On this page, video resources can be found to further understanding of the implications of hydropower on people and the environment.

South Indian Lake, Augmented Flow: License to Destroy

Boating around South Indian Lake with his dad and son, Les Dysart points out the ravaged shoreline. Waterlogged debris lurks dangerously just below the surface. The lake is treacherous for the O-Pipon- Na-Piwin Cree nation (South Indian Lake) who were once one of the wealthiest lake fisheries in North America. Elders and community members describe the turbulent engineered flooding that has shut down the fishing industry, drowned their homes, washed away historical and sacred sites and forced relocation.

For this community whose lifeblood is the Lake, Manitoba Hydro’s relentless pursuit for power has gouged and eroded not only the health of the lake but the First Nation community itself. Since the 1970s the First Nation has been fighting Manitoba Hydro and the Province of Manitoba who perpetrate this destructive and unnecessary water level control in their territory. Now the Province of Manitoba has signed a licence agreement that gambles with the lives and future of the South Indian Lake community. Continuing generations of resistance, the community will not sit back and allow Manitoba Hydro to wash away their lands and lives.
Augmented Flow has been developed by the community of South Indian Lake and features Elders, knowledge keepers, and other community members sharing their perspectives on hydro and its impact on their lives and lands.
“Augmented Flow: License to Destroy” premiered on September 28, 2023, at the Manitoba Elections, Hydro, & Change: Film Screening and Energy Forum

Aimée Craft, Jill Blakley and Robert Spence Book Launch of In Our Backyard

In Our Backyard: Keeyask and the Legacy of Hydroelectric Development 

Editors Aimée Craft and Jill Blakley celebrate the launch of In Our Backyard: Keeyask and the Legacy of Hydroelectric Development (University of Manitoba Press). This event features a presentation from Robert Spence, elected councillor of the Tataskweyak Cree Nation. 

Beginning with the Grand Rapids Dam in the 1960s, hydroelectric development has dramatically altered the social, political, and physical landscape of northern Manitoba. In Our Backyard tells the story of Manitoba Hydro’s Keeyask dam and accompanying development on the Nelson River, amplifying Indigenous voices that environmental assessment and regulatory processes have often failed to incorporate.

Senator McCallum's Hydro Speech Dec 14, 2021

On December 14, 2021, Senator Mary Jane McCallum delivered this speech on behalf of the Wa Ni Ska Tan Alliance of Hydro-Impacted Communities.

Read full speech here

Winnipeg South - 100 Debates on the Environment

On Sept. 8, 2021, Wa Ni Ska Tan and the MB Eco-Network co-hosted (with others) a virtual, all-candidates debate where local federal election candidates from the Winnipeg South riding debated issues of environmental concern. Lynne Fernandez was the moderator. This event was a part of GreenPAC’s 100 Debates on the Environment initiative.

Accepted Invitation:
Greg Boettcher – Green Party
Aiden Kahanovitch – New Democratic Party
Terry Duguid – Liberal Party

Declined to Attend:
Melanie Maher – Conservative Party

Invited to Attend:
Byron Gryba – People’s Party

Senator Mary Jane McCallum Bill C-12 Hydro Speech

On June 29th 2021, Sen. Dr. McCallum read a speech at the senate chambers written by Dr. Jarvis Brownlie at University of Manitoba and multiple affected community members asking the government to review cumulative impacts of renewable energy projects (especially hydro), make hydro projects accountable for under reporting green house gas emissions and ask Hydro companies to form independent oversight bodies with strong Indigenous representation for hydro projects and operations.

Manitoba Hydro is Water Drunk

This short film looks into the decisions that lead to the unnatural water fluctuations and continuous flooding of South Indian Lake in northern Manitoba. This footage was shot prior to the issuance of a final license for the Churchill River Diversion.

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 19: Manitoba Hydro Dams, Treaties, and Human Rights

The Cree people of Manitoba, Canada, have been affected for decades by the environmental and economic devastation caused by hydroelectric dams, generating stations, and the manipulation of water levels in their lakes and rivers. Their treaties have been violated and both compensation and consultation have been drastically inadequate. This side event addressed on April 29, 2019 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York highlighted the ongoing damage to Indigenous communities, economies, and cultures from hydroelectric operations in their territories.

Additional Films
Hydro Impacts: Erosion

This film explores the Athabasca Oil Sands from a marginalized and often silenced perspective: Communities that live downstream. It is is a collaborative community effort featuring interviews with local Cree, Dene and Métis members from Fort Chipewyan. It gets to the heart of their concerns for their families, traditional ways and territories as the Oil Sands encroach closer and closer.

When the water goes up behind the $8.7-billion Keeyask Dam in northern Manitoba, one family will lose more than any other. This short documentary, filmed by Brad Leitch, combines their story with the story of Ellen Cook who grew up in the shadow of another dam and imagines a future beyond concrete.

In this documentary directed by Jennifer Dysart, a Cree community in northern Manitoba returns to their original village site that they were forced to abandon due to the purposeful flooding of their lake.

Green Green Water video

In Green Green Water, Dawn Mikkelson digs deep to discover the true costs of the source of her green energy. Mikkelson uncovers the displacement, environmental damage and social unrest caused by hydroelectric energy suppliers.

Are you aware of the environmental impacts of hydroelectric power? Hydroelectric power is often considered a clean and renewable source of energy, but it also has some negative consequences for the ecosystems, water quality, and greenhouse gas emissions. In this video, we will explore how hydroelectric development can cause shoreline erosion and deadheads, and what can be done to prevent or mitigate these problems. Shoreline erosion is the process of wearing away the land by water and wind. It can affect the stability, biodiversity, and aesthetics of the shoreline. Hydroelectric development can accelerate shoreline erosion by raising water levels, submerging beaches, and restarting the creation of a beach further inland. Shoreline erosion can destroy vegetation, habitats, and migration paths for wildlife, as well as cause property loss and damage for humans. These environmental impacts have disproportionately affected Indigenous Peoples who live in the territory of Manitoba. Hydroelectric development has disrupted their traditional way of life, culture, and rights. It has caused the collapse of their fisheries and economy, the loss of their reservation land, the dissolution of their islands that leave dangerous rocks just under the surface of the water, and the violation of their treaties and agreements. Indigenous People have been pushing for justice and compensation from Manitoba Hydro, a crown corporation that has inflicted these harms on them without their consent or consultation. In this video, you will hear from some of the Elders and land users who have witnessed the effects of shoreline erosion and deadheads on their land, water, and livelihood. They will share their stories, concerns, and hopes for the future of their territory. You will also learn about some of the possible solutions to reduce the impacts of hydroelectric development on the environment and the Indigenous people.