Inside the Bakken
Many people who grew up on the Fort Berthold Reservation likely share memories of a global, yellow sun spilling pink, purple and blue light upon scattered clouds and a buffalo grass horizon.
That was then. Now there are more than 7,701 producing wells on the Bakken, a geologic shale formation two miles below the earth's surface. It spreads oily pockets across western North Dakota, eastern Montana and southern Saskatchewan, Canada. Fort Berthold sits atop the multibillion-dollar carbon cauldron.
The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, have lived in present-day North Dakota for thousands of years with the Mandan arriving first. Early records place us in the area aound 900 A.D. The Bakken oil boom represents yet another pivotal moment in the history of our tribes, people who have survived small pox epidemics, relocation to the reservation, loss of treaty land, flooding of homelands and now transformation into an energy colony. Rapid oil development also raises the issue of enviromental justice.
Our 7-Oil-1 crew will tell the oil boom story from our perspective. The development of our homelands will be remembered for generations to come. My grandchildren may never remember a time when pump jacks and oil rigs didn’t dot the landscape. Our film will tell the story of how and why oil development happened. We’ll tell the story of what it felt like when it was happening.
People making a difference
Our total film budget is estimated at $57,000, but we are breaking our funding into two phases. We would appreciate your support in phase 1 as we set out to cover the nearly 1 million, square-mile reservation and surrounding communities. Our film cost estimate for phase 1 is $5,800 to cover research, gas, film crew costs for our trailer.
This project is important to communities and indigenous peoples around the world who face current and future dilemmas related to natural resource extraction. Hydraulic fracturing -- a controversial extraction method -- has become oil companies preferred choice for siphoning previously untapped minerals. The process involves blasting rock deep beneath the earth's surface with explosives, often-undisclosed chemicals, sand and water.
Help us make some noise
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That's all there is to it. Let's do it.