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Death of a Delta

Accession number: 
Production Years: 
1970 to 1971


Film Properties: 
Length (feet): 
995 (16mm)
Length (minutes): 
Holding Institutions: 

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario: 16mm.

Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia: 16mm.
"Documents the urban-industrial benefits of the dam to the lower mainland of British Columbia and the human, ecological and financial losses being suffered by the Metis and Indian peoples who live downstream on the Peace-Athabasca Delta of north-eastern Alberta."

Library and Archives Canada: 16mm.
"This film examines the effects of the W.A.C. Bennett (Peace River) dam on the dying Peace-Athabaska Delta of Northeastern Alberta in light of the delta community's upcoming compensation lawsuit againt B.C. Hydro. Footage includes aerial shots of the dying delta, close-ups of shallow and barren lakes, and shots of Fort Chipewyan, the delta's central town. The loss to the area's Métis and Indian community is revealed by way of interviews with local Métis Association President Frank Ladouceur, Chipewyan Chief Fred Marcel, and local trappers Ernie Bourke and Clément Mercredi. W.A. Fuller, Chairman of the University of Alberta Zoology Department argues that the Peace River dam is responsible for the delta's death. The technical workings and urban-industrial benefits of the dam are presented by way of a film-within-a-film -- MORE POWER TO US : A FILM ON THE W.A.C. BENNETT DAM -- which locals are seen attending. The film also includes songs by the Fort Chipewyan Raiders, a history of the community illustrated by archival photographs, and maps showing the shrinkage of the delta's lakes."


University of Waterloo Audiovisual Services Catalog.
"This film looks at the controversy which has surrounded the building of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam on the Peace River, and raises the question, where do our priorities lie? Is it in the development of the Canadian north, in the economic needs of big business, or in the rights of the northern peoples—the preservation of their land and way of life?"