Water Warriors is the story of a community’s successful resistance against the oil and gas industry. When an energy company begins searching for natural gas in New Brunswick, Canada, Indigenous and white families unite to drive out the company in a campaign to protect their water and way of life.

A story of resistance powered by love—for the water, for our communities and generations to come, for the better world that we're working so hard to build. In just 22 short, thundering minutes, Water Warriors will leave you immersed, seeing anew all that surrounds you.

Naomi Klein, author of No Is Not Enough & This Changes Everything
Synopsis: 

Water Warriors is the story of a community’s successful fight to protect their water from the oil and natural gas industry.

In 2013, Texas-based SWN Resources arrived in New Brunswick, Canada to explore for natural gas. The region is known for its forestry, farming and fishing industries, which are both commercial and small-scale subsistence operations that rural communities depend on. In response, a multicultural group of unlikely warriors–including members of the Mi’kmaq Elsipogtog First Nation, French-speaking Acadians and English-speaking families–set up a series of road blockades, sometimes on fire, preventing exploration. After months of resistance, their efforts not only halted drilling; they elected a new government and won an indefinite moratorium on fracking in the province.

Water Warriors is a 22 minute short film, and a photo exhibit that can scale to fit a variety of spaces and events styles.

Reviews

Water Warriors tells the story of province that said 'no' to Big Oil before it was too late, after its people came together to organize on behalf of a far more precious resource.

The film is a great resource for the classroom, sure to spark discussion about this pressing issue.

Ryan Katz-Rosene, President of the Environmental Studies Association of Canada & Professor, University of Ottawa

Water Warriors is extremely relevant to environmental water issues in our region. It is deeply moving, beautifully filmed, and the 22-minute length is ideal for my 50-minute classes, because I can show the doc and follow with discussion.

Jane Haladay, Professor, Department of American Indian Studies, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Water Warriors wasn’t only an impactful and inspiring film for my students, but served as an opening/foundation for thinking about the very idea of resistance—and the idea that ordinary people stepping up in collective action is what creates change.

Sara Kendall, Professor, Department of Geography, Dawson College

You educated me, you moved me, and you made my convictions on this subject even stronger.

–Stacy Sprenz, Community Activist

I thought that [the exhibit] was a great way to immerse the viewers in the subject, and come together to explore where we are at in this battle. It was very rich. I am so glad that you will be bringing this show to some other communities in the area. It is an event, and a model, that I feel is definitely worth repeating!

–Travis Cohn, Community Activist
Director's Commentary: 

As the climate changes at an alarming rate, the actions of ordinary people to protect democracy and our natural resources are gaining momentum. The success of movements like #NoKeystoneXL and Standing Rock's fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline assert the importance of meaningful consultation with communities and indigenous leadership to protect natural resources. Like these fights and many others that haven’t made headlines, Water Warriors affirms the necessity of leadership from indigenous peoples, who in Canada are, aptly, known as First Nations.

Water Warriors captures how a coalition of unlikely warriors triumphed against seemingly insurmountable odds. The story invites us to consider how multiracial solidarity can guide relationships between historically-divided communities and natural ecosystems, from which too many of us remain disconnected. The warriors in this story were fighting to protect their water, but their lessons are applicable to a range of issues related to corporate exploitation and the corruption of democracy.

The story demonstrates the power people have when they organize. In this moment, especially, success stories are critical to building power and visionary opposition. It was an honor to be allowed to document this story. I hope that it will educate, fortify, and inspire people endeavoring to build a more just and sustainable future.