Water Has a Memory

Carleen Pickard | United States | 2023 | 11:54 mins

 

 

Water Has a Memory Synopsis

Matriarch and Environmental Ambassador for the Ponca Nation, Casey Camp-Horinek takes us through the occupied territory of Ponca City, Oklahoma. Through the ancestral teachings of her Ponca culture, Casey has been protecting the Water, Mother Earth and Father Sky through the Rights of Nature and climate justice—while defiantly standing up against giants of industry for Indigenous rights and future generations. In Water Has a Memory, Camp-Horinek takes a “toxic tour” of Ponca territory in Oklahoma, through the Phillips 66 refinery, fracking and injection wells, a carbon black factory, and other industrial sites that contaminate the land and water of the Ponca Nation.

 

 

About the Filmmakers

Through the ancestral teachings of her Ponca culture, Casey has been protecting the Water, Mother Earth and Father Sky through the Rights of Nature and climate justice—while defiantly standing up against giants of industry for Indigenous rights and future generations. With Movement Rights, Casey works on connecting tribal communities across Turtle Island interested in or actively working on passing Rights of Nature into tribal law.

“By honoring those things that give life to you, then you acknowledge that same responsibility that you are supposed to share with your children and grandchildren. That is an understanding that all Indigenous women have that I know. We have to be ready to help continue life.”
– Casey Camp-Horinek

 

More From the Filmmakers

Long known for its place at the epicenter of several toxic industries, the people of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma live in one of the worst fossil fuel impacted areas in the United States. To confront this onslaught of contamination, in July 2022, the Ponca Business Council unanimously adopted the “Immutable Rights of Rivers” into tribal law, vowing to protect Ní’skà (the Arkansas River), and Ni’ží’dè (the Salt Fork River), that give life to all living things.

Fossil fuel extraction, processing, and exports are at an all time high in the United States, despite the mounting climate emergency. The world’s choice to either continue burning fossil fuels, or usher in a just transition to a world powered by green renewable energy will determine whether or not we keep global warming below 1.5°C. In 2018 in the United States, there were roughly 355,000 premature deaths due to fossil fuel-linked air pollution, and Black/African-American people have 1.54 times the exposure to particulate matter compared to the overall population, a crisis known as ‘fossil fuel racism’.

The mini documentary was released concurrently with the Lush Cosmetics‘ North-America wide campaign in support of Indigenous land defenders and water protectors around the world from February 20 to March 5, 2023. Working in solidarity and partnership with Indigenous activities and communities is not new to Lush, but the focus on land defenders and water protectors comes at a crucial time as Indigenous women are harassed, criminalized or killed for defending land and protecting water from pollution, theft, and destruction. In partnership with Movement Rights, a women- and Indigenous-led organization focused on advancing frontline-led climate justice, Indigenous Rights, and the Rights of Nature, the mini documentary aims to uplift and amplify Casey’s experiences while contextualizing the pressures frontline communities face across Turtle Island.

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