The Fight for Water & Treaty Rights in the Great Lakes

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Winter 2014 Update?>

Happy New Year from the Trust team. Here’s a quick update on our progress.

We had some wonderful opportunities for filming this summer and fall and we’re working on getting back to the upper Great Lakes this winter. As you know, the mining industry continues to push forward in the region and we’re dedicated to following this important story and getting accurate information out to the public.

With that in mind, we’re continuing to build our website content and develop additional webisodes and INFOgraphics. Our next webisode will be an introduction to treaty rights. You can visit our website for current videos from our production team as well as from allied artists. We also post public comment opportunities on mining related environmental permit applications. You can follow us on Facebook for the latest news on water, mining and treaty rights issues in the Great Lakes. Please feel free to comment on our site. We’d love to hear your ideas on what type of content would be useful to you.

We’re also applying for grants to help us push this project forward with additional funding. Funding is important, but so is an audience. We can always use more viewers, so please continue to share this project with your friends.

Thank You for your continued support!


More Video Artists = More Information?>

We’re adding a new feature to the Trust website. Our Watch Video page will now include videos by allied artists. Our goal for Trust is to spread information related to hard-rock mining, treaty rights and the protection of the Great Lakes across cultures, across the region and across the country. This new collection of videos by filmmakers from the region will help us do just that. These videos will explore cultural, scientific and legal information related to these topics. We hope you enjoy them and share them. Just click here.

The Working Title?>

The title Trust is what’s called a working title. So someday we may change it. The title originally came from two concepts that we really wanted to explore in this film. The first is the Trust Responsibility that is inherent in the nearly 400 treaties signed between indigenous nations and the United States government. It includes a federal obligation to protect and enhance tribal lands and resources. And the second is the Public Trust Doctrine as it applies to the environment and our natural resources. But the title quickly acquired an additional meaning for me. From our very first trip as filmmakers to the Great Lakes communities most affected by the mining industry we have been greeted with incredible warmth, enthusiasm and, yes, trust. So the title quickly became something more. I think about that every day and we’re working hard to live up to it.

Recommended Reading:

Stephen L. Pevar. The Rights of Indians and Tribes. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Joseph L. Sax. “The Public Trust Doctrine in Natural Resource Law: Effective Judicial Intervention” Michigan Law Review 68.January (1970): 471.

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