Healing Walks is a short documentary calling attention to the destruction of the tar sands and deforestation in Alberta,Canada and the courageous indigenous communities fighting back. Participants staged an 8 mile Healing Walk Ceremony to acknowledge the damage of tar sands oil mining on their land and local communities.
Written & Directed by: Zakee Kuduro
Produced by: Energy Action Coalition & Zakee Kuduro
You never know how valuable something is until it’s taken away from you. People are living from check to check while trying to chase a vision of sustainability. This is not an environmental issue…this is a social issue….a story of how humans have once again found themselves destroying their own environment for the sake of money and greed. I would be lying to you if I told that I sometimes couldn’t sleep because of a resonating person or issue some how touched my soul.
One of the worst oil spills in the World happened less than 2 years ago carrying Tar Sands oil. The effect was contaimation of water,destruction of crops and the death of many animals. This whole climate discussion has been boiling hot, for quite some time now and people are getting frustrated. Even President Obama stepped up earlier this summer briefly talking about climate issues and if there was really any true safety impact with XL pipeline. Pipelines operate all day, every day with the help of powerful pumps, additives that move the oil with less resistance, and the laws of physics. $521 billion is the economic impact Canada’s oil sands expects to bring to the United States from 2010 to 2035. This 20-year plan outlines an integrated approach for all levels of government, industry, and communities to address the economic, social and environmental challenges and opportunities in the oil sands regions. Like anywhere in the world, where there are people, there are impacts on ecosystems and wildlife. This is no different in the oil sands region, where significant industrial development coexists with a thriving ecosystem, bringing with it potential habitat changes that are major challenges to manage.
Last July I traveled to Canada to get a closer look at the tar sands — the big dirty oil projects that we’ve been hearing a lot about down in the U.S. But when I got off the plane in Alberta, things got a little bit weird; I got locked up. As I was going through customs, the Canadian Immigration officials put me in handcuffs then brought me into a back room. I was searched and interrogated for over 4 .5 hours. They kept asking questions like: “Why are you here?… Who do you know?… Why would a black guy like you come all the way up here to meet with indigenous people?” Of course I didn’t budge…I come from the old school of never snitching. You would have thought I was a dope boy smuggling drugs…or spreading communist literature…but I wasn’t. My objective was to cover the effects of tar-sands toxins on Indigenous communities of Canada. So..I sat in handcuffs calmly and collect as…they took my phone and laptop asked me for my passwords…Of course I refused and they hacked them anyway. At that point it was a waiting game….
They knew I was there to document a story that the Canadian government and the tar sands industry doesn’t want to be told. I was in Alberta for something called the Healing Walk — an annual walk and demonstration led by natives of the region to raise awareness about the destructiveness of the tar sands and build strength to overcome it. The real story behind all this isn’t the story of my trouble with customs and Canadian officials, it’s the story of the Indigenous and First Nations’ people who have been dealing with the horrific impacts of the tar sands, and who are leading the effort to heal and overcome it. In my 72 hours documenting the Healing Walk, I was able to see some incredible things. Some of it will shock you, some of it will make you mad, it might fill you with hope, and it could possibly make you cry.
Now I’m releasing 30 minutes of footage in a visual that I hope will further educate people. “Healing Walks” is a short documentary calling attention to the destruction of the tar sands and deforestation in Alberta,Canada and the courageous indigenous communities fighting back. Participants staged an 8 mile Healing Walk Ceremony to acknowledge the damage of tar sands oil mining on their land and local communities.
Directed by Zakee Kuduro
Produced by Energy Action Coalition & Zakee Kuduro