Fractured Land tells the story of a young Dene warrior from north-eastern BC, taking on ‘Big Oil and Gas’ to protect his land and people from the ravages of neo-colonialism – all the while learning to accept the role he was born for, as one of Canada’s next generation of leaders.
At the heart of the story behind Fractured Land is the oil and gas industry’s heavy development of Caleb’s people’s land in British Columbia, Canada.
Fracking, a way of drilling for natural gas that sends high volumes of water, sand and chemicals deep into the earth, is widespread throughout the region, with wells numbering in the tens of thousands. The health and environmental impacts of fracking – including asthma, cancer and earthquakes – are not insignificant, yet in north-eastern BC, where Caleb and his people have been living off the land for hundreds of years, the world’s largest fracking operations charge ahead with little oversight.
In oil and gas communities, health problems run rampant. Like many others from his region, Caleb himself was born with a birth defect forcing him to spend many pain-plagued years under the surgeon’s knife, his face cut, lips sewn together, metal plates pinned to his skull.
But it is not only individuals who suffer. Entire cultures – already weakened by reduced habitat for hunting, the loss of languages in residential schools, drugs, sexual abuse, alcohol and poor health care – now confront a toxic industry. Abuse of the land and abuse of the people are different faces of the same new colonialism.
Fracking is a problem far beyond the shores of British Columbia and Canada. It is being trialled, and opposed by people in Lancashire, in the Northwest of England, and in other places around the world.
Please visit the Fractured Land website to get involved in the campaign. If we do not defend our natural environment at a local level, corporate greed will destroy it, worldwide. It is essential to remember that, in this and so many other ways, the definition of what is local should not be made by distance, but by the fact that we all share one small, beautiful and fragile world.
I am thankful to, for alerting me to this inspiring film and to the issues highlighted by it.