Native American Women: Voices from the Margin

by 3 Generations

This month, 3 Generations Executive Director Jane Wells and film director Simon Brook will travel to North Dakota to commence filming for the upcoming feature film, ‘The Dakota Project’.

The MHA Nation (comprised of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes) is situated in the middle of the Bakken Formation, the largest shale oil field in North America. Within the 1 million acre reservation there are 21 fracking rigs, 1400 active oil wells and 1992 potentially exploitable wells. The landscape is littered with oil wells, fracking towers and toxic waste dumps and the entire MHA will inevitably suffer the environmental impact of this oil exploitation. On top of this, the sudden economic influx has brought with it a myriad of social problems including violent crime, drugs and prostitution.

Native American women are feeling the negative effects particularly keenly. The influx of thousands of male workers to the area has led to unprecedented incidents of sexual assault and cases of sex trafficking.

‘The Dakota Project’ will shed light on both the environmental and social degradation caused by the oil industry. Raising awareness is the first step in social change and the film will provide a platform for those who are attempting to make positive steps amid the chaos.

Without your continued support we would be unable to shed light on the ways the fracking boom is affecting this marginalized community. This spring, help us share the voices of those demanding change.

One of Many Oil Wells in North Dakota
One of Many Oil Wells in North Dakota

“Our ancestors fought and died. Through disease, destruction, warfare. Everything that the United States government could throw at them. They’ve survived. For what today? Over money, greed. We’re giving it away. We’re giving our environment away, our wild away, everything,” - Mark Fox, MHA Nation Chairman

In anticipation for our next feature length project, The Second Gift, 3 Generation's Executive Director Jane Wells and film director Simon Brook, have spent time in North Dakota to personally speak with the Native American tribes affected by the Oil Boom in the Midwest.

In the wake of the fracking boom, native tribes, long inhabitants of the lands, have dealt with issues ranging from the sexual exploitation at the hands of the incoming oil workers to issues of environmental degradation. However, one concern came to the forefront during Jane and Simon's travels. What happens when the oil runs out? 

For the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes of North Dakota, the oil boom has become another event in a long history of oppression. The issues arising from the oil boom act as only the most recent events in a history dotted with forced adoption of ideologies or destroyed economies resulting from unsustainable hunting practices.

In 2015, 3 Generations looks to ask what happens when the oil wells runs dry. As we continue our mission, sharing stories and bringing to light the tragedies happening under our noses, we look forward to your continued support. Together we can build momentum for social change and ensure that the end the of the oil boom is not the end of the Native population in the US.

"We have seven reservations in the state of Montana... when it comes to the crimes that are affecting us, we're all on the same reservation." - Judge Gregory Mohr, Sidney, MT

The fracking oil boom is not just impacting prices at the pump. It takes a toll on communities, migratory animals and those most vulnerable to exploitation by the influx of oil workers with free time and cash to spend: Native American women, girls and boys who are trafficked to "man-camps" in the most callous example of the Wild West mentality. 

We are excited to announce that the award-winning documentary filmmaker Simon Brook has signed on to direct 3 Generations' upcoming film The Second Gift, which will explore the societal toll of fracking on Native American communities living around the Bakken oil fields. Preparation work has begun and we hope to begin filming this coming January. 

Today, on Columbus Day or as we like to call it, Indigenous People's Day, consider America's history with Native Americans. Take action to stop the egregious violations of the earth and the basic human rights of Native American women and children by donating now. 

You + Global Giving + 3 Generations = 50% more support for survivors!

Tomorrow, your support of our project means even more. Global Giving is offering to match your donation by 50% on July 16th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. (EDT). 

Take this opportunity to make your yearly or monthly donation. 

There are other exciting prizes for our project as well, including big cash bonuses that will help us all year long as we record more stories from Rwanda, Tibet, Cambodia, and the US. You can help us share these stories.

Hurry, this offer is only viable from 9:00 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on July 16th!

Thanks to our generous donors who have already helped us get closer to our goal.  Our team is so lucky to have such great supporters!

We are so proud to announce that our short film, Native Silence, about four Native American women and the legacy of foster care, has received a flood of recognition and praise.  We've so far been invited to four film festivals, including the exclusive Aspen ShortsFest, which qualified us for an Oscar.  We have had other requests from festivals around the country following the Aspen screening, and are hoping to announce new screenings soon. 

The film has also been put into distribution by Alexander Street Press and will be available for private and educational screenings soon.

We've been so inspired by the incredible reaction we've gotten from audiences and reviewers, that we are continuing on our quest to expose the modern day injustices and inequalities that impact Native American communities.  Our next film focuses on a timely issue affecting Native peoples from the US up though Canada, and that's the issue of fracking, and oil mining.  More and more Native women are being trafficked to the flood of oil workers who have moved to areas where fracking is allowed, such as North Dakota, and women are being used and discarded just as the sacred land that is being blasted apart. 

This summer, our film team will follow the stories of North Dakota, Native women, and fracking.  If you think this is an important issue, and you'd like to see the film made, please donate.  Every donation helps us create a film that will educate audiences worldwide on this pressing issue. 



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Organization Information

3 Generations

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Jane Wells
3 Generations Founder and President
New York, NY United States

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