2010 - Ongoing
AS LONG AS THE SUN SHINES
“As Long as the Sun Shines” zooms in on the daily, intimate destruction, which takes place in the shadow of an industry that’s large enough to be seen from space. The Canadian oil sands are the largest, most environmentally destructive oil development on Earth. Oil sands infrastructure stretches across Canada and disproportionately impacts Indigenous communities with environmental contamination.
Rare cancers, birth defects, lupus and other ailments occur at alarmingly high rates. Cholangiocarcinoma, an aggressive form of bile duct cancer which typically impacts 1/100,000 people annually has been diagnosed six times in the past 15 years in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, where the total population is 1,200.
Intense forest fires, driven by climate change, devastate the land that has yet to be impacted by industrial development. Traditional Indigenous economies of hunting and fishing have been decimated, leaving First Nation band members with few options for employment outside of the very industry that’s consuming their traditional territory. In Fort Chipewyan, locals will describe this process as a “slow-motion cultural genocide.” Meanwhile, the nearby oil industry city of Fort McMurray experiences unprecedented economic growth.
After decades of advocacy, the Indigenous communities of Fort Chipewyan and Fort McKay have yet to receive a comprehensive, public health study that is free of industry influence. The Canadian government refuses to act while people are dying, slowly, quietly, behind closed doors.