Guest artists: Christopher Crosby and Karla LaRive

We Are the Land

a documentary film by Christopher Crosby

Governments and the uranium industry say the mining and milling of uranium provides high-paying and much-needed jobs in some of the most remote areas of the country, with manageable environmental risks. But it’s an industry that has long attracted its share of controversy.

This is a major concern for the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in western South Dakota and other residents, including environmental and conservation groups. The Sierra Club of South Dakota warns that water pollution will be a major concern if the mining company Powertech is given a permit to mine for uranium. The Sierra Club’s Black Hills Group says there’s a high likelihood that aquifers will become polluted if an injection-well recovery system is used to mine the ore.

Powertech Inc. USA has submitted its uranium mining application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; it can be viewed here. The NRC has announced a time period for interested individuals to voice their concerns regarding the uranium mine’s impacts to the environment. 

The Institute of Range and American Mustang owns 13,000 acres of private land dedicated to range preservation and a balanced ecosystem. IRAM’s finest gift is the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, whose purpose is to provide not only freedom for unadoptable and unwanted wild horses, but also a research area dedicated to solving wild horse herd management that will contribute to the well-being of wild horses everywhere. 

The sanctuary was founded in 1985 by Dayton Hyde; for the past 14 years, an amazing woman named Susan Watt has assisted him as program director. 
At Dayton’s 85th birthday last year, he spoke about the threat of uranium mining south of the ranch; water is being used from nearby wells that flow through the aquifers of the Cheyenne River, the same river that runs through the sanctuary. The interview was taped by Chris Crosby and later edited for the documentary. I sat down again last summer with Dayton and Susan to discuss another film project for them, but instead Dayton spoke AGAIN about the uranium mining threat to the wellness of this land, the Black Hills/Northern Plains region, the people and all natural things here.

Chris and I felt that perhaps this was the more important story to tell, so we worked organically with our colleagues to film a series of interviews, spiritual prayers and messages. We added to that footage of sanctuary scenery, wildlife and herds of wild mustangs, plus an original soundtrack by Wind Spirit Drum, Virgil Red Cloud Goode and others, which we also produced. The original music was very important to the documentary, as Music = Prayers to the Creator.

The documentary was shot on location in HD by Chris Crosby in June 2010 at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, Hot Springs, South Dakota.
 “We Are the Land” was a collective project brought to us by Susan Watt. 

~ Karla LaRive

Since 2004 producer and manager rep Karla LaRive has been creative director for Studio West Management, which offers production support, locations scout services, photography, casting and talent representation for feature film, television, documentary and music projects. Director, producer and editor Christopher Crosby runs musicseenPROductions, building leverage for artists by producing music videos and promotional materials. In 2006 LaRive and Crosby formed PK Productions, LLC, an indigenous music management and media company, in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Their music videos for hip-hop artist Shadowyze and singer-songwriter Michael Bucher were nominated for Native American Music Awards, and in 2010 they won a Best Single/Song of the Year NAMA (along with Wind Spirit Drum, IRAM and Susan Watt) for producing the song “Grandfather,” from Wind Spirit Drum’s CD “Ancient Winds.” 
“We Are the Land” © 2011 musicseenPROductions. Credits: Christopher Crosby, director/editor; Karla R. LaRive, Susan Watt, producers; featuring Tom Ballanco, Tom Cook, Dayton O. Hyde, Barbara High Pine Peltier, Virgil Red Cloud Goode, Gilbert Sanchez, Susan Watt and Windwalker; music soundtrack by Windwalker and Edoal Spirit Buffalo (Wind Spirit Drum), Virgil Red Cloud Goode, Barbara High Pine Peltier and Christopher Crosby. For information contact karla [AT] studiowestmanagement [DOT] com. 

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