2018 Sample Collection is complete!

The information collected from last Fall and this Spring together will form the baseline data for Yellowknife, Ndilo and Dettah.

Thank you to all participants, your involvement is greatly appreciated!

We will do our best to get the results to you later this Fall.

The program will return in 2022/2023 to do a follow-up with children only, and then in 2027/28 to do a follow-up with both children and adults who are still residents.

This will help the project team ensure that the exposure measured in 2017-2018 is not increasing because of the remediation work at Giant Mine.

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2017 PARTICIPANTS!

A total of 898 people from Yellowknife, Ndilo and Dettah participated in the arsenic study in the fall 2017. Participants will receive their results for urine in a personal letter in June 2018!

We will send the results of your toenail analysis in the Fall of 2018. Your saliva results will be grouped with all participants and the general results shared at community meetings sometime in late 2018 or early 2019.

Contact Us details
Elizabeth Liske
Community Project Coordinator
Work: (867) 873-8951 ext. 1011
Cell: (867) 445-4552
Email: elizabethl@ykdene.com

Renata Rosol
Project Manager
University of Ottawa
Phone: (613) 325-9080
Email: ykhemp@uottawa.ca
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What is the Health Effects Monitoring Program?

The program will include participants from Ndilo, Dettah, and Yellowknife. Participants may be selected either through statistically-supported random sampling (Yellowknife residents) or voluntary participation (Yellowknives Dene First Nation, North Slave Métis Alliance). Yellowknife residents not randomly selected are also welcome to participate as volunteers. Precautions will be in place to protect individual's privacy and personal information.

Youth participants (ages 3 to 17 in 2017) will be invited to participate in a follow-up study in 2021/2022, and a follow-up study for all participants is planned for 2027/2028.

How will the Program be Done?

Approximately 2,000 Ndilo, Dettah, and Yellowknife residents between the ages of 3 to 79, including Elders, will be invited to participate in the program. A signed consent form will be required from each participant (or their guardian, in the case of minors) prior to collecting data.

Current scientific methods can only measure participants’ current levels of arsenic and other contaminants. This program will not be able to determine how much exposure to contaminants people may have had in the past.

Main components will include:
  • Lifestyle questionnaire
  • Food frequency questionnaire
  • Biological samples of toenails, urine and saliva (by swabbing your cheek)
Other components will include:
  • Review of medical records
  • Medical questionnaire and brief medical exam with a nurse (Yellowknives Dene First Nation)
Why a Health Effects Monitoring Program?

In 2014, the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board completed its seven-year assessment of the Giant Mine Remediation Project to address public concerns about the impact the mine's clean-up activities may have on the local populations' health.

One of the requirements by the Review Board was to design and implement a Health Effects Monitoring Program in Ndilo, Dettah and Yellowknife. The purpose of the program is to make sure the remediation activities that will take place at Giant Mine will not have a negative impact on people's health.

Specifically, the program will establish current or baseline levels of arsenic exposure among residents in Ndilo, Dettah, and Yellowknife before remediation work begins. Then, during remediation, new monitoring results will be compared to the baseline to ensure participants' arsenic levels are not increasing because of work being done at Giant Mine.

Benefits of Participating in the Program

The Health Effects Monitoring Program will provide participants an opportunity to find out if there is an increased exposure to arsenic and other metals of concern as a result of remediation activities at Giant Mine. The overall results could also contribute to a bigger picture of local exposure to contaminants in and around Dettah, Ndilo, and Yellowknife.