A Sitka filmmaker is screening his new documentary throughout Southeast Alaska. The 30-minute film, “Uprivers,” focuses on the potential hazards of transboundary mining to the region’s waterways. Filmmaker Jackson Matthew follows two activists, one from Ketchikan and one from British Columbia.
“They had both spent some time trying to go head to head with these multi-billion dollar mining companies. And really found that when they were playing to the mines’ agenda, reacting to what the mine was doing, they were really fighting an unwinnable battle,” Matthew says.
He says the two Native women are still able to share their story of resilience.
“Both of them kind of independently discovered was that there’s another way to do this, and that is to kind of proactively build up their communities,” Matthew says. “To tie the risks these that these mines pose to the way of life that makes up people’s identities in these communities.”
Matthew says his motivation originated from the Mount Polley mine disaster. In 2014, its dam broke, spilling millions of gallons of mine waste rock and sand into nearby lakes.
The film already showed in Ketchikan, where Matthew is originally from.
Upcoming screenings are in Wrangell March 26th at the Nolan Center, in Petersburg March 27th at the public library, in Juneau March 29th at the University of Southeast Alaska, and in Sitka March 30th at the tribal community center.