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Documentary makes Canadian premier on Cortes “Who Are My People?” the first film to investigate the dark side of green energy development in California, will premiere in Canada’s Manson’s Hall on Cortes Island, 7 p.m., Feb. 6.  The film, from documentary filmmaker/ investigative journalist Robert Lundahl, explores

the destruction of Native American cultural sites, intact desert ecosystems, and biodiversity values, in the rush to profit from “Green Energy.” “It may seem inconceivable to those on the left,” said Lundahl, an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, “that their own ambitions could be aligned in the his-

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torical context with ‘Indian fighters,’ John C. Fremont and General George Armstrong Custer, who suffered defeat at the Little Big Horn.” In the quest to develop green energy in the deserts of California, for example, some say environmentalists and green energy supporters lack an understanding of the consequences of their actions and choices. Global energy firms like NextEra, Brightsource, and Iberdrola participate in what some have called a “gold rush” for the new green energy profits. At risk are a fantastic array of Native American cultural sites, now facing the bulldozer. The Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) have litigated the issue, filing a complaint on Dec. 4 while alleging the religion and culture of CRIT’s members are » NEWS » SPORTS » BUSINESS » ENTERTAINMENT » COMMUNITY LIFESTYLES » OPINION

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Mojave Elder Victor Van Fleet leads tribal Bird Singers in songs to protest energy development destroying lands sacred to Native American peoples in the California deserts.

strongly connected to the physical environment of the area, including the ancient trails, petroglyphs, grindstones, hammerstones, and other cultural resources known to exist there. “There is a lack of awareness on behalf of

the environmental community of indigenous rights,” said Lundahl, himself an active environmentalist. Mainstream environmental groups like the Sierra Club and NRDC have supported large solar despite environ-

mental and cultural degradation. The issue has come to a head in the California deserts where the ARRA stimulus program loan guarantees and cash grants have provided upfront capital for developers in the hundreds of

millions of dollars. “Isn’t it great that the big environmental groups and the utilities can agree on strategy?” solar power expert Bill Powers explains in the film. “It just happens to be a very high-impact strategy.” Lundahl’s film, “Who A r e My Pe o p l e ? ” includes gorgeous aerial photography and haunting descriptions of over 20 large geoglyphs, now endangered. They form a mythic landscape, one from another time or dimension of experience, located along the Colorado River. Indigenous elders, Ron Van Fleet (Mojave), Phil Smith (Chemehuevi), Alfredo Figueroa (Chemehuevi), and Preston Arrow-weed (Quechan), tell the story. The Feb. 6 screening is sponsored by CKTZ radio 89.5 FM and The ECOReport.

Artists’ program kicks off Artists take note: ‘Open Studio’ at the Campbell River Art Gallery begins its season Tuesday, February 3 for six weekly sessions. Open Studio is a longstanding Gallery tradition that features live model figure, providing the opportunity for artists to work with live models for the past 20 years. Artists gather together to paint, sketch or sculpt from a different live model each week. The range of five models for this session provides the group with a variety of body shapes and posing styles. Each model includes long poses, which give participants time to complete their work. It brings together artists

in the community and the surrounding region and allows for creative dialogue among the participants. Open Studio will take place every Tuesday from February 3 to March 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The drop-in fee to participate is $12.50 (GST included). Artists can also pre-register for all six sessions at a reduced rate of $62.50. For more information about Open Studio or to register by phone, call 250-287-2261, or drop by the Campbell River Art Gallery in the Tyee Plaza, Tuesday to Saturday, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Check the Gallery’s website at www.crartgallery.ca for more information.

A Campbell River Art Gallery Open Studio sketch by artist Richard Calver.

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Campbell River Mirror, January 30, 2015  

January 30, 2015 edition of the Campbell River Mirror

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