The local community has experienced a spike in cancer cases and dire studies have revealed the true consequences of "dirty oil".
"I shot my first film, Death of a Delta, in
But while technology can go through multiple revolutions in 39 years, the issue that drives both our films remains the same: the rights of downstream communities, and the need to recognise those rights, no matter how powerful their upstream neighbours.
Death of a Delta documented the fight of
In the David and Goliath struggle that ensued, David won. Water was released from the dam and water levels in the Delta returned to normal. The unique ecology of the region was saved. The town survived.
Today, that same David, the collective will of the thousand residents of
As they did in the 1970s, the people of
Alan Adam, the chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, has worked closely with Schindler. He knows that vast areas of the Delta are once again becoming impassable because of falling water levels. This means the hunting, trapping and fishing rights guaranteed to his people in Treaty 8 are worthless.
When I first arrived in
These days the powers that be are beginning to listen. The recent Oilsands Advisory Panel, appointed by Jim Prentice, the former environment minister, stressed in its December 2010 report the importance of proper research and regulation. We have to know what is in the water.
Maybe David has a chance to win again. Goliath would be better for it."