Uprivers is the story of two women fighting for what they love; their homeland and way of life. With the issue of rampant Transboundary mining in the background, these two portraits of indigenous women on either side of the Alaskan / British Colombian border draw a compelling, emotional argument for why our two nations should work together to protect our shared rivers.
Williams LakeThe Mount Polley tailings dam breach in August of 2014 was the largest environmental disaster in the history of Canada by volume, having released 530,000 cubic feet of toxic mine sludge and tailings water into Polley Lake and ultimately down the Fraser River, Canada’s largest wild salmon powerhouse. The toxins released by the dam breach continue to disrupt and threaten salmon habitat and the communities that depend on them. Williams Lake is one such community, where Jacinda Mack, activist and advocate for her community and others like it across the Pacific Northwest, shares her people’ s story of resilience and resistance in the face of disaster.
KetchikanKetchikan, Alaska is a remote fishing town bordering the Misty Fjords National Monument, a pristine 2 million acre wilderness that supports thriving fisheries and traditional uses. But across the imaginary line which separates the U.S. from Canada, at the headwaters of the Unuk River, one of the worlds largest mountain-top-removal mines, KSM, is being developed by the same industry that developed and managed the Mt. Polley Mine. Here, Tlingit activist Carrie James works to prevent history from repeating itself on the Unuk.
Our WorkThe team at Uprivers believes that change doesn’t just happen when people watch the finished film but every step along the way. These issues and this film have been a catalyst for new relationships, community building and resistance, and we have been privileged to be a part of that process.
Through our work we are supporting the Moccasin Footprint Society, a community effort to recognize First Nation land use and lifestyles, past, present and future, in the Williams Lake area. In Ketchikan an intertribal dance group performed for the film, and they are also receiving the professional quality footage for their own promotional use, without restrictions. Alaska Native elders and activists were flown out to the site of the developing KSM mine for Uprivers, developing and informing their continued resistance. We continue to develop relationships with the organizations which have been leading this fight since the beginning, such as Salmon Beyond Borders and First Nations Women Advocating for Responsible Mining, to accomplish our shared mission of protecting this international region's watersheds, salmon stocks, and ways of life.
We are committed to creating positive change at every stage of production through resource sharing and relationship building.