Last night, Fractured Land premiered to a sold-out audience at the Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto. The film follows the story of Caleb Behn, an Eh Cho Dene and Dunne-Za activist and lawyer from Fort Nelson First Nation in Treaty 8 Territory. Fractured Land is a powerful and inspiring story of community resistance that earned a standing ovation from the crowd.
Fractured Land describes the fight of First Nations communities in Treaty 8 Territory against hydraulic fracturing. It is also the story of fractured communities divided by the industry and of Behn’s personal struggle between operating within the Western legal system and defending First Nations rights. The film highlighted indigenous communities across the globe who are resisting dangerous resource extraction, from Grand Chief Stewart Philip’s stand against the TransMountain pipeline to fights against fracking in New Brunswick by Elsipogtog First Nation and in New Zealand by Maori peoples.
In a question and answer session after the film, Behn emphasized non-legal advocacy as a mechanism for change and encouraged every audience member to engage in the fight to protect water and land rights.
The screening in Ontario comes at a particularly important political moment in the fight against fracking in the province as the legislature prepares to vote on a fracking ban proposed by MPP Peter Tabuns. To send a letter to Premier Wynne urging her to support the ban, click here.
Meanwhile, communities in British Columbia are facing a new threat: there are up to 18 proposals to build Liquified Natural Gas plants along the Pacific coast. Tankers would ship and export fracked gas from these terminals to markets in Asia. Communities are expressing concerns about tanker safety and the effects on ecosystems and watersheds should these LNG terminals be built.
Wolverine, a film by Eugene Webb, also premiered last night. The short film uses a Cree legend to outline the James Bay Crees’ fight against uranium mining in their territory.