Katahdin Foundation

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The Story

The Story

"A poignant and powerful portrait of how corporate power and government complicity are ruining our precious land, air, water. A troubling film, but also inspiring, because it shows Indians, who are the best guardians of the natural environment, fighting back against great odds, and refusing to give up."

– Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States

“Powerful. Wrenching. Our [Best of Festival] decision was unanimous.”

– Alan Root, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

One of the most critical but least known human rights stories in America is the savaging of Native American lands and its impact on Native peoples. Nearly all Indian nations sit on land threatened by ruinous environmental hazards - toxic waste, strip mining, oil drilling, and nuclear contamination. The realities that the tribes live with are bleak - children play near radioactive waste, rivers that tribes depend on for food are poisoned and reservations are completely surrounded by strip mines and smoke stacks spewing noxious fumes.

Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action, a ninety-minute documentary, is the first film to take a hard look at these realities. It tells the stories of five remarkable Native American activists in four communities who are fighting these "new Indian Wars" - each in his own way passionately dedicated to protecting Indian lands against disastrous environmental hazards, preserving their sovereignty and ensuring the cultural survival of their peoples. With the support of their communities, these leaders are actively rejecting the devastating affronts of multi-national energy companies and the current dismantling of 30 years of environmental laws.

There are internal struggles to be overcome as well. For many who live in extreme poverty on reservations lacking any sort of infrastructure, there is little hope for jobs, few prospects for a better life. The lure of fast cash from big companies outweighs the long-range promise of environmental and cultural preservation.

From Alaska to Maine, Montana to New Mexico and against some of America's most spectacular backdrops, these first-person journeys unfold as our characters demand change, not sympathy, and rally grassroots support against the corporate and government behemoths who are exploiting and befouling tribal lands. The vision that sustains them from one battle to the next is of a future where U.S. energy consumption and waste production will not be at the expense of indigenous people.