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Bullfrog Films

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Native peoples pay the consequences of uranium mining.

A printer-friendly version of this page 48 minutes
Directed by Magnus Isacsson
Produced by The National Film Board of Canada
Narrated by Buffy Sainte-Marie

Filled with unforgettable images, this is a devastating look at the consequence of mining uranium, whether for bombs or nuclear power plants. Because of toxic and radioactive waste, there are profound, long-term environmental hazards associated with uranium mining. For miners there is the substantially increased risk of getting cancer. And because most of the mining to date, both in Canada and the U.S., has been on land historically used by native populations, uranium mining violates the traditional economic and spiritual lives of many aboriginal people.

Canada, where this film was shot, has the world's richest vein of uranium, and a recent history of violent confrontation over native rights. This film is but one example of how our society's need for resources causes us to trample on native peoples rights. Given our limited knowledge of the range of environmental risks associated with uranium mining, and the social problems that ensue, the film questions the validity of continuing to mine it.

Grade Level: 10-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1991     Copyright Date: 1990
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-894-5     VHS ISBN: 0-7722-0374-1

"One of the most powerful recent films that I have seen."
Dr. Helen Caldicott

"If spotted owls, marbled murrelets and beluga whales are indicators of the state of the environment, the native people offer similar warnings of the cost of our profligate short-sighted ways."
Dr. David Suzuki

"URANIUM should be compulsory viewing for all advocates of nuclear power."
Moving Pictures Bulletin

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"One of the most powerful recent films that I have seen." Dr. Helen Caldicott

Study guide

Awards and Festivals
Best Documentary, Yorkton Film Festival
Special Merit Award, EarthPeace International Film Festival
International Environmental Film Festival, Boulder

Canadian Studies
Conflict Resolution
Developing World
Global Issues
Indigenous Peoples
Native Americans
Natural Resources
Nuclear Energy

Social Psychology
Toxic Chemicals

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Nuclear Dynamite
Investigates American and Soviet plans to use nuclear explosives for "geographical engineering."

In Our Own Backyards
How does uranium mining impact the land and the health of people?

Drumbeat for Mother Earth
Toxic chemicals are the greatest threat to the survival of indigenous peoples.

The Four Corners
The "hidden" cost of energy development in the homeland of the Hopi, Navajo, and Mormons.

The confrontation between the Mohawk Nation and the Canadian Government at the Mercier Bridge.

Arid Lands
A moving and complex essay on a unique landscape of the American West, the area around the Hanford Site in Washington State.

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