Check out this story and slide show from The Huffington Post Canada's Zi-Ann Lum on the film-in-production Fractured Land, its main subject - First Nations law student Caleb Behn - and the controversial practice of natural gas "fracking" in his territories, which lies at the centre of the documentary. (Jan 18, 2013)
Far from the province's coastal cities, there's a remote part of northeastern British Columbia that most city dwellers don't know is responsible for generating all of Metro Vancouver's power. It's where Caleb Behn lives and what he's willing to fight for.
Behn, a young indigenous man from Eh Cho Dene territory in Fort Nelson, B.C., is featured in "Fractured Land," an upcoming B.C. documentary that explores the practice of fracking and the strain it has put on the province's First Nations communities and industry-government relations...
"Fractured Land" focuses on Behn, the grandson of chiefs, the son of a residential school survivor and a law school graduate. He's smart and speaks with strong determination. Behn can transition seamlessly from hunting and traditionally preparing a moose head in Fort Nelson to slipping into a three-piece suit to article at a Vancouver law firm.
"It's really interesting to see the change in Caleb; like a big exhale expelling all the tension, stress from the contemporary world; reconnecting with his land, his people," Gillis described of filming Behn home in his ancestral territory.
"My whole world and existence is tied to the land," Behn said.
The filmmakers and subject want to shake the audience awake. They're daring Canadians to not shy away from soaking in a portrait of a Canada trying to move forward with strained First Nations relations while precariously balancing the economic benefits of energy development, damning environmental reports and mounting domestic and international criticism.
"The biggest issue for me is water," Gillis explained. "The volumes of water contaminated with chemicals, taking that water out of the ecosystem is an exercise of insanity."
What's been happening in northeastern B.C. has been described as "some of the largest fracking operations anywhere on earth," reports ProPublica.
Behn and the and the elders in his community have noticed the difference. Receding water levels have affected Dene fisherman and hunters and of the habits of the region's animals. The Dene's land is changing as is their existence in relation to it.
"We live in an interesting time. It feels like there are changes afoot. We should do right for Mother Earth because the destructive potential is significant and global," Behn urged.