Drumbeat for Mother Earth
Toxic chemicals are the greatest threat to the survival of indigenous peoples.
Directed by Joseph Di Gangi, PhD, and Amon Giebel
Produced by Joseph Di Gangi, PhD, Amon Giebel, Tom Goldtooth,
and Jackie Warledo for Indigenous Environmental Network and Greenpeace
Many scientists and tribal people consider persistent toxic chemicals to be the greatest threat to the long-term survival of Indigenous Peoples. "Drumbeat for Mother Earth" explores how these chemicals contaminate the traditional food web, violate treaty rights, travel long distances, and are passed from one generation to the next during pregnancy causing cancer, learning disabilities, and other serious health problems.
"A highly informative but disturbing video."
Indigenous Peoples' connection to Mother Earth places them on a collision course with these chemicals. Continued survival within a contaminated environment means making life and death decisions that could alter whole cultures, diets, ceremonies and future generations.
Currently, the United Nations is negotiating a worldwide treaty on a group of 12 of these chemicals that includes PCBs, DDT, and dioxin. The UN involvement reflects the ability of these chemicals to travel long distances across international borders. Unfortunately, the official U.S. position does not support elimination of these compounds. Many tribal people consider this to be a continuation of the government's genocidal history.
The video features testimony from a variety of Indigenous Nations in the U.S., Central America, and the Arctic as well as interviews with scientists, activists and the chemical industry.
This video is also available in a Spanish version.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2000
Copyright Date: 1999
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-328-5
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-817-0
"A highly informative but disturbing video...In a supreme irony that borders on the absurd, the documentary informs us that after 150 years of fighting to keep their fishing and hunting grounds, the U.S. government has told certain tribes that their local fish and game are too laden with chemicals to be eaten."
"A must-see for anyone concerned about the effect of these common chemicals on our waters, in the air we breathe, and in the food that we all share...A very compelling story which should be viewed by every caring and thinking soul."
Stuart Lieberman, Environmental Attorney
"Recommended for academic libraries with nonprint collections in environmental issues."
Buzz Haughton, Shields Library, UC-Davis, MC Journal
"Sure to provoke critical thinking and good discussion."
Robert Sanford, Environmental Science and Policy Program, University of Southern Maine, Anthropology Review Database
Awards and Festivals
Best Environmental/Social Justice Film, EarthVision Environmental Film Festival
Best Public Service Film, American Indian Film Festival
Best Environmental Film, New York Independent Film & Video Festival
Columbus International Film & Video Festival
First Nations Film Festival
First Peoples' Festival, Montreal
Native American Film & Video Festival
Visual Anthropology Film/Video Festival
Conscientious Projector Film Festival
United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Region VI Tribal EPA Conference
National Congress of American Indians
World Health Organization, Geneva Switzerland
Intertribal Meeting of Alaska Federation
International Joint Commission
National Indian Health Board
Meeting of Athabascan Chiefs
Oneida Nation Public Dioxin Hearing
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