Water is Life: Documentary highlights Aboriginal communities fighting against fracking plans

Water is Life is a documentary about the Aboriginal communities of Australia fighting against fracking plans in the Northern Territory (NT).

The documentary, filmed over a two-year period, shows first-hand the impacts that fracking has had on immediate families and the extended community, particularly on people’s health.

Kandi Mosset – a Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara woman – travels from Australia to the US where she meets indigenous communities in North Dakota. The trip provides valuable insight into the many failed attempts that gas companies in the US have made to stop poisoned waste water from fracking from entering fresh water systems, threatening the health and lives of people in surrounding communities.

Kandi Mosset said: “Once you destroy your water, you destroy yourself. You become toxic, you get sick, you die.”

Remote and regional communities in the NT are already feeling the impacts of climate change, including late to bloom bush foods. With the threat of fracking on their doorstep, it will bring an increase in heat waves, water shortages and more extreme flooding, making large parts of the NT unlivable.

Water is Life was produced by SEED, Australia’s first Indigenous youth-led climate network, with funding by small contributions from SEED’s supporters.

A branch of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, SEED works “towards a just and sustainable future with strong cultures and communities, powered by renewable energy”, was set up by

SEED’s National Director, Amelia Telford grew up in northern New South Wales, where she was brought up in the Minjungbal clan of the Bundjalung nation. Water and the beaches is a strong part of the Bundjalung nation’s identity.

In an interview with Dumbo Feather, Amelia Telford said: “Growing up we went to the beach pretty much every day. And my parents instilled in us the importance of respecting the land. We understood that the land has provided for us for generations. It was when I started witnessing a lot of changes in the local environment, a lot of coastal erosion and then learning about climate change at school that I started connecting the dots.

“I realised that there’s this huge issue impacting people’s lives and culture and livelihoods – the digging up of country for coal and gas and oil. I became more and more aware of what was being lost and what that means for our younger generations who make up the majority of our population. I realised that in Australia and around the world it’s Indigenous people who are on the forefront of these issues.”


Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea


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