove the cancerous cysts in my left inner middle ear) it would help if a professional musician could spend some of their valuable time visiting the sick children and showing them they care enough to get personally involved..that in itself could help BUT we as Adults should be restricting ALL production of Earthern OIL..

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