The crux of any environmental industrial development is the relationship between people on the land and the newly manufactured landscape. Rarely has the coverage of the Tar Sands in Northern Alberta gone beyond environmental impact and touched on the story of the impact on First Nations culture. Yet, this development is having a profound affect on the lifestyle of the indigenous peoples of the region.
Fort Chipewyan is experiencing elevated levels of cancer believed to be caused by toxins in the Athabasca from major industrial developments upstream. On the other hand, communities have gained employment. What does the boom mean for quality of life, how does it relate to cultural heritage of the indigenous, and what cost or benefit is this project having on the indigenous cultures of Northern Alberta?
The following images are the initial selects from an Audio/Visual project that attempts to answer some of these questions.
Tar Sands – Selects from Indigenous Project in Northern Alberta – Images by Robert vanWaarden