Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  57 minutes
Date:  2014
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 9-12, College, Adults
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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Profit and Loss

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From Papua New Guinea to the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, native people fight the loss of land, water, and health to mining and oil industries.

Profit and Loss

From New Guinean rainforests to Canada's tar sands, PROFIT AND LOSS exposes industrial threats to native peoples' health, livelihood and cultural survival. In Papua New Guinea, a Chinese-government owned nickel mine has violently relocated villagers to a taboo sacred mountain, built a new pipeline and refinery on contested clan land, and is dumping mining waste into the sea. In Alberta, First Nations people suffer from rare cancers as their traditional hunting grounds are stripmined to unearth the world's third-largest oil reserve. Indigenous people tell their own stories-and confront us with the ethical consequences of our culture of consumption.

Featuring Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe), Oren Lyons (Onondaga), Satish Kumar and activist Clayton Thomas-Muller (Cree).

'The striking parallels between the Chinese metallurgical development of Papua New Guinea and the Canadian self-destruction involved in the oil sands project are brought out well and poignantly in this film. Indigenous voices include workers on both projects, and multiple points of view are represented as communities struggle with the tensions between 'trickle down wealth' and environmental destruction.' Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer, Research Professor, Center for Eurasian, Russian and Eastern European Studies, Department of Anthropology, Georgetown University, Author of Shamanic Worlds, Editor of Anthropology and Archeology of Eurasia

'This monumental film series is superb. For many indigenous cultures throughout the world, sacred places are arenas of peace, power, and reverence. Standing On Sacred Ground sheds light on cases where religion and identity are under attack, where sacred places are being recklessly transformed into a focus of conflict, power struggles, desecration, and the violation of human rights. The films will prove to be of special interest to a wide range of scientific and academic disciplines, government and NGO personnel, and the general public. They will be most relevant for university, college, and high school classrooms covering subjects in anthropology, ecology, economic development, environmental studies, globalization, government, history, human rights, indigenous studies, law, social justice, sociology, political science, and religion.' Dr. Leslie E. Sponsel, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Author, Spiritual Ecology: A Quiet Revolution

'Standing on Sacred Ground is a tour de force! This is one of the most powerful documentary series ever made on indigenous peoples and their resistance to environmental exploitation. Toby McLeod has woven stories of first nations peoples resilience amidst images of searing beauty and unimagined destruction. An awakening call indeed that should be heard around the world.' Mary Evelyn Tucker, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, Co-author, Ecology and Religion

'Nothing like this riveting series of four desperately-urgent films about the fate of our planet has ever been seen...Patiently, lucidly and devastatingly, director Toby McLeod and his team have traveled the globe and painstakingly tracked eight stories of struggles by indigenous peoples to save the ancestral landscapes that have given them sustenance and spiritual anchoring for thousands of years. Standing on Sacred Ground is a magnificent, one-of-a-kind achievement...Containing face-offs at strategic sites, incontrovertible visual documentation of environmental wastelands, poignant voices of clarity and appeal that speak with the grave, quiet wisdom of cultures that have survived centuries of crusades to convert, exterminate, or assimilate them - these four dramatic films keep us on the edge of our seat and at the edge of tears. They absolutely must be seen by every citizen on earth.' Peter Nabokov, Anthropologist, Professor of World Arts and Cultures, University of California - Los Angeles

'An extraordinary film series highlighting the struggles, losses, and strengths of indigenous peoples working today to protect their sacred places in an industrialized world. Through beautifully filmed case studies where indigenous leaders speak for themselves, this series illustrates how history, law, science, and religion converge in the indigenous world and how critical these struggles are for the well-being of the planet as a whole.' Dr. Melissa K. Nelson, (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), Associate Professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University, President of The Cultural Conservancy, Author of Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future

'From the local to the global, from the ancient world to the modern world, from developers to ecological preservationists, from indigenous peoples to outsiders, Standing on Sacred Ground explores the many sides of resource development on indigenous lands...The series provides considerable insight into the issues Indigenous Peoples face, and shows how and why they are fighting to preserve their sacred lands, their traditions, their life-ways, and their cultures. No study of contemporary ecological issues would be complete without hearing and seeing this aspect of ecology and development controversies.' Thomas D. Hall, Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology, DePauw University, Co-author, Indigenous Peoples and Globalization: Resistance and Revitalization

'Standing on Sacred Ground is one of the most powerful educational films, reminding us that Indigenous peoples are the true guardians of Mother Earth and their wisdom needs to be heeded - our future depends on it. Beautifully produced. Outstanding Indigenous commentary on the sacredness of Mother Earth and how we need to stop the plunder before we all vanish.' Dr. Julian Kunnie, Professor of Religious Studies/Classics, University of Arizona, Author, Indigenous Wisdom and Power: Affirming our Knowledge Through Narratives

'This important educational documentary demonstrates the unsustainable cost of rampant resource extraction and development and the devastating impacts on those who hold sacred the duty to protect the earth, Indigenous peoples. In documenting cases from the Pacific to the remote mountains of Altai and across the Americas, it demonstrates the vital importance of traditional Indigenous knowledge in the preservation of biodiversity and shows that, far from being a primitive relic from the past, Indigenous knowledge is vital to the recovery of the biosphere and to our collective future existence. This is a well-executed documentary, suitable for post-secondary educational programs.' Makere Stewart-Harawira, Associate Professor of Theoretical, Cultural and International Studies in Education, University of Alberta, Author, The New Imperial Order: Indigenous Responses to Globalization

'Beautifully illuminates indigenous peoples' resistance to environmental devastation and their determination to protect our common future.' Robert Redford

'Words that seem most appropriate in characterizing this documentary include awesome, beautiful, ugly, dramatic, revealing, disturbing, heroic, moving, and inspiring...A unique and historic achievement...The film exposes contemporary cultural, ecological, religious, and political realities, transcending the usual 'just-so-stories' of the ethnographic present dominating many textbooks. The film both tests anthropological viewers' adherence to cultural relativism and challenges any scientism because for indigenes nature is alive and spiritual with its sacred foci of power, reverence, and healing...This educational film series is most relevant for instructors and students in universities, colleges, and high schools for a wide variety of disciplines, topics, and courses. The four DVDs will allow instructors to easily use any of the individual eight cases, each 25 minutes long, making the series ideal for classroom use, or for students to pursue their individual interests.' Anthropology News (April 2014)

'Standing on Sacred Ground does well to not only allow the voices and experiences of actual Indigenous peoples, scholars, and activists shine throughout the films, but also calls out to viewers asking them what they can do for the land so 'the land can love them back.' This film series is thorough, critically engaging, inclusive, and very well produced. The eight case studies of Indigenous communities around the world offer the viewer a glimpse into the everyday lives of these people and can therefore be an excellent educational tool for students and activists of most ages. I highly recommend this film series for anyone who wants to learn about Indigenous cultures across the globe, as well as anyone who wants to fully understand how and why the earth is slowly being destroyed by the efforts of 'progress,' along with what they can do to help reverse the process of ecological destruction.' Jennifer Loft, University at Buffalo, Educational Media Reviews Online


Awards

John de Graaf Environmental Filmmaking Award, Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival
Mill Valley Film Festival
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

1
01:00:01,083 --> 01:00:13,018
[airy flute music]

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01:00:13,042 --> 01:00:15,685
(male narrator)
You know them when you see them:

3
01:00:15,709 --> 01:00:18,667
places on the Earth
that are set apart...

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01:00:19,999 --> 01:00:22,792
Places that transform us...

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01:00:23,918 --> 01:00:25,768
Sacred places.

6
01:00:25,792 --> 01:00:29,185
[people singing
in native language]

7
01:00:29,209 --> 01:00:32,975
[bellows]

8
01:00:32,999 --> 01:00:34,143
When you're connected
to the land

9
01:00:34,167 --> 01:00:36,351
and everything that's out here,
then you know.

10
01:00:36,375 --> 01:00:38,393
You know you don't own it;

11
01:00:38,417 --> 01:00:39,417
it owns you.

12
01:00:40,999 --> 01:00:42,975
(narrator)
But now the relentless drive

13
01:00:42,999 --> 01:00:45,975
to exploit
all of the Earth's riches

14
01:00:45,999 --> 01:00:47,894
has thrust people
across the globe

15
01:00:47,918 --> 01:00:50,560
into a struggle
between ancient beliefs

16
01:00:50,584 --> 01:00:53,435
and industrial demand.

17
01:00:53,459 --> 01:00:55,143
(LaDuke)
Indigenous people are faced

18
01:00:55,167 --> 01:00:57,226
with the largest mining
corporations in the world,

19
01:00:57,250 --> 01:00:59,250
have been for years.

20
01:01:01,250 --> 01:01:02,975
(narrator)
In Papua New Guinea,

21
01:01:02,999 --> 01:01:05,226
villagers resist
forced relocation

22
01:01:05,250 --> 01:01:06,975
and destruction of sacred sites.

23
01:01:06,999 --> 01:01:08,268
This is my land.

24
01:01:08,292 --> 01:01:09,518
I'm standing on my land.

25
01:01:09,542 --> 01:01:10,560
You have no right!

26
01:01:10,584 --> 01:01:12,852
(narrator)
And in northern Canada,

27
01:01:12,876 --> 01:01:16,976
First Nations people are divided
over the oil sands industry

28
01:01:17,000 --> 01:01:18,894
that provides jobs

29
01:01:18,918 --> 01:01:23,059
but threatens rivers,
forests, and their lives.

30
01:01:23,083 --> 01:01:25,268
(Wanderingspirit)
What am I supposed to do?

31
01:01:25,292 --> 01:01:27,975
Be scared to eat the fish

32
01:01:27,999 --> 01:01:29,999
when that's all I know?

33
01:01:31,042 --> 01:01:33,435
Native people
have a sacred relationship

34
01:01:33,459 --> 01:01:34,560
with the Earth.

35
01:01:34,584 --> 01:01:35,975
[speaking native language]

36
01:01:35,999 --> 01:01:39,560
(LaDuke)
We must keep restoring
that relationship

37
01:01:39,584 --> 01:01:43,101
and that power of place.

38
01:01:43,125 --> 01:01:46,125
[people singing]

39
01:01:48,709 --> 01:02:00,602
[gentle instrumental music]

40
01:02:00,626 --> 01:02:04,143
(female announcer)
Funding for theStanding
on Sacred Groundseries


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01:02:04,167 --> 01:02:05,310
has been provided by

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01:02:05,334 --> 01:02:09,268
the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting.

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01:02:09,292 --> 01:02:12,125
Additional funding was provided
by the following:

44
01:02:29,125 --> 01:02:33,018
[rooster crowing]

45
01:02:33,042 --> 01:02:36,018
[heavy percussive music]

46
01:02:36,042 --> 01:02:44,042
♪ ♪

47
01:02:52,375 --> 01:02:54,976
(Ware)
We've been here
in this village settlement

48
01:02:55,000 --> 01:02:56,999
for 6,500 years.

49
01:03:01,250 --> 01:03:04,435
The river and the environment
and the biodiversity

50
01:03:04,459 --> 01:03:07,518
provides for us
and sustains our life.

51
01:03:07,542 --> 01:03:10,477
We, in return,
regard the land,

52
01:03:10,501 --> 01:03:13,351
the environment,
and the river as sacred.

53
01:03:13,375 --> 01:03:14,685
[bird squawks]

54
01:03:14,709 --> 01:03:16,975
The canoe
has a big significance,

55
01:03:16,999 --> 01:03:18,292
being river people.

56
01:03:20,959 --> 01:03:24,975
We use the normal canoes
for fishing and farming.

57
01:03:24,999 --> 01:03:26,975
Then we have ceremonial canoes.

58
01:03:26,999 --> 01:03:30,602
[all chanting
in native language]

59
01:03:30,626 --> 01:03:32,393
Making and launching
of a ceremonial canoe

60
01:03:32,417 --> 01:03:35,852
is a very big communal practice.

61
01:03:35,876 --> 01:03:39,125
[all chanting
in native language]

62
01:03:51,584 --> 01:03:53,975
The chanting signifies

63
01:03:53,999 --> 01:03:56,792
the development
of the ceremonial canoe.

64
01:03:59,999 --> 01:04:04,709
And we have blessings
during initial maiden voyages.

65
01:04:06,083 --> 01:04:10,477
[dramatic percussive music]

66
01:04:10,501 --> 01:04:12,768
[people shouting]

67
01:04:12,792 --> 01:04:15,393
(narrator)
Bosmun villagers
have been preparing

68
01:04:15,417 --> 01:04:18,334
for the canoe's maiden voyage
for two months.

69
01:04:33,999 --> 01:04:36,999
[people cheering and yelling]

70
01:04:55,167 --> 01:04:58,185
Traditionally, the villagers
would throw spears

71
01:04:58,209 --> 01:05:00,709
to prepare the men for war.

72
01:05:01,999 --> 01:05:04,059
Today the barrage of fruit

73
01:05:04,083 --> 01:05:06,792
is a celebration of the bounty
of the land...

74
01:05:08,999 --> 01:05:12,999
And a reminder to the warriors
to continue defending the river.

75
01:05:17,999 --> 01:05:19,185
Just north of Australia

76
01:05:19,209 --> 01:05:21,810
lies the country
of Papua New Guinea,

77
01:05:21,834 --> 01:05:24,185
until recently,
one of the world's

78
01:05:24,209 --> 01:05:27,101
last unexplored regions.

79
01:05:27,125 --> 01:05:29,310
With more than 800 languages,

80
01:05:29,334 --> 01:05:33,976
PNG is a place
of stunning cultural diversity.

81
01:05:34,000 --> 01:05:39,018
[upbeat percussive music]

82
01:05:39,042 --> 01:05:42,894
Its many islands were colonized
and Christianized

83
01:05:42,918 --> 01:05:45,999
by Germany, Britain,
and Australia.

84
01:05:47,459 --> 01:05:49,185
But first contact
with the West

85
01:05:49,209 --> 01:05:53,000
didn't come to some regions
until the 1930s.

86
01:05:57,501 --> 01:06:01,059
When the country gained
independence in 1975,

87
01:06:01,083 --> 01:06:02,975
it took a radical step.

88
01:06:02,999 --> 01:06:06,727
It recognized the land rights
of its indigenous people

89
01:06:06,751 --> 01:06:08,185
in its new constitution

90
01:06:08,209 --> 01:06:10,810
and pledged
to protect the environment

91
01:06:10,834 --> 01:06:13,059
for future generations.

92
01:06:13,083 --> 01:06:15,310
There is a lot of connection
that we Papua New Guineans,

93
01:06:15,334 --> 01:06:17,935
as indigenous people,
have with our land.

94
01:06:17,959 --> 01:06:20,059
That's where our culture
is based.

95
01:06:20,083 --> 01:06:23,059
Land is equivalent to money
in Western societies.

96
01:06:23,083 --> 01:06:25,059
It is our life-support system.

97
01:06:25,083 --> 01:06:28,542
Without land,
we are nonexistent.

98
01:06:29,709 --> 01:06:30,975
(Koian)
Land is something

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01:06:30,999 --> 01:06:32,477
that people talk to.

100
01:06:32,501 --> 01:06:35,685
A Papua New Guinean doesn't
just drop a seed in the garden.

101
01:06:35,709 --> 01:06:37,560
He's uttering some words.

102
01:06:37,584 --> 01:06:40,560
He's praying to the spirits.

103
01:06:40,584 --> 01:06:42,975
We believe that our spirit
lives on with us,

104
01:06:42,999 --> 01:06:46,477
where we are on the land
and in our villages,

105
01:06:46,501 --> 01:06:48,834
in the caves and the trees
and in the seas.

106
01:06:51,667 --> 01:06:53,101
And because of that,

107
01:06:53,125 --> 01:06:54,894
we protect our land
and our environment,

108
01:06:54,918 --> 01:06:56,999
and it is sacred to us.

109
01:07:01,542 --> 01:07:03,518
(narrator)
Like the villagers in Bosmun,

110
01:07:03,542 --> 01:07:07,999
85% of Papua New Guineans
still live off the land.

111
01:07:09,667 --> 01:07:12,667
[children singing
in native language]

112
01:07:27,459 --> 01:07:30,209
(Ware)
In our culture,
food is the center of life.

113
01:07:34,209 --> 01:07:37,584
All rituals are developed
from food.

114
01:07:40,417 --> 01:07:43,834
We farm largely on the banks
of the Ramu River.

115
01:07:45,918 --> 01:07:49,226
Ramu becomes the center for us.

116
01:07:49,250 --> 01:07:52,018
In our language, we say
it's our mother's breast.

117
01:07:52,042 --> 01:07:55,975
We are able
to drink from it freely.

118
01:07:55,999 --> 01:07:57,018
We are able to fish.

119
01:07:57,042 --> 01:08:00,101
We are able to feast.

120
01:08:00,125 --> 01:08:03,999
We are able to produce new life
because of Ramu.

121
01:08:05,999 --> 01:08:10,042
(narrator)
But many people want
to leave this life behind.

122
01:08:27,584 --> 01:08:29,768
(narrator)
Now the promise
of infrastructure

123
01:08:29,792 --> 01:08:32,143
that has been elusive
in the jungles and highlands

124
01:08:32,167 --> 01:08:35,768
is coming
from an unexpected source.

125
01:08:35,792 --> 01:08:38,975
China Metallurgical Group,
or MCC,

126
01:08:38,999 --> 01:08:43,975
broke ground on a nickel mine
above the Ramu River in 2008,

127
01:08:43,999 --> 01:08:46,975
naming it Ramu NiCo.

128
01:08:46,999 --> 01:08:50,143
(Tigavu)
A mining project
with an expenditure of billions

129
01:08:50,167 --> 01:08:52,876
is going to bring in
everything...

130
01:09:05,417 --> 01:09:09,602
(narrator)
MCC's mine site
lies 75 kilometers southwest

131
01:09:09,626 --> 01:09:11,975
of the provincial capital
of Madang

132
01:09:11,999 --> 01:09:15,852
on a highland plateau
called Kurumbukari.

133
01:09:15,876 --> 01:09:19,018
About a thousand villagers'
homes and gardens

134
01:09:19,042 --> 01:09:21,852
were on top of one
of the richest mineral deposits

135
01:09:21,876 --> 01:09:23,584
in the country.

136
01:09:26,125 --> 01:09:27,542
[speaking native language]

137
01:09:53,834 --> 01:09:55,000
[speaking native language]

138
01:10:15,918 --> 01:10:17,083
[speaking native language]

139
01:10:26,999 --> 01:10:28,375
[speaking native language]

140
01:10:47,209 --> 01:10:48,626
[speaking native language]

141
01:11:02,834 --> 01:11:05,393
(Koian)
They have ordered the villagers

142
01:11:05,417 --> 01:11:08,560
to move
into their sacred mountain.

143
01:11:08,584 --> 01:11:13,602
And everyone has left
except two brothers.

144
01:11:13,626 --> 01:11:16,810
All the people in the village
know it's a taboo area

145
01:11:16,834 --> 01:11:18,602
and a no-go zone.

146
01:11:18,626 --> 01:11:21,393
And so the people
didn't feel right

147
01:11:21,417 --> 01:11:24,894
to move to a land
that they see as sacred.

148
01:11:24,918 --> 01:11:26,083
[speaking native language]

149
01:11:38,542 --> 01:11:39,959
[speaking native language]

150
01:12:12,167 --> 01:12:13,626
[speaking native language]

151
01:12:33,000 --> 01:12:36,000
[people singing
in native language]

152
01:12:39,876 --> 01:12:42,976
(Koian)
If people are being asked
to move away from their land,

153
01:12:43,000 --> 01:12:44,918
how do we talk about this?

154
01:12:46,542 --> 01:12:50,101
Because if our government is not
going to talk on our behalf,

155
01:12:50,125 --> 01:12:52,226
who do we talk with?

156
01:12:52,250 --> 01:12:55,250
[people singing
in native language]

157
01:13:04,626 --> 01:13:05,999
[speaking native language]

158
01:13:19,042 --> 01:13:20,459
[speaking native language]

159
01:13:27,250 --> 01:13:28,667
[speaking native language]

160
01:13:41,292 --> 01:13:48,685
[melancholy music]

161
01:13:48,709 --> 01:13:49,999
[speaking native language]

162
01:14:07,542 --> 01:14:10,542
[people singing
in native language]

163
01:14:19,000 --> 01:14:21,602
(narrator)
David Tigavu
signed the agreement

164
01:14:21,626 --> 01:14:24,975
leasing the Kurumbukari land
to the nickel mine.

165
01:14:24,999 --> 01:14:27,185
He promised new houses
would be built

166
01:14:27,209 --> 01:14:29,209
for the people
on Snake Mountain.

167
01:14:42,751 --> 01:14:44,727
(Chitoa)
People have been colonized,

168
01:14:44,751 --> 01:14:47,268
and one of the mind-sets
that people have

169
01:14:47,292 --> 01:14:50,894
is that, you know,
they expect outsiders

170
01:14:50,918 --> 01:14:53,268
to come and deal
with their problems.

171
01:14:53,292 --> 01:14:55,976
But this is not the case.

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01:14:56,000 --> 01:14:57,185
Outsiders are coming,

173
01:14:57,209 --> 01:15:00,226
and they are taking advantage
of those people.

174
01:15:00,250 --> 01:15:01,975
Okay, you.

175
01:15:01,999 --> 01:15:05,059
(narrator)
John Chitoa and Rosa Koian

176
01:15:05,083 --> 01:15:07,894
are leaders
of the Bismarck Ramu Group,

177
01:15:07,918 --> 01:15:09,894
a grassroots organization

178
01:15:09,918 --> 01:15:11,894
that works
to educate communities

179
01:15:11,918 --> 01:15:15,101
about the issues
surrounding development.

180
01:15:15,125 --> 01:15:16,975
(Koian)
At Bismarck Ramu,

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01:15:16,999 --> 01:15:18,518
we try to make
Papua New Guineans

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01:15:18,542 --> 01:15:20,101
believe in themselves.

183
01:15:20,125 --> 01:15:21,435
(Chitoa)
So we have media.

184
01:15:21,459 --> 01:15:22,727
We have the court.

185
01:15:22,751 --> 01:15:24,768
We are also working
with people on the ground.

186
01:15:24,792 --> 01:15:26,018
Ramu...

187
01:15:26,042 --> 01:15:28,185
(Chitoa)
Our philosophy
is that we want development

188
01:15:28,209 --> 01:15:29,435
that our indigenous people,

189
01:15:29,459 --> 01:15:32,125
our people in the country
can take control.

190
01:15:33,334 --> 01:15:34,975
(narrator)
From Kurumbukari,

191
01:15:34,999 --> 01:15:39,351
the mined ore travels through
a 135-kilometer pipeline

192
01:15:39,375 --> 01:15:42,375
to a new refinery
at Basamuk Bay.

193
01:15:45,542 --> 01:15:47,935
Here, along the Rai Coast,

194
01:15:47,959 --> 01:15:50,518
Ramu NiCo encountered
another dispute

195
01:15:50,542 --> 01:15:51,999
over a sacred site.

196
01:15:54,959 --> 01:15:57,167
This has been our site
where our cemetery has been.

197
01:15:58,999 --> 01:16:00,975
They have entered our country,
Papua New Guinea,

198
01:16:00,999 --> 01:16:02,852
and without respect
for our environment,

199
01:16:02,876 --> 01:16:04,435
our cultural sites,

200
01:16:04,459 --> 01:16:07,435
which has been clearly marked
and known to them

201
01:16:07,459 --> 01:16:09,018
before they set foot
to this land.

202
01:16:09,042 --> 01:16:11,143
Look at what they've done
to our land.

203
01:16:11,167 --> 01:16:13,959
We just can't accept it.

204
01:16:15,334 --> 01:16:18,101
(narrator)
While Mellombo
was visiting the cemetery site,

205
01:16:18,125 --> 01:16:20,975
Ramu NiCo's security
ordered him to leave,

206
01:16:20,999 --> 01:16:23,310
saying he was trespassing.

207
01:16:23,334 --> 01:16:26,101
I was here on the 12th
of December last year,

208
01:16:26,125 --> 01:16:28,518
telling not to remove
the cemetery

209
01:16:28,542 --> 01:16:30,518
until we get to this.

210
01:16:30,542 --> 01:16:32,435
And the mineral resource
authority wrote to him

211
01:16:32,459 --> 01:16:34,560
to say that,
"Do not remove the cemetery."

212
01:16:34,584 --> 01:16:35,975
Do you understand that?

213
01:16:35,999 --> 01:16:38,852
The governor immediately wrote
to the provincial administrator

214
01:16:38,876 --> 01:16:41,226
and directed him to speak
to the Chinese

215
01:16:41,250 --> 01:16:43,310
and tell them that
they couldn't dig this up.

216
01:16:43,334 --> 01:16:45,185
That didn't happen.

217
01:16:45,209 --> 01:16:47,185
The Chinese just went ahead
and dug it up anyway.

218
01:16:47,209 --> 01:16:48,393
This is my land.

219
01:16:48,417 --> 01:16:49,435
I'm standing on my land.

220
01:16:49,459 --> 01:16:50,435
You have no right.

221
01:16:50,459 --> 01:16:51,459
Go back to Mongolia!

222
01:16:52,459 --> 01:16:53,477
Go back to Mongolia!

223
01:16:53,501 --> 01:16:54,477
This is our mine site.

224
01:16:54,501 --> 01:16:56,894
(Tiffany)
The permit actually says

225
01:16:56,918 --> 01:16:59,226
you can't disturb
the sacred sites.

226
01:16:59,250 --> 01:17:04,059
But there has been
no consequences of this breach.

227
01:17:04,083 --> 01:17:05,685
This is Papua New Guinea.
I think so.

228
01:17:05,709 --> 01:17:06,975
This is your country.

229
01:17:06,999 --> 01:17:08,226
But here, this is
our working area.

230
01:17:08,250 --> 01:17:09,975
But you have no right
to remove my cemetery.

231
01:17:09,999 --> 01:17:12,768
It's protected
by the government!

232
01:17:12,792 --> 01:17:14,351
When the Chinese
or the MCC

233
01:17:14,375 --> 01:17:15,975
came into Papua New Guinea,

234
01:17:15,999 --> 01:17:18,226
they thought that the land
was owned by the government.

235
01:17:18,250 --> 01:17:21,643
97% of the land
in Papua New Guinea

236
01:17:21,667 --> 01:17:23,852
is owned by native people.

237
01:17:23,876 --> 01:17:26,435
Only 3% of that
is owned by the government...

238
01:17:26,459 --> 01:17:28,435
I shed tears
for this cemetery.

239
01:17:28,459 --> 01:17:30,435
So when they come in
and establish the refinery,

240
01:17:30,459 --> 01:17:32,643
they can dig out anything
under it

241
01:17:32,667 --> 01:17:34,393
and think that nothing
would happen.

242
01:17:34,417 --> 01:17:35,810
Now, that's not the case here.

243
01:17:35,834 --> 01:17:37,209
So go and talk
to them, not me.

244
01:17:38,999 --> 01:17:41,226
(narrator)
But Sama Mellombo and MCC

245
01:17:41,250 --> 01:17:43,643
were fighting
an even bigger battle,

246
01:17:43,667 --> 01:17:48,018
a lawsuit threatening
to halt its operations entirely.

247
01:17:48,042 --> 01:17:50,975
(Twivey)
The Chinese want
to dump 5 million tons

248
01:17:50,999 --> 01:17:55,435
of hot mine waste tailings
into the sea

249
01:17:55,459 --> 01:17:57,643
at a depth of 150 meters,

250
01:17:57,667 --> 01:18:00,999
and they call that
"deep sea tailings placement."

251
01:18:02,834 --> 01:18:05,602
(narrator)
MCC is the fourth mine
in the country

252
01:18:05,626 --> 01:18:07,975
to direct its waste pipe
into the sea,

253
01:18:07,999 --> 01:18:11,059
saying that gravity
will pull the mining waste

254
01:18:11,083 --> 01:18:14,101
to the ocean floor.

255
01:18:14,125 --> 01:18:16,185
With Bismarck Ramu Group's
support,

256
01:18:16,209 --> 01:18:19,975
Mellombo and, later,
more than 1,000 landowners

257
01:18:19,999 --> 01:18:23,435
hired Tiffany Twivey
to sue the mine.

258
01:18:23,459 --> 01:18:26,852
It is likely that
this deep sea tailings disposal

259
01:18:26,876 --> 01:18:29,018
of 5 million tons
of hot tailings each year

260
01:18:29,042 --> 01:18:30,435
for a period of 20 years

261
01:18:30,459 --> 01:18:34,000
will commit gross
environmental harm.

262
01:18:42,125 --> 01:18:44,727
(narrator)
First to be impacted
by the tailings waste

263
01:18:44,751 --> 01:18:46,435
will be the village
of Mindere,

264
01:18:46,459 --> 01:18:49,975
directly across the bay
from the refinery.

265
01:18:49,999 --> 01:18:51,167
[speaking native language]

266
01:19:02,417 --> 01:19:03,852
They're very concerned,

267
01:19:03,876 --> 01:19:07,810
because the sea is basically
their life-support system.

268
01:19:07,834 --> 01:19:08,975
They fish from the sea.

269
01:19:08,999 --> 01:19:10,310
They wash from the sea.

270
01:19:10,334 --> 01:19:12,999
Their daily lives
entirely depend on the sea.

271
01:19:15,000 --> 01:19:18,310
(Mellombo)
We catch fish
down at 400 meters,

272
01:19:18,334 --> 01:19:21,143
and the tailing would be dropped
at about 150 meters.

273
01:19:21,167 --> 01:19:24,643
It would be disastrous
for the people.

274
01:19:24,667 --> 01:19:26,643
We will lose the environment.

275
01:19:26,667 --> 01:19:29,018
We will lose the sea.

276
01:19:29,042 --> 01:19:31,417
(Tigavu)
If ever fish die
in the ocean...

277
01:19:40,292 --> 01:19:43,477
(Twivey)
Deep sea tailings disposal
is used by mining companies

278
01:19:43,501 --> 01:19:45,975
because it's
the cheapest method,

279
01:19:45,999 --> 01:19:47,894
because they can pump it
into the sea,

280
01:19:47,918 --> 01:19:50,042
and it's out of sight,
out of mind.

281
01:19:53,501 --> 01:19:55,685
How on Earth
is it going to be contained

282
01:19:55,709 --> 01:19:58,709
once it's in the sea
and sloshing around?

283
01:20:01,209 --> 01:20:04,059
(narrator)
Critics of Ramu NiCo
fear it will follow

284
01:20:04,083 --> 01:20:06,975
the historic precedent
of Ok Tedi,

285
01:20:06,999 --> 01:20:09,685
a copper mine that's been
disposing its tailings

286
01:20:09,709 --> 01:20:13,768
directly into a river
for decades.

287
01:20:13,792 --> 01:20:14,975
It is considered

288
01:20:14,999 --> 01:20:17,768
one of the most destructive
industrial sites

289
01:20:17,792 --> 01:20:19,975
in the world.

290
01:20:19,999 --> 01:20:21,143
I always look
at the Fly River,

291
01:20:21,167 --> 01:20:23,727
which is Papua New Guinea's
largest river.

292
01:20:23,751 --> 01:20:27,999
The Fly River
is where the Ok Tedi Mine is.

293
01:20:29,709 --> 01:20:31,999
That river is dead.

294
01:20:35,918 --> 01:20:37,477
(narrator)
In 2011,

295
01:20:37,501 --> 01:20:41,685
PNG's Supreme Court
approved the Ramu mine's plan

296
01:20:41,709 --> 01:20:44,709
to dispose its waste
into the sea.

297
01:20:46,999 --> 01:20:49,393
(Parkop)
We have not reaped
the full benefit

298
01:20:49,417 --> 01:20:50,976
of all this mineral boom

299
01:20:51,000 --> 01:20:52,852
that are taking place
in the country.

300
01:20:52,876 --> 01:20:54,975
And I don't think Ramu,
you know,

301
01:20:54,999 --> 01:20:56,143
will make us any better.

302
01:20:56,167 --> 01:20:58,435
(Koian)
So where is
all the money going?

303
01:20:58,459 --> 01:21:01,435
The money's certainly not coming
to Papua New Guinea.

304
01:21:01,459 --> 01:21:03,518
And look at the state
of the country.

305
01:21:03,542 --> 01:21:05,685
Just look at the state
of the country.

306
01:21:05,709 --> 01:21:08,143
A majority of population
is living in poverty.

307
01:21:08,167 --> 01:21:10,101
Surely you can see
the frustration

308
01:21:10,125 --> 01:21:11,894
that Papua New
Guineans feel.

309
01:21:11,918 --> 01:21:13,894
We brought in
the Chinese earlier on

310
01:21:13,918 --> 01:21:15,518
for this Ramu nickel,

311
01:21:15,542 --> 01:21:20,101
because that's a $800 million
U.S. dollar development.

312
01:21:20,125 --> 01:21:22,810
No country can reject it,

313
01:21:22,834 --> 01:21:24,602
particularly a developing
country like ours.

314
01:21:24,626 --> 01:21:25,852
But that funding
doesn't seem

315
01:21:25,876 --> 01:21:27,226
to go down
to the ground.

316
01:21:27,250 --> 01:21:28,935
It doesn't go
to the ground.

317
01:21:28,959 --> 01:21:31,685
It's not my job,
as a politician,

318
01:21:31,709 --> 01:21:32,975
to hand them the money.

319
01:21:32,999 --> 01:21:34,560
Your job
as prime minister

320
01:21:34,584 --> 01:21:35,975
is to ensure
that your people

321
01:21:35,999 --> 01:21:36,975
are well looked after.

322
01:21:36,999 --> 01:21:37,975
I know.

323
01:21:37,999 --> 01:21:40,643
In many other places,
they starve.

324
01:21:40,667 --> 01:21:42,018
They die on the streets.

325
01:21:42,042 --> 01:21:44,226
Papua New Guineans
don't die on the streets.

326
01:21:44,250 --> 01:21:45,560
People will tell you...

327
01:21:45,584 --> 01:21:47,518
(narrator)
In 2011,

328
01:21:47,542 --> 01:21:50,310
Somare was found guilty
of tax evasion.

329
01:21:50,334 --> 01:21:51,975
Since leaving office,

330
01:21:51,999 --> 01:21:56,975
he has come under investigation
for misuse of public funds.

331
01:21:56,999 --> 01:21:59,975
PNG's auditor has estimated

332
01:21:59,999 --> 01:22:05,018
that government officials
steal $356 million a year

333
01:22:05,042 --> 01:22:06,976
from state coffers.

334
01:22:07,000 --> 01:22:09,185
(Koian)
Greed.

335
01:22:09,209 --> 01:22:11,975
Money is the biggest
driving force.

336
01:22:11,999 --> 01:22:14,393
God put everything here,

337
01:22:14,417 --> 01:22:16,975
and there's plenty for everyone.

338
01:22:16,999 --> 01:22:20,143
But one man wants it all
for himself,

339
01:22:20,167 --> 01:22:25,143
and none of us can stand aside
or stand up and say,

340
01:22:25,167 --> 01:22:28,334
"You've had enough.
You've got enough."

341
01:22:30,999 --> 01:22:31,975
From this point on...

342
01:22:31,999 --> 01:22:33,975
[speaking indistinctly]

343
01:22:33,999 --> 01:22:35,351
(Chitoa)
The Ramu nickel operation

344
01:22:35,375 --> 01:22:36,975
is no longer
a development issue.

345
01:22:36,999 --> 01:22:38,935
It's more a moral issue now,

346
01:22:38,959 --> 01:22:41,226
because you are dealing
with the lives of the people.

347
01:22:41,250 --> 01:22:42,852
(Koian)
In Bismarck Ramu,

348
01:22:42,876 --> 01:22:46,435
we're using modern technology
to tell the world,

349
01:22:46,459 --> 01:22:48,852
"Please don't take our land.

350
01:22:48,876 --> 01:22:50,143
This is our life."

351
01:22:50,167 --> 01:22:53,975
[people speaking
in native language]

352
01:22:53,999 --> 01:22:55,393
(narrator)
Poin Caspar,

353
01:22:55,417 --> 01:22:58,143
a Bismarck Ramu organizer
from Bosmun,

354
01:22:58,167 --> 01:23:01,018
is working with villagers
to record information

355
01:23:01,042 --> 01:23:03,975
about their sacred site
along the river,

356
01:23:03,999 --> 01:23:08,435
a taboo area
no one is allowed to enter.

357
01:23:08,459 --> 01:23:11,226
Scientists now see
these forbidden places

358
01:23:11,250 --> 01:23:14,143
as sanctuaries
where traditional knowledge

359
01:23:14,167 --> 01:23:17,393
protects biodiversity
and natural wealth.

360
01:23:17,417 --> 01:23:18,976
[speaks indistinctly]

361
01:23:19,000 --> 01:23:20,143
(Caspar)
We have a process

362
01:23:20,167 --> 01:23:23,975
which is focused
on people empowerment.

363
01:23:23,999 --> 01:23:26,975
When and if the people
are in control

364
01:23:26,999 --> 01:23:28,768
of the land and resources,

365
01:23:28,792 --> 01:23:30,435
they can withstand
those external threats

366
01:23:30,459 --> 01:23:32,852
that are coming in.

367
01:23:32,876 --> 01:23:36,975
Although Ramu NiCo won't be
dumping directly to the river,

368
01:23:36,999 --> 01:23:40,643
when they mine,
when rain falls,

369
01:23:40,667 --> 01:23:43,226
all the chemicals
which are used up there--

370
01:23:43,250 --> 01:23:46,435
it's going to be washed
into the tributaries.

371
01:23:46,459 --> 01:23:49,999
And from the tributaries,
it ends up in the Ramu River.

372
01:23:51,999 --> 01:23:54,810
(Chitoa)
About 100,000
to 200,000 people

373
01:23:54,834 --> 01:23:55,975
live along the Ramu River,

374
01:23:55,999 --> 01:23:57,999
and they depend on it
for their survival.

375
01:23:59,375 --> 01:24:02,935
(Caspar)
Ramu River,
it's our livelihood.

376
01:24:02,959 --> 01:24:05,975
Once it's gone, that's it.

377
01:24:05,999 --> 01:24:10,185
(narrator)
MCC acknowledges
that erosion is a major concern.

378
01:24:10,209 --> 01:24:13,310
The company says
it is planting grasses

379
01:24:13,334 --> 01:24:16,999
to stabilize the soil
and reduce runoff.

380
01:24:19,501 --> 01:24:22,059
(Ware)
They are actually trying
to kill Ramu.

381
01:24:22,083 --> 01:24:24,268
We have been told already
there are contaminants

382
01:24:24,292 --> 01:24:25,976
already into the river.

383
01:24:26,000 --> 01:24:27,792
We are frightened.

384
01:24:32,501 --> 01:24:34,894
The government must decide

385
01:24:34,918 --> 01:24:38,268
to what extent we sacrifice
our land and our environment

386
01:24:38,292 --> 01:24:42,059
for the purpose
of economic development.

387
01:24:42,083 --> 01:24:43,268
The way we're going,

388
01:24:43,292 --> 01:24:44,975
we're going to fail
our responsibility

389
01:24:44,999 --> 01:24:46,792
to the next generation.

390
01:25:04,167 --> 01:25:07,018
(Koian)
These mines are not
for Papua New Guinea.

391
01:25:07,042 --> 01:25:10,226
They are not serving
Papua New Guinea's interests.

392
01:25:10,250 --> 01:25:13,518
And Papua New Guineans
are not stupid anymore.

393
01:25:13,542 --> 01:25:16,852
Papua New Guineans know enough.

394
01:25:16,876 --> 01:25:19,083
And we know what is coming.

395
01:25:21,959 --> 01:25:24,101
(Ware)
MCC is interfering
with the Ramu

396
01:25:24,125 --> 01:25:26,310
and its right
to live and breathe.

397
01:25:26,334 --> 01:25:29,334
[men yelling]

398
01:25:31,751 --> 01:25:33,351
We're fierce.

399
01:25:33,375 --> 01:25:36,185
And if you're going to cut off
the very source of life,

400
01:25:36,209 --> 01:25:38,976
we are most likely to fight,

401
01:25:39,000 --> 01:25:40,768
and we will fight.

402
01:25:40,792 --> 01:25:43,768
[heavy percussive music]

403
01:25:43,792 --> 01:25:51,792
♪ ♪

404
01:26:28,626 --> 01:26:29,894
(LaDuke)
I believe that people

405
01:26:29,918 --> 01:26:31,643
should not have
to trade their ecosystem

406
01:26:31,667 --> 01:26:32,810
for running water,

407
01:26:32,834 --> 01:26:35,268
for electricity,
and a clinic.

408
01:26:35,292 --> 01:26:36,435
Why do we need development?

409
01:26:36,459 --> 01:26:38,226
For what, for whom?

410
01:26:38,250 --> 01:26:41,310
Is it going to contribute to us?

411
01:26:41,334 --> 01:26:44,643
(narrator)
From Papua New Guinea
to northern Canada,

412
01:26:44,667 --> 01:26:47,518
foreign demand drives
the industrialization

413
01:26:47,542 --> 01:26:49,101
of native lands.

414
01:26:49,125 --> 01:26:52,226
Nickel from the Ramu NiCo mine

415
01:26:52,250 --> 01:26:54,975
will become
stainless steel appliances,

416
01:26:54,999 --> 01:26:56,727
cell phone batteries,

417
01:26:56,751 --> 01:26:57,999
and jet engines.

418
01:26:59,999 --> 01:27:02,059
A world away, in Alberta,

419
01:27:02,083 --> 01:27:04,268
native people
who have lived off the bounty

420
01:27:04,292 --> 01:27:07,268
of boreal forests
and abundant rivers

421
01:27:07,292 --> 01:27:10,975
find themselves at the center
of the global oil industry,

422
01:27:10,999 --> 01:27:15,000
mining the tar sands
to fuel American cars.

423
01:27:17,334 --> 01:27:19,101
(LaDuke)
We have run out
of places to conquer,

424
01:27:19,125 --> 01:27:22,143
new places to mine,
new places to dam.

425
01:27:22,167 --> 01:27:24,226
The remaining oil resources
are still there,

426
01:27:24,250 --> 01:27:25,393
but they are in places

427
01:27:25,417 --> 01:27:27,310
that it is untenable
or difficult to get.

428
01:27:27,334 --> 01:27:31,059
They are now coming
to those most remote places:

429
01:27:31,083 --> 01:27:33,059
the Ramu nickel mine,

430
01:27:33,083 --> 01:27:35,685
tar sands of Alberta.

431
01:27:35,709 --> 01:27:37,351
(Thomas-Muller)
What we're seeing happening

432
01:27:37,375 --> 01:27:41,727
is the largest development ever
in the history of mankind.

433
01:27:41,751 --> 01:27:44,310
Tar sands
is the civil rights issue

434
01:27:44,334 --> 01:27:45,959
of my generation.

435
01:27:50,125 --> 01:27:51,975
(Mercredi)
You know, right out
of high school,

436
01:27:51,999 --> 01:27:54,518
they start recruiting us
to work in the tar sands.

437
01:27:54,542 --> 01:27:55,894
And growing up,

438
01:27:55,918 --> 01:27:58,894
I never knew anything
about the environmental effects.

439
01:27:58,918 --> 01:28:00,768
When you're 16 and 17

440
01:28:00,792 --> 01:28:01,975
and you're getting,
you know,

441
01:28:01,999 --> 01:28:04,018
1,500 to 2,000 bucks
every two weeks,

442
01:28:04,042 --> 01:28:06,852
it's like, "I know what
I'm gonna do," you know?

443
01:28:06,876 --> 01:28:08,542
You got that taste
for the money.

444
01:28:09,918 --> 01:28:11,268
When I got in there,
I was amazed,

445
01:28:11,292 --> 01:28:13,935
you know, mesmerized by,
"Oh, look at this plant.

446
01:28:13,959 --> 01:28:15,643
Wow, it looks like a city."

447
01:28:15,667 --> 01:28:18,975
I remember when I first got
on a heavy hauler,

448
01:28:18,999 --> 01:28:20,975
and this was
the biggest truck in the world

449
01:28:20,999 --> 01:28:23,351
on the biggest
construction project in history.

450
01:28:23,375 --> 01:28:25,059
I was just like, "My, holy cow!"

451
01:28:25,083 --> 01:28:26,268
And I'm way up there.

452
01:28:26,292 --> 01:28:29,477
And pickup trucks
were, like, this big.

453
01:28:29,501 --> 01:28:31,018
Everything is tiny.

454
01:28:31,042 --> 01:28:32,018
You know, I was just like,

455
01:28:32,042 --> 01:28:33,894
"Wow, this is awesome,"
you know?

456
01:28:33,918 --> 01:28:35,852
"I'm driving a huge--
I like driving big trucks.

457
01:28:35,876 --> 01:28:36,975
I like driving trucks."

458
01:28:36,999 --> 01:28:39,602
I was just like,
"Oh, man, I love my job.

459
01:28:39,626 --> 01:28:41,852
I'll come to work
and do this every day."

460
01:28:41,876 --> 01:28:45,042
And then--then it started
losing its thrill.

461
01:28:47,999 --> 01:28:50,185
(narrator)
600 miles from the Arctic Circle

462
01:28:50,209 --> 01:28:51,727
in northern Canada,

463
01:28:51,751 --> 01:28:54,310
ancestors
of the Athabasca Chipewyan,

464
01:28:54,334 --> 01:28:56,310
Mikisew Cree, and Métis

465
01:28:56,334 --> 01:28:58,751
have lived for more
than 10,000 years.

466
01:29:00,250 --> 01:29:02,435
Their boreal forest
and wetlands,

467
01:29:02,459 --> 01:29:04,852
a diverse and fragile ecosystem,

468
01:29:04,876 --> 01:29:09,268
store twice as much carbon
as a tropical rainforest.

469
01:29:09,292 --> 01:29:10,810
For millennia,

470
01:29:10,834 --> 01:29:12,976
the First Nations people
didn't know

471
01:29:13,000 --> 01:29:14,975
that the land
beneath their feet--

472
01:29:14,999 --> 01:29:18,185
where they fished, hunted,
and buried their dead--

473
01:29:18,209 --> 01:29:19,810
would become a treasure

474
01:29:19,834 --> 01:29:22,000
coveted by people
around the world.

475
01:29:24,459 --> 01:29:26,810
And they didn't anticipate
the cost

476
01:29:26,834 --> 01:29:28,185
of unearthing that treasure

477
01:29:28,209 --> 01:29:30,975
for their communities,
their health,

478
01:29:30,999 --> 01:29:32,935
and the land they hold sacred.

479
01:29:32,959 --> 01:29:33,976
(Mercredi)
Next thing you know,

480
01:29:34,000 --> 01:29:35,975
I started hearing the calls
from back home of,

481
01:29:35,999 --> 01:29:37,975
"Oh, this person's sick"

482
01:29:37,999 --> 01:29:40,393
and then, "Oh, this person--
we just buried a person.

483
01:29:40,417 --> 01:29:41,602
"Oh, this person's dead.

484
01:29:41,626 --> 01:29:43,185
"Are you going to come
to the funeral?

485
01:29:43,209 --> 01:29:44,810
"Oh, you better
come see your uncle.

486
01:29:44,834 --> 01:29:46,393
He's on his deathbed."

487
01:29:46,417 --> 01:29:48,918
And I'm like, "What the hell
is going on here?"

488
01:29:51,959 --> 01:29:53,560
(narrator)
The First Nations communities

489
01:29:53,584 --> 01:29:55,975
of Fort Chipewyan
and Fort McKay,

490
01:29:55,999 --> 01:29:57,768
once frontier trading posts

491
01:29:57,792 --> 01:30:00,143
for beaver fur
and muskrat pelts,

492
01:30:00,167 --> 01:30:01,560
are now at the center

493
01:30:01,584 --> 01:30:04,999
of the third largest
petroleum deposit on Earth.

494
01:30:06,125 --> 01:30:09,894
Corporations from France,
Norway, China,

495
01:30:09,918 --> 01:30:12,768
the United States,
and dozens of other countries

496
01:30:12,792 --> 01:30:17,268
have applied for licenses
to extract the oil.

497
01:30:17,292 --> 01:30:18,602
The bitumen,

498
01:30:18,626 --> 01:30:21,185
mixed with the soil
of ancient hunting grounds,

499
01:30:21,209 --> 01:30:24,393
is called "oil sands"
or "tar sands."

500
01:30:24,417 --> 01:30:27,810
(Nordbye)
Oil sands are basically,
in very simple terms,

501
01:30:27,834 --> 01:30:30,975
oil found in dirt
beneath the surface.

502
01:30:30,999 --> 01:30:33,518
And we use different processes

503
01:30:33,542 --> 01:30:35,393
to remove the oil
from the sand.

504
01:30:35,417 --> 01:30:36,975
(McEachern)
The potential is huge.

505
01:30:36,999 --> 01:30:38,602
What we talk about
that's recoverable

506
01:30:38,626 --> 01:30:40,560
is about 170 billion barrels.

507
01:30:40,584 --> 01:30:43,351
(Thompson)
Canada is, right now,

508
01:30:43,375 --> 01:30:44,852
the largest supplier
of oil and gas

509
01:30:44,876 --> 01:30:46,059
to the United States.

510
01:30:46,083 --> 01:30:48,185
And you know, I mean,
I'm pretty proud of the fact

511
01:30:48,209 --> 01:30:51,602
that our industry provides
the dignity and respect of a job

512
01:30:51,626 --> 01:30:54,209
to 456,000 people.

513
01:30:56,667 --> 01:30:57,852
(Mercredi)
I went to work,

514
01:30:57,876 --> 01:30:59,560
and I looked around,

515
01:30:59,584 --> 01:31:01,975
and I was just like,
"Holy crap.

516
01:31:01,999 --> 01:31:05,018
There's no trees for miles."

517
01:31:05,042 --> 01:31:08,226
And I was just like, you know,
like this and thinking,

518
01:31:08,250 --> 01:31:09,975
"How did I get used
to this smell?

519
01:31:09,999 --> 01:31:11,834
How didIget used
to this smell?"

520
01:31:13,375 --> 01:31:14,975
And I thought,
"I got to get out of here."

521
01:31:14,999 --> 01:31:17,059
You know, it's just that
overwhelming, like, anxiety,

522
01:31:17,083 --> 01:31:18,268
and I had to get out of here.

523
01:31:18,292 --> 01:31:19,935
And I left,
and I put my badge down,

524
01:31:19,959 --> 01:31:20,999
and I said, "I quit."

525
01:31:25,792 --> 01:31:28,351
(narrator)
The oil sands region
is a territory

526
01:31:28,375 --> 01:31:29,975
the native people gave up

527
01:31:29,999 --> 01:31:33,584
in an 1899 peace agreement
called Treaty 8.

528
01:31:35,999 --> 01:31:38,976
The Canadian government
promised each indigenous band

529
01:31:39,000 --> 01:31:41,602
would retain access
to fishing and hunting

530
01:31:41,626 --> 01:31:44,393
on their traditional lands.

531
01:31:44,417 --> 01:31:47,417
[hammer tapping]

532
01:31:52,542 --> 01:31:54,935
(Raymond Ladouceur)
To me, what is sacred
on Mother Earth

533
01:31:54,959 --> 01:31:57,310
is whatever we take
off the land,

534
01:31:57,334 --> 01:31:58,727
the medicines and everything

535
01:31:58,751 --> 01:32:00,975
that the Mother Earth
provide us, you know?

536
01:32:00,999 --> 01:32:04,685
The water is very sacred,
because we need that to survive.

537
01:32:04,709 --> 01:32:06,477
The air is sacred to me,
you know,

538
01:32:06,501 --> 01:32:09,185
because we breathe in the air
to live.

539
01:32:09,209 --> 01:32:12,209
[speaking native language]

540
01:32:15,209 --> 01:32:17,810
(Mercredi)
Our elders are
our traditional scientists.

541
01:32:17,834 --> 01:32:21,810
They consider everything sacred
from the water, the air,

542
01:32:21,834 --> 01:32:24,602
the rocks, the plants,
the trees.

543
01:32:24,626 --> 01:32:27,626
[speaking native language]

544
01:32:29,000 --> 01:32:30,393
(Mercredi)
This is all sacred,

545
01:32:30,417 --> 01:32:34,935
because everything there
provides life.

546
01:32:34,959 --> 01:32:36,310
All this comes from the land,

547
01:32:36,334 --> 01:32:38,999
and this is what
we're protecting.

548
01:32:40,709 --> 01:32:42,101
(narrator)
After quitting Syncrude,

549
01:32:42,125 --> 01:32:44,935
Mike Mercredi was hired
by his band,

550
01:32:44,959 --> 01:32:47,518
the Athabasca Chipewyan
First Nation,

551
01:32:47,542 --> 01:32:50,685
to make maps
to protect sacred sites.

552
01:32:50,709 --> 01:32:52,685
(Lepine)
If we don't do something
about it now,

553
01:32:52,709 --> 01:32:54,268
this map is gonna be
totally different

554
01:32:54,292 --> 01:32:55,560
in about 100 years.

555
01:32:55,584 --> 01:32:56,975
You know, that lake
will be smaller.

556
01:32:56,999 --> 01:32:58,768
That lake will
probably disappear.

557
01:32:58,792 --> 01:33:00,101
That one will be totally gone.

558
01:33:00,125 --> 01:33:02,101
(Mercredi)
Coming up the Athabasca River

559
01:33:02,125 --> 01:33:04,226
is the toxic sludge
from the tar sands.

560
01:33:04,250 --> 01:33:07,435
All this goes to Lake Athabasca

561
01:33:07,459 --> 01:33:10,435
right by Fort Chip.

562
01:33:10,459 --> 01:33:12,602
And where do we get
our drinking water from?

563
01:33:12,626 --> 01:33:13,602
The lake.

564
01:33:13,626 --> 01:33:14,685
We can't go to areas to hunt.

565
01:33:14,709 --> 01:33:15,975
(Lepine)
Yeah.

566
01:33:15,999 --> 01:33:17,975
We can't do anything
that's gonna allow us

567
01:33:17,999 --> 01:33:19,602
to practice our
traditional rights.

568
01:33:19,626 --> 01:33:20,975
That's infringement
on our treaty.

569
01:33:20,999 --> 01:33:22,167
That's breaking the treaty.

570
01:33:29,209 --> 01:33:30,393
You can see the smoke

571
01:33:30,417 --> 01:33:31,975
coming out of
the smokestacks.

572
01:33:31,999 --> 01:33:33,393
You can see it
with the naked eye

573
01:33:33,417 --> 01:33:35,975
on a clear day.

574
01:33:35,999 --> 01:33:39,351
(Mercredi)
For as far as my eyes can see,

575
01:33:39,375 --> 01:33:42,685
there's tar sands under all
of that boreal forest.

576
01:33:42,709 --> 01:33:46,560
Just by looking at it,
that's about 80 kilometers.

577
01:33:46,584 --> 01:33:48,975
And a lot of it is for open pit.

578
01:33:48,999 --> 01:33:51,975
So that's everything,
all of this, gone.

579
01:33:51,999 --> 01:33:54,852
So whatever you see
at Syncrude and Suncor,

580
01:33:54,876 --> 01:33:55,975
around the sites there,

581
01:33:55,999 --> 01:33:58,167
that's how it's gonna look
right here.

582
01:34:01,834 --> 01:34:03,602
(narrator)
Industry uses heated water

583
01:34:03,626 --> 01:34:05,059
from the Athabasca River

584
01:34:05,083 --> 01:34:07,918
to separate the oil
from the sand.

585
01:34:08,918 --> 01:34:10,975
Creating one barrel of oil

586
01:34:10,999 --> 01:34:12,976
takes four barrels
of fresh water,

587
01:34:13,000 --> 01:34:15,975
2,000 cubic feet
of natural gas,

588
01:34:15,999 --> 01:34:19,059
and two tons of oil sands.

589
01:34:19,083 --> 01:34:21,477
And industry's need
will only escalate

590
01:34:21,501 --> 01:34:24,101
as it is goes deeper
into the earth.

591
01:34:24,125 --> 01:34:26,101
(Nordbye)
The majority of the reserves

592
01:34:26,125 --> 01:34:29,727
are too far under the ground
to develop through mining,

593
01:34:29,751 --> 01:34:30,727
and as a result,

594
01:34:30,751 --> 01:34:32,018
we need to look
to new technologies,

595
01:34:32,042 --> 01:34:35,059
such as in situ or SAGD.

596
01:34:35,083 --> 01:34:37,685
(narrator)
In the SAGD process,

597
01:34:37,709 --> 01:34:39,894
steam liquefies the oil,

598
01:34:39,918 --> 01:34:42,059
which is then pumped
to the surface.

599
01:34:42,083 --> 01:34:44,975
(Nordbye)
So it has a lot less
surface disturbance

600
01:34:44,999 --> 01:34:47,018
and overall appears to be

601
01:34:47,042 --> 01:34:49,310
a lot less impact
on the environment.

602
01:34:49,334 --> 01:34:50,975
That's completely false.

603
01:34:50,999 --> 01:34:53,643
They get in there
with high-density seismic lines,

604
01:34:53,667 --> 01:34:55,975
and they cut the place
to shreds,

605
01:34:55,999 --> 01:34:58,393
so its function
as a natural landscape

606
01:34:58,417 --> 01:35:02,143
will be lost over
a much greater area of land

607
01:35:02,167 --> 01:35:05,999
than the surface mining
will ever be able to disturb.

608
01:35:11,876 --> 01:35:13,975
Hey.
How are you doing?

609
01:35:13,999 --> 01:35:14,975
How are you doing?

610
01:35:14,999 --> 01:35:16,976
(narrator)
In 2001,

611
01:35:17,000 --> 01:35:18,976
Dr. John O'Connor
took an assignment

612
01:35:19,000 --> 01:35:20,975
at the clinic
in Fort Chipewyan.

613
01:35:20,999 --> 01:35:21,976
Yeah, this is
where it hurts,

614
01:35:22,000 --> 01:35:23,435
right there.

615
01:35:23,459 --> 01:35:25,226
(O'Connor)
As I got to know
the community,

616
01:35:25,250 --> 01:35:28,351
I began to find, you know,
serious cancer cases,

617
01:35:28,375 --> 01:35:30,351
some of which
were occurring in numbers

618
01:35:30,375 --> 01:35:34,768
that were really alarming.

619
01:35:34,792 --> 01:35:38,226
Given the fact that
it was a traditional community

620
01:35:38,250 --> 01:35:40,209
where 80% of the people
lived off the land...

621
01:35:41,999 --> 01:35:46,560
Way off the beaten track
and its pristine location,

622
01:35:46,584 --> 01:35:48,167
it made no sense to me.

623
01:35:54,542 --> 01:35:56,518
(Waquan)
We used to go anywhere out here

624
01:35:56,542 --> 01:35:59,768
in any of the rivers,
any of the lakes,

625
01:35:59,792 --> 01:36:01,852
and we could take water
and make some tea,

626
01:36:01,876 --> 01:36:03,935
and now we can't do that.

627
01:36:03,959 --> 01:36:06,768
Even when you boil it,
you can't drink it.

628
01:36:06,792 --> 01:36:07,975
(Boucher)
Once, this river

629
01:36:07,999 --> 01:36:11,560
was characterized by the elders
as a food basket,

630
01:36:11,584 --> 01:36:14,792
and it was a river of plenty.

631
01:36:16,999 --> 01:36:18,560
Today the river
has become barren

632
01:36:18,584 --> 01:36:20,167
in the minds of the people.

633
01:36:23,667 --> 01:36:26,310
(McEachern)
We've always acknowledged
that there are impacts.

634
01:36:26,334 --> 01:36:29,310
What we said is that
most of it is natural.

635
01:36:29,334 --> 01:36:31,310
Downstream
of the oil sands mines,

636
01:36:31,334 --> 01:36:33,810
you cannot measure that impact
from those discharges

637
01:36:33,834 --> 01:36:35,477
when it gets
to fully mixed conditions

638
01:36:35,501 --> 01:36:37,976
in a large river
like the Athabasca River.

639
01:36:38,000 --> 01:36:41,894
(Timoney)
Hundreds of tons
of these toxic compounds

640
01:36:41,918 --> 01:36:44,268
are entering
the system annually,

641
01:36:44,292 --> 01:36:48,292
and these are not natural
in origin.

642
01:36:51,959 --> 01:36:54,810
(narrator)
Scientists have found lead,
mercury,

643
01:36:54,834 --> 01:36:56,976
and other petroleum-based toxins

644
01:36:57,000 --> 01:36:58,975
at much higher levels

645
01:36:58,999 --> 01:37:01,975
than government
and industry report.

646
01:37:01,999 --> 01:37:05,226
There's a soup
of toxic chemicals going up.

647
01:37:05,250 --> 01:37:07,852
If you think
of that airborne pollution

648
01:37:07,876 --> 01:37:10,018
coating all the vegetation,

649
01:37:10,042 --> 01:37:12,727
any animals that come in there
to graze

650
01:37:12,751 --> 01:37:15,351
are going to be taking up
more arsenic

651
01:37:15,375 --> 01:37:16,975
and any other pollutants.

652
01:37:16,999 --> 01:37:20,310
(Timoney)
If you're getting a lot
of your food from the moose,

653
01:37:20,334 --> 01:37:22,727
from fishes,
from water fowl,

654
01:37:22,751 --> 01:37:24,959
this is a huge concern.

655
01:37:29,292 --> 01:37:32,226
There's plenty of tea mint
around in this area here,

656
01:37:32,250 --> 01:37:36,018
which is good,
and this very good stuff.

657
01:37:36,042 --> 01:37:39,975
You know, as a trapper...

658
01:37:39,999 --> 01:37:43,727
I can dry this up,
crush it up.

659
01:37:43,751 --> 01:37:46,975
I use this a lot
in the sweat lodge too.

660
01:37:46,999 --> 01:37:50,643
The most natural
wild tea mint there is.

661
01:37:50,667 --> 01:37:53,667
[steam hissing]

662
01:37:54,999 --> 01:37:56,976
First test drill hole
we'll be going up to

663
01:37:57,000 --> 01:37:58,643
is southeast of here.

664
01:37:58,667 --> 01:37:59,810
Mm-hmm.

665
01:37:59,834 --> 01:38:00,975
(Courtoreille)
Who's drilling there?

666
01:38:00,999 --> 01:38:01,975
Petro-Canada.

667
01:38:01,999 --> 01:38:04,143
- That's Suncor now.
- Yeah.

668
01:38:04,167 --> 01:38:06,417
[sniffs] Mmm.
Smells good.

669
01:38:13,250 --> 01:38:16,018
(Roy Ladouceur)
See where they drilled
the test hole here?

670
01:38:16,042 --> 01:38:17,975
- Mm-hmm.
- And I trap here.

671
01:38:17,999 --> 01:38:20,975
So it's a big disturbance
to animal life.

672
01:38:20,999 --> 01:38:22,351
Now they're moving away

673
01:38:22,375 --> 01:38:25,393
'cause of the noisy activity
and vehicles on the road.

674
01:38:25,417 --> 01:38:27,000
Gonna get a waypoint.

675
01:38:28,584 --> 01:38:30,643
(Mercredi)
When I first started
doing the sacred sites,

676
01:38:30,667 --> 01:38:32,643
I was going to each area
and GPS'ing it,

677
01:38:32,667 --> 01:38:34,393
taking pictures,
writing a report.

678
01:38:34,417 --> 01:38:36,810
This information
was put on maps.

679
01:38:36,834 --> 01:38:38,602
Later it was kind of used for,

680
01:38:38,626 --> 01:38:41,834
"This is our protected sites
that we need as a First Nation."

681
01:38:43,292 --> 01:38:44,685
This is just
how many feet away,

682
01:38:44,709 --> 01:38:46,768
and this is
one little section.

683
01:38:46,792 --> 01:38:50,018
Right here, there's two things
that provide sustenance:

684
01:38:50,042 --> 01:38:52,852
cranberries
for human consumption

685
01:38:52,876 --> 01:38:54,643
and the lichen
for the woodland caribou

686
01:38:54,667 --> 01:38:55,975
that are in the area.

687
01:38:55,999 --> 01:38:59,059
Now that whole area,
no caribou,

688
01:38:59,083 --> 01:39:00,810
or nobody will ever go back
in that area

689
01:39:00,834 --> 01:39:01,959
to use it again.

690
01:39:03,167 --> 01:39:05,602
In order to make the bitumen
come out of the oil...

691
01:39:05,626 --> 01:39:07,018
(narrator)
For four decades,

692
01:39:07,042 --> 01:39:11,226
government has been industry's
most enthusiastic advocate,

693
01:39:11,250 --> 01:39:13,477
spending billions
of taxpayer dollars

694
01:39:13,501 --> 01:39:15,685
on research and subsidies.

695
01:39:15,709 --> 01:39:18,894
(McEachern)
Heavy, heavy government
funding on the front end

696
01:39:18,918 --> 01:39:21,685
to create the research
to figure out,

697
01:39:21,709 --> 01:39:25,477
"How do we economically harvest
this resource?"

698
01:39:25,501 --> 01:39:28,894
(man)
It's the fuel
that runs your car,

699
01:39:28,918 --> 01:39:31,268
bubblegum,

700
01:39:31,292 --> 01:39:32,852
toothpaste.

701
01:39:32,876 --> 01:39:35,143
It all starts right here
in the oil sands.

702
01:39:35,167 --> 01:39:38,143
(narrator)
To address mounting
public concern,

703
01:39:38,167 --> 01:39:42,351
the Alberta government launched
a $25 million PR campaign

704
01:39:42,375 --> 01:39:44,560
targeting their biggest
customer,

705
01:39:44,584 --> 01:39:46,000
the United States.

706
01:39:50,542 --> 01:39:51,852
I'm very excited to know

707
01:39:51,876 --> 01:39:54,852
that our good friends
in Canada here in Alberta

708
01:39:54,876 --> 01:39:57,435
have an oil supply
that can help fuel America

709
01:39:57,459 --> 01:39:58,810
for years to come

710
01:39:58,834 --> 01:40:01,810
instead of having to buy
more oil from Mideast regimes

711
01:40:01,834 --> 01:40:03,975
that don't like us very much.

712
01:40:03,999 --> 01:40:06,667
Full speed ahead when it comes
to oil sands development.

713
01:40:10,999 --> 01:40:14,101
(Stepanowich)
In June of 2000,

714
01:40:14,125 --> 01:40:18,310
I was hired by Suncor
as a heavy equipment operator.

715
01:40:18,334 --> 01:40:23,935
I've operated grader,
a dozer, a shovel.

716
01:40:23,959 --> 01:40:25,477
It's about six months now,

717
01:40:25,501 --> 01:40:29,310
I've been
in the drainage department.

718
01:40:29,334 --> 01:40:31,310
All I know is,
I take water samples,

719
01:40:31,334 --> 01:40:33,667
and the water's good.

720
01:40:35,083 --> 01:40:38,351
The reason I chose
to work out here is,

721
01:40:38,375 --> 01:40:42,143
you know, it's financial gain
to begin with.

722
01:40:42,167 --> 01:40:45,185
I make excellent money.

723
01:40:45,209 --> 01:40:46,976
Nobody's going to come out
and hand me money

724
01:40:47,000 --> 01:40:49,999
to put my son through school.

725
01:40:51,292 --> 01:40:53,685
(Boucher)
Our people need
to make a living.

726
01:40:53,709 --> 01:40:56,768
We wanted to see
our people benefit

727
01:40:56,792 --> 01:41:00,852
from what's going on
in our backyard.

728
01:41:00,876 --> 01:41:03,226
Combined, including
our joint ventures last year,

729
01:41:03,250 --> 01:41:06,975
we did about $1/2 billion
in business.

730
01:41:06,999 --> 01:41:09,810
(Stepanowich)
I chose to work here
for my family

731
01:41:09,834 --> 01:41:11,185
to have a better way of life.

732
01:41:11,209 --> 01:41:14,209
And it's--
and Suncor has given me that.

733
01:41:17,751 --> 01:41:19,393
(narrator)
One of the environmental costs

734
01:41:19,417 --> 01:41:21,975
that has come
with that better way of life

735
01:41:21,999 --> 01:41:25,976
is the growth of large lakes
of toxic sludge.

736
01:41:26,000 --> 01:41:29,310
Sprawling over 65 square miles,

737
01:41:29,334 --> 01:41:31,393
these tailings ponds are deadly

738
01:41:31,417 --> 01:41:34,643
to migrating birds
and other wildlife.

739
01:41:34,667 --> 01:41:38,059
(Timoney)
There are literally billions
of liters of tailings

740
01:41:38,083 --> 01:41:40,351
produced annually.

741
01:41:40,375 --> 01:41:43,351
They're located along
the Athabasca River.

742
01:41:43,375 --> 01:41:45,143
It's about the worst place
in the world

743
01:41:45,167 --> 01:41:47,560
you could place a pond

744
01:41:47,584 --> 01:41:49,709
that contains a lot of toxins.

745
01:41:50,999 --> 01:41:52,999
It's a recipe for disaster.

746
01:41:57,375 --> 01:41:59,143
[gentle choral music]

747
01:41:59,167 --> 01:42:01,018
(Raymond Ladouceur)
As the elders used to tell me,

748
01:42:01,042 --> 01:42:03,852
everything has life
on this Earth.

749
01:42:03,876 --> 01:42:06,852
Water has a spirit.

750
01:42:06,876 --> 01:42:08,975
And once we pollute
that water so much,

751
01:42:08,999 --> 01:42:10,226
we're gonna kill that spirit,

752
01:42:10,250 --> 01:42:12,975
and there's be no life.

753
01:42:12,999 --> 01:42:16,975
So while it's alive, save it.

754
01:42:16,999 --> 01:42:19,292
Mother Earth is alive.

755
01:42:23,292 --> 01:42:26,685
Well, I started into
the commercial fishing industry

756
01:42:26,709 --> 01:42:29,059
at a very young age.

757
01:42:29,083 --> 01:42:30,477
Throughout the years,

758
01:42:30,501 --> 01:42:33,975
we had very healthy fish
in this Lake Athabasca.

759
01:42:33,999 --> 01:42:38,351
Today we have deformed fish
on the northern pike,

760
01:42:38,375 --> 01:42:41,143
the pickerel,
even the whitefish.

761
01:42:41,167 --> 01:42:45,143
So, you know, people
are very afraid of--

762
01:42:45,167 --> 01:42:47,975
you know, to use those fish
for a meal,

763
01:42:47,999 --> 01:42:50,709
you know,
for human consumption.

764
01:42:53,751 --> 01:42:57,101
This is the one from December
from Big Ray Ladouceur.

765
01:42:57,125 --> 01:42:58,560
Uh-huh. Boy.

766
01:42:58,584 --> 01:43:00,975
Look at the tumor
on that thing.

767
01:43:00,999 --> 01:43:02,975
It's--and that's
the sort of thing

768
01:43:02,999 --> 01:43:06,975
that people in Fort Chip
have been complaining about

769
01:43:06,999 --> 01:43:09,975
for almost 20 years.

770
01:43:09,999 --> 01:43:13,143
And you can imagine how
people seeing a fish like that

771
01:43:13,167 --> 01:43:15,768
are going to react.

772
01:43:15,792 --> 01:43:18,143
And, basically, they're
gonna run to the store

773
01:43:18,167 --> 01:43:22,143
and buy a bag of chips
rather than eat fish,

774
01:43:22,167 --> 01:43:24,143
which I think is tragic.

775
01:43:24,167 --> 01:43:25,768
(Timoney)
The jury is out

776
01:43:25,792 --> 01:43:27,975
on what's causing
all of these deformities,

777
01:43:27,999 --> 01:43:30,975
but certainly one of
the very well-known causes

778
01:43:30,999 --> 01:43:34,518
of deformities are contaminants
in the water.

779
01:43:34,542 --> 01:43:36,935
It's been known
for quite a while that,

780
01:43:36,959 --> 01:43:40,310
you know, in some cases,
the levels of mercury

781
01:43:40,334 --> 01:43:43,975
are ten times above
fisher guidelines

782
01:43:43,999 --> 01:43:47,018
in the west end
of Lake Athabasca.

783
01:43:47,042 --> 01:43:53,560
[melancholy piano music]

784
01:43:53,584 --> 01:43:55,018
(Roy Ladouceur)
You can taste the aftertaste

785
01:43:55,042 --> 01:43:58,584
of the oil, the mercury,
stuff like that.

786
01:44:00,125 --> 01:44:04,999
So when they say they're not
polluting the water...

787
01:44:06,959 --> 01:44:09,935
How can you--how can you say
that they're not

788
01:44:09,959 --> 01:44:11,999
when the proof is all there?

789
01:44:13,209 --> 01:44:14,976
(Wanderingspirit)
They ask pregnant women here

790
01:44:15,000 --> 01:44:18,393
not to eat more
than a couple of fish

791
01:44:18,417 --> 01:44:19,999
while you're pregnant.

792
01:44:21,959 --> 01:44:25,975
In my granny's time,
that is not heard of.

793
01:44:25,999 --> 01:44:27,975
No, 'cause that's all
we lived off--

794
01:44:27,999 --> 01:44:29,292
she lived off.

795
01:44:31,000 --> 01:44:32,393
What am I supposed to do?

796
01:44:32,417 --> 01:44:34,935
Be scared to eat the fish

797
01:44:34,959 --> 01:44:36,334
when that's all I know?

798
01:44:38,292 --> 01:44:40,685
(Thompson)
About $4 million a year

799
01:44:40,709 --> 01:44:43,393
is spent in monitoring
the Athabasca River

800
01:44:43,417 --> 01:44:44,975
by the industry.

801
01:44:44,999 --> 01:44:46,602
In fact, the Province of Alberta
continues

802
01:44:46,626 --> 01:44:47,975
to rate the water quality

803
01:44:47,999 --> 01:44:50,935
of the Athabasca River as good.

804
01:44:50,959 --> 01:44:54,518
Industrial activity
emits compounds--

805
01:44:54,542 --> 01:44:55,975
contaminants, if you will--

806
01:44:55,999 --> 01:44:57,810
and we just have to make sure
that it's done

807
01:44:57,834 --> 01:45:00,501
in a managed way that's safe.

808
01:45:02,292 --> 01:45:05,975
(Schindler)
Industry has a big influence
in Alberta.

809
01:45:05,999 --> 01:45:07,894
If industry wants water,

810
01:45:07,918 --> 01:45:09,459
government gives them water.

811
01:45:11,375 --> 01:45:13,351
It's just a joke.

812
01:45:13,375 --> 01:45:15,560
At the end,
the rubber stamp comes out

813
01:45:15,584 --> 01:45:16,999
and it's approved.

814
01:45:18,876 --> 01:45:19,975
(Boucher)
The Alberta government

815
01:45:19,999 --> 01:45:21,975
hit the environment department

816
01:45:21,999 --> 01:45:24,894
and gutted
the scientific personnel

817
01:45:24,918 --> 01:45:27,268
that were there
to police the activities

818
01:45:27,292 --> 01:45:28,894
of the oil sands industry.

819
01:45:28,918 --> 01:45:30,975
So if they don't have people

820
01:45:30,999 --> 01:45:34,894
to police what's going on
out here,

821
01:45:34,918 --> 01:45:37,975
then the laws and
the regulations are meaningless.

822
01:45:37,999 --> 01:45:38,975
I did a recent study

823
01:45:38,999 --> 01:45:43,975
where we found
over 6,000 incidents.

824
01:45:43,999 --> 01:45:47,643
Some of these were
10-million-liter tailing spills

825
01:45:47,667 --> 01:45:49,643
or huge pipeline breaks.

826
01:45:49,667 --> 01:45:52,018
No evidence of enforcement.

827
01:45:52,042 --> 01:45:56,101
By knitting industry and
government so closely together

828
01:45:56,125 --> 01:45:58,518
and shutting out the public,

829
01:45:58,542 --> 01:46:02,185
it's become
a fundamentally undemocratic

830
01:46:02,209 --> 01:46:04,375
and dangerous system.

831
01:46:06,209 --> 01:46:11,018
(Wanderingspirit)
They do all these tests
and try to minimize it,

832
01:46:11,042 --> 01:46:13,185
but we're not--
we're not stupid.

833
01:46:13,209 --> 01:46:15,602
We see.

834
01:46:15,626 --> 01:46:18,417
We see, and we feel.

835
01:46:22,999 --> 01:46:24,518
(O'Connor)
You've been through
quite a bit.

836
01:46:24,542 --> 01:46:25,518
(Waquan)
Yes.

837
01:46:25,542 --> 01:46:27,310
In 1988,

838
01:46:27,334 --> 01:46:30,727
I had prostate cancer

839
01:46:30,751 --> 01:46:33,685
and colon cancer
at the same time.

840
01:46:33,709 --> 01:46:35,975
The latest one
I've been diagnosed with

841
01:46:35,999 --> 01:46:38,935
is hairy cell leukemia.

842
01:46:38,959 --> 01:46:40,643
- It's cancer in the blood.
- Yep.

843
01:46:40,667 --> 01:46:41,975
But the thing
that puzzles me

844
01:46:41,999 --> 01:46:44,518
is the cancer
that my wife had.

845
01:46:44,542 --> 01:46:47,101
My wife comes
from a family of 14,

846
01:46:47,125 --> 01:46:49,727
and she's the only
one of 'em with cancer,

847
01:46:49,751 --> 01:46:52,226
and she's the only one
who lived in Fort Chip.

848
01:46:52,250 --> 01:46:54,226
Oh, so she
had lymphoma?

849
01:46:54,250 --> 01:46:55,310
Yes.

850
01:46:55,334 --> 01:46:56,518
And did it spread?

851
01:46:56,542 --> 01:46:58,101
- It spread like wildfire.
- Did it?

852
01:46:58,125 --> 01:46:59,518
She didn't last long.

853
01:46:59,542 --> 01:47:00,935
Really?
Right.

854
01:47:00,959 --> 01:47:02,727
That's--
that's a shame.

855
01:47:02,751 --> 01:47:03,975
Yeah.

856
01:47:03,999 --> 01:47:05,101
You must miss her.

857
01:47:05,125 --> 01:47:06,975
Yeah.

858
01:47:06,999 --> 01:47:10,101
(O'Connor)
We have uncovered clusters
of illness,

859
01:47:10,125 --> 01:47:12,518
fatal and non-fatal illness,

860
01:47:12,542 --> 01:47:16,143
that cannot be explained
in any other way

861
01:47:16,167 --> 01:47:19,894
other than that they come
from environmental changes

862
01:47:19,918 --> 01:47:22,709
that are happening upstream
of the community.

863
01:47:24,876 --> 01:47:27,518
There's no known sicknesses
in either side of my family.

864
01:47:27,542 --> 01:47:28,975
Next thing you know,
I see my uncle,

865
01:47:28,999 --> 01:47:30,935
and then the way he looked,
frail,

866
01:47:30,959 --> 01:47:33,059
whereas the year before,
he was healthy.

867
01:47:33,083 --> 01:47:34,643
Then all of a sudden, it came up

868
01:47:34,667 --> 01:47:36,975
that Dr. O'Connor said
it was a rare cancer

869
01:47:36,999 --> 01:47:38,459
that's being found
in the community.

870
01:47:40,209 --> 01:47:42,393
(narrator)
20 kinds of cancer
have been found

871
01:47:42,417 --> 01:47:44,975
in this isolated bush town,

872
01:47:44,999 --> 01:47:48,834
including rare tumors linked
to toxins in petroleum.

873
01:47:50,417 --> 01:47:52,975
But even though
the Alberta Cancer Board

874
01:47:52,999 --> 01:47:55,976
found 30% more cancer
than expected,

875
01:47:56,000 --> 01:47:58,976
the government says
there is no proven link

876
01:47:59,000 --> 01:48:02,501
between the oil sands
and these health problems.

877
01:48:05,250 --> 01:48:06,477
(Nordbye)
I think the modern world

878
01:48:06,501 --> 01:48:08,518
faces an increase in cancer
in general,

879
01:48:08,542 --> 01:48:11,101
and we live in
a very different environment.

880
01:48:11,125 --> 01:48:13,226
We're surrounded
by development everywhere.

881
01:48:13,250 --> 01:48:14,643
And I think it's important

882
01:48:14,667 --> 01:48:16,643
that folks in Fort Chip
and Fort McKay

883
01:48:16,667 --> 01:48:17,975
get all the answers
that they need

884
01:48:17,999 --> 01:48:19,226
before they make a call

885
01:48:19,250 --> 01:48:21,167
on really what is happening
in their community.

886
01:48:29,167 --> 01:48:30,560
(Wanderingspirit)
I don't know.

887
01:48:30,584 --> 01:48:32,268
It's just overwhelming

888
01:48:32,292 --> 01:48:36,894
seeing my family members
firsthand,

889
01:48:36,918 --> 01:48:39,852
like, year after year
after year

890
01:48:39,876 --> 01:48:41,999
passing on
from different illnesses.

891
01:48:45,334 --> 01:48:49,976
The natural part of death
doesn't seem natural anymore.

892
01:48:50,000 --> 01:48:52,185
This is all too much.

893
01:48:52,209 --> 01:48:54,626
Something's not right.

894
01:48:57,709 --> 01:49:03,143
[gentle piano music]

895
01:49:03,167 --> 01:49:05,768
(Mercredi)
These guys are coming
into our homeland,

896
01:49:05,792 --> 01:49:06,975
taking the resources,

897
01:49:06,999 --> 01:49:09,602
and now people
are dying from it,

898
01:49:09,626 --> 01:49:11,602
and the government's
allowing this to happen.

899
01:49:11,626 --> 01:49:13,935
That's why we say it's
a form of genocide.

900
01:49:13,959 --> 01:49:16,459
It's smallpox happening
all over again.

901
01:49:19,751 --> 01:49:21,792
And they're making money
by doing it.

902
01:49:22,999 --> 01:49:25,101
Canada and the States
are allowing this to happen

903
01:49:25,125 --> 01:49:27,435
because they want every
single ounce of oil,

904
01:49:27,459 --> 01:49:29,435
uranium, gold,
diamonds,

905
01:49:29,459 --> 01:49:30,935
anything that's
in that area.

906
01:49:30,959 --> 01:49:37,810
They want every ounce of it
at the cost of our lives.

907
01:49:37,834 --> 01:49:39,810
(Raymond Ladouceur)
Wherever the oil companies went,

908
01:49:39,834 --> 01:49:42,602
they destroyed the way of life
of people.

909
01:49:42,626 --> 01:49:44,975
And that's what they're doing
to us here too.

910
01:49:44,999 --> 01:49:47,125
They're gonna leave us
with nothing.

911
01:49:48,667 --> 01:49:50,643
(Nordbye)
Many people
in the First Nations communities

912
01:49:50,667 --> 01:49:52,518
get discouraged and feel
they've been let down.

913
01:49:52,542 --> 01:49:55,393
They feel they've been taken
advantage of.

914
01:49:55,417 --> 01:49:57,310
And I guess I have a hard time
understanding that,

915
01:49:57,334 --> 01:49:58,975
because for me
as an individual,

916
01:49:58,999 --> 01:50:00,975
I'm responsible for my life,

917
01:50:00,999 --> 01:50:02,894
and it's important
that I take control

918
01:50:02,918 --> 01:50:05,477
and that I do what I need to do
to make myself happy,

919
01:50:05,501 --> 01:50:08,975
and I don't--I don't know
that they often feel

920
01:50:08,999 --> 01:50:11,351
they have that sense
of ownership to their life

921
01:50:11,375 --> 01:50:12,999
to do that.

922
01:50:15,751 --> 01:50:17,310
(narrator)
The United States imports

923
01:50:17,334 --> 01:50:19,935
almost 2 million barrels
of crude oil

924
01:50:19,959 --> 01:50:22,975
from Canada every day.

925
01:50:22,999 --> 01:50:27,975
Oil sands producers
plan to triple output by 2025,

926
01:50:27,999 --> 01:50:31,310
requiring the construction
of controversial pipelines

927
01:50:31,334 --> 01:50:35,268
to meet growing demand
in the U.S. and Asia.

928
01:50:35,292 --> 01:50:37,059
(Mercredi)
Where do they get
their gas and oil from

929
01:50:37,083 --> 01:50:38,101
in the gas tanks

930
01:50:38,125 --> 01:50:39,602
and the gas stations
in the cities?

931
01:50:39,626 --> 01:50:40,643
From here.

932
01:50:40,667 --> 01:50:42,268
For them
to drive their car

933
01:50:42,292 --> 01:50:44,852
is gonna be
what killed them.

934
01:50:44,876 --> 01:50:46,393
What's happening here
is gonna happen

935
01:50:46,417 --> 01:50:47,810
to the rest of the world.

936
01:50:47,834 --> 01:50:49,560
It's just a matter
of time.

937
01:50:49,584 --> 01:50:53,101
It should be a challenge
to every person on this planet

938
01:50:53,125 --> 01:50:55,935
to look towards
reducing consumption.

939
01:50:55,959 --> 01:50:57,310
But that said,

940
01:50:57,334 --> 01:51:00,226
we're gonna need hydrocarbons
for quite a while.

941
01:51:00,250 --> 01:51:02,626
We can't just go back
to the Stone Age.

942
01:51:04,334 --> 01:51:06,310
(woman)
When I say "Stop the,"

943
01:51:06,334 --> 01:51:08,727
you say, "Tar sands."

944
01:51:08,751 --> 01:51:09,976
- Stop the...
- Tar sands!

945
01:51:10,000 --> 01:51:11,643
- Stop the...
- Tar sands!

946
01:51:11,667 --> 01:51:14,083
(man)
We want them to say no
to the tar sands.

947
01:51:15,584 --> 01:51:18,167
They emit more emissions
than entire countries.

948
01:51:19,751 --> 01:51:21,894
(narrator)
International protesters

949
01:51:21,918 --> 01:51:24,059
have brought the issues
to the world stage,

950
01:51:24,083 --> 01:51:28,810
targeting investors, consumers,
and policy makers.

951
01:51:28,834 --> 01:51:31,834
[people yelling]

952
01:51:33,292 --> 01:51:34,975
The message
is to Fort Chipewyan,

953
01:51:34,999 --> 01:51:36,560
the community
where I live right now.

954
01:51:36,584 --> 01:51:37,975
Take a look around.

955
01:51:37,999 --> 01:51:39,751
We're not alone
in this struggle.

956
01:51:47,250 --> 01:51:49,018
(Stepanowich)
I do live in two worlds.

957
01:51:49,042 --> 01:51:50,975
I work at Suncor for six days,

958
01:51:50,999 --> 01:51:52,876
and then I come home
for six days.

959
01:51:54,918 --> 01:51:56,975
When I go to work at Suncor,

960
01:51:56,999 --> 01:51:59,685
that is just a tiny part
of who I am.

961
01:51:59,709 --> 01:52:01,375
That's not who I am.

962
01:52:04,999 --> 01:52:06,976
To me, this is home,

963
01:52:07,000 --> 01:52:09,602
and I come home
to rejuvenate myself,

964
01:52:09,626 --> 01:52:11,894
to rebalance myself,

965
01:52:11,918 --> 01:52:13,667
to come back to nature.

966
01:52:16,999 --> 01:52:20,560
We were raised off the land.

967
01:52:20,584 --> 01:52:23,018
We always made moose meat
and dry meat.

968
01:52:23,042 --> 01:52:24,852
And from when
I was a little girl,

969
01:52:24,876 --> 01:52:27,435
I learned to pick medicines
with mykókom,

970
01:52:27,459 --> 01:52:29,226
which was my grandma.

971
01:52:29,250 --> 01:52:31,643
We always picked berries
in the fall.

972
01:52:31,667 --> 01:52:34,999
That was basically our staple
for the winter.

973
01:52:37,999 --> 01:52:39,975
When I was, you know,
in the mine

974
01:52:39,999 --> 01:52:42,852
and looking at
the Earth being torn up--

975
01:52:42,876 --> 01:52:46,435
'cause to us, like,
the Earth is our mother--

976
01:52:46,459 --> 01:52:48,975
I found it very difficult.

977
01:52:48,999 --> 01:52:52,268
You know, I would--
I would question myself,

978
01:52:52,292 --> 01:52:54,975
why I was there.

979
01:52:54,999 --> 01:53:00,834
I know that we're doing damage
to the Earth.

980
01:53:01,999 --> 01:53:03,975
A lot of times I say prayers,

981
01:53:03,999 --> 01:53:05,894
and I put tobacco down,

982
01:53:05,918 --> 01:53:07,975
and I always ask for forgiveness

983
01:53:07,999 --> 01:53:11,250
about, you know,
for what I am doing.

984
01:53:16,042 --> 01:53:17,975
(Mercredi)
I was originally asked

985
01:53:17,999 --> 01:53:23,101
to come to Fort Chip
to do a Sacred Sites project.

986
01:53:23,125 --> 01:53:24,894
Caddie L'Hommecourt.

987
01:53:24,918 --> 01:53:26,768
He was a good old man, eh?

988
01:53:26,792 --> 01:53:28,602
(Mercredi)
One of the things
that I was told

989
01:53:28,626 --> 01:53:30,560
was that it was
for future generations

990
01:53:30,584 --> 01:53:32,959
so that we have
this information archived.

991
01:53:34,501 --> 01:53:37,810
And that's when I put everything
on a jump drive.

992
01:53:37,834 --> 01:53:39,810
And then I remember holding
on to the--

993
01:53:39,834 --> 01:53:42,602
to the actual memory stick
and thinking,

994
01:53:42,626 --> 01:53:46,167
"This is what the future
is gonna have."

995
01:53:47,999 --> 01:53:49,894
Because there's gonna be
no more land left

996
01:53:49,918 --> 01:53:52,518
to go back to.

997
01:53:52,542 --> 01:53:54,975
And all we'd have of our culture

998
01:53:54,999 --> 01:53:57,975
would be on this jump drive

999
01:53:57,999 --> 01:54:02,185
for our children
to view and see.

1000
01:54:02,209 --> 01:54:06,435
And that was where I knew,
from that point,

1001
01:54:06,459 --> 01:54:08,101
that it had to be protected.

1002
01:54:08,125 --> 01:54:10,351
That land had to be more

1003
01:54:10,375 --> 01:54:12,999
than just this little piece
of plastic.

1004
01:54:16,876 --> 01:54:20,834
I thought this couldn't be
what was left of our future.

1005
01:54:24,334 --> 01:54:27,518
(LaDuke)
I believe that power
that we have as people

1006
01:54:27,542 --> 01:54:29,975
doesn't come from us.

1007
01:54:29,999 --> 01:54:32,975
It comes from the creator

1008
01:54:32,999 --> 01:54:36,975
and from the sources of power
that are there on the land.

1009
01:54:36,999 --> 01:54:39,143
We may not have all the guns.

1010
01:54:39,167 --> 01:54:40,975
You know,
we don't have all the pens.

1011
01:54:40,999 --> 01:54:42,393
We don't have all the courts.

1012
01:54:42,417 --> 01:54:44,685
But we have that power,

1013
01:54:44,709 --> 01:54:48,059
and that's what keeps people
able to battle

1014
01:54:48,083 --> 01:54:51,626
for so long
against such hard odds.

1015
01:54:52,959 --> 01:54:54,477
I want my kids,
my grandchildren

1016
01:54:54,501 --> 01:54:55,768
to come up here

1017
01:54:55,792 --> 01:54:57,959
and tell a completely
different story about this map.

1018
01:55:00,083 --> 01:55:01,268
I want them to tell us,

1019
01:55:01,292 --> 01:55:02,976
"Yeah, industry,
they were here at one time,

1020
01:55:03,000 --> 01:55:04,975
"and now they're out there
cleaning up the mess

1021
01:55:04,999 --> 01:55:06,643
that they made so far."

1022
01:55:06,667 --> 01:55:12,768
[peaceful instrumental music]

1023
01:55:12,792 --> 01:55:15,560
I vow that my grandchildren
will tell a total opposite story

1024
01:55:15,584 --> 01:55:19,101
than I'm telling right now.

1025
01:55:19,125 --> 01:55:27,959
(women)
♪ Ah, ah, ah ♪

1026
01:55:44,999 --> 01:55:47,976
(announcer)
Next time onStanding
on Sacred Ground,


1027
01:55:48,000 --> 01:55:50,894
highland cultures
in Ethiopia and Peru

1028
01:55:50,918 --> 01:55:53,975
reveal ancient wisdom
and show modern courage

1029
01:55:53,999 --> 01:55:57,226
fighting intolerance
and climate change.

1030
01:55:57,250 --> 01:55:59,626
For more information, log on to:

1031
01:56:03,292 --> 01:56:06,459
For DVDs ofStanding
on Sacred Ground,call:


1032
01:56:18,042 --> 01:56:21,143
Funding for theStanding
on Sacred Groundseries


1033
01:56:21,167 --> 01:56:22,393
has been provided

1034
01:56:22,417 --> 01:56:24,999
by the Corporation
for Public Broadcasting.

1035
01:56:26,417 --> 01:56:29,250
Additional funding was provided
by the following:


Citation

Main credits

McLeod, Christopher (film director)
McLeod, Christopher (film producer)
Huang, Jennifer (film producer)
Huang, Jennifer (screenwriter)
Greene, Graham (narrator)

Other credits

Edited by Marta Wohl; director of photography, Andrew Black; composer, Jon Herbst.


Distributor credits

Christopher McLeod
Writer: Jennifer Huang
Co-Producers: Jessica Abbe, Jennifer Huang
Editors: Marta Wohl
Videographer: Andrew Black
Sound: David Wendlinger
Associate Producers: Erin Lee, Marlo McKenzie, Ashley Tindall
Composer: Jon Herbst
Narrator: Graham Greene
A Presentation of Pacific Islanders in Communications and Vision Maker Media
A Production of the Sacred Land Film Project of Earth Island Institute

Docuseek2 subjects

Indigenous Sprituality and Religion
Indigenous Peoples
Human Rights
Citizenship, Social Movements and Activism
Business Ethics
Climate Change
Canada
Mining
Economics
Public Health
Climate Change
Environment
Pacific, The
Sociology
Toxic Chemicals

Distributor subjects

Activism
Anthropology
Business Practices
Canadian Studies
Climate Change/Global Warming
Developing World
Economics
Energy
Environment
Environmental Ethics
Environmental Justice
Geography
Global Issues
Health
Human Rights
Humanities
Indigenous Peoples
Mining
Pacific Studies
Pollution
Religion
Sociology
Toxic Chemicals

Keywords

Papua New Guinea, Alberta tar sands, loss of land, loss of water, loss of health, mining, oil industry, Canada, industrial threats, native peoples' health, livelihood, cultural survival, Chinese nickel mine, relocating villagers, taboo sacred mountain, pipeline, refinery, dumping mine waste in sea, rare cancers, stripmining traditional hunting grounds, oil reserves, culture of consumption, Winona LaDuke, Oren Lyons, Satish Kumar, Clayton Thomas-Muller; "Profit and Loss"; Bullfrog Films

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