May 31, 2016
What will Giant Mine look like in the future? How will people know that the site is contaminated, and how to contain and maintain the arsenic hazards that exist at the site.
A dedicated group of people who live and work in and near Yellowknife have been working for over a year with researchers at Memorial University to answer just this question. Dubbed the “Communicating with Future Generations” Committee, we have talked about everything from the best methods to store records about Giant Mine to what kinds of monuments or stories might best communicate what the site contains. If you are interested in our discussions, we have produced a summary report and a brief two pager on the issue.
A lot of our thinking on this issue has been informed by the work done on communicating long term nuclear waste hazards at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico. You can get more information on the designs the WIPP group imagined to warn people away from the underground nuclear repository, and also read our full report (and two page summary) on how the WIPP ideas might be applied at Giant Mine.
We also want to hear your ideas! Whether you live in Yellowknife or have something to contribute from elsewhere, you can post your ideas about communicating with the future at Giant Mine to our public Facebook page. We look forward very much to hearing your responses, and hope the online discussions will help inform a community workshop we plan to hold in Yellowknife at the end of September.