It’s more than just polar bear scenes in the Arctic. With the threat of oil drilling in the Refuge and Yukon Flats along the Yukon River, Indigenous communities face grave threats to their way of life, food security and identity. Fueled by an unwavering love and responsibility for the land, Han Gwich’in 19-year old, Quannah Chasinghorse, and her mother, Jody Potts, are taking a stand to defend their sacred homelands. Protecting the Arctic is often advocated from a polarizing perspective of old school conservationism pitted against economic development. This documentary film instead wields the power of empathy and relationships through the untold perspective of an Indigenous, women-led fight to protect the Arctic and reclaim Indigenous identity. The mother-daughter duo, Jody Potts and Quannah Chasinghorse, two powerful Han Gwich’in women, represent the decades-long, intergenerational fight to protect the Arctic. The film follows Quannah pursue and achieve her dreams as an Indigenous super-model, breaking barriers of representation, while walking in two worlds: her Indigenous way of life and modern society. By showing the depths of Quannah and Jody’s profound relationship to one another and the land, grounded in culture and resilience, the film will inspire audiences to reflect on their relationships to community and what it means to have an unwavering sense of responsibility to protect the places we love. The intergenerational love for the land and one another is the visionary source of hope we all need. Like their ancestors, the Gwich’in are not giving up, and neither should we.
Saturday, 8/6 – The Caribou Program