October 1, 2013

People of a Feather: A Last-Chance Look at Saving the Arctic. {Video} ~ Renée Picard

Imagine sitting in sub-zero temperatures in a tiny hut in the middle of the Arctic for hours on end, carefully observing vast landscapes of snow and sea ice.

Imagine discovering that your calling was to go back and do this day after day, year after year. Such was the life of Joel Heath as he completed his Ph.D. research at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C.

Heath first travelled to the community of Sanikiluaq, Nunavut to research fluctuations in eider duck populations.

The birds were dying, and Joel was there to find out why. So he went back, every winter, for seven years. And he filmed it.

The captured footage was beautifully composed into the award-winning documentary film, People of a Feather. Here’s the trailer:

The scenes are simple and artfully shot: Sanikiluaq youth goofing around, time-lapse photography of landscapes, an historical re-enactment of a traditional hunting trip. The film does a phenomenal job of bringing us right into real Sanikiluaq life.

Some of the scenes are starkly disturbing in their realness, which is what makes the film’s message so urgent and far reaching: saving the Arctic isn’t just about a cute polar bear. It’s about recognizing the ways in which our current Hydro electric energy production has far-reaching environmental and social consequences.

The film has gotten plenty of exposure via the film festival circuit. Now, Joel and his team (The Arctic Eider Society, the charity behind the film) are calling for your donations to turn knowledge into action. 

Their goal: to bring Inuit community members to places like New York to interface with policy makers and achieve greater transparency and participation in hydroelectric water management strategies.

Break the Ice for Arctic Wildlife: New York City Campaign from Arctic Eider Society on Vimeo.

Please do your best to spread the word: watch the film, share the campaign video, share this post, listen, talk—awareness is the first step to action.

Like elephant journal Canada on Facebook.

Ed: Sara Crolick

{photo: An Arctic Sunrise | Mark Terry}

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