Victoria Lean’s project, After the Last River, began in 2008. Following Ontario’s first diamond mine being opened by De Beers upriver from the Attawapiskat in the Kenora District of northern Ontario, she visited the community with her father, an ecotoxicologist, along with representatives from Ecojustice and Wildlands League. The team shed light upon potential dangers to the environment which would be caused by the new diamond mine, including danger to the local ecosystem and its inhabitants. For example, the level of methylmercury – an environmental toxicant – would potentially increase to dangerous levels and harm the fish.

Lean returned to the community in 2010 to shoot a film as part of her Masters thesis, upon which she realized that there is a disconnect between the reality of Attawapiskat and the myth of Canada. As she explains in her crowdfunding pitch, the community faces a lack of access to education, healthcare, and housing, without which its residents cannot benefit from the opportunities offered up by the mining on their land. Attawapiskat proves a cruel irony wherein in spite of its opportunity in mining, the community will continue to live without access to basic human rights.

The primary goal of After the Last River is to raise awareness about this disconnect. Lean believes that if more Canadians knew about the problems faced by the community, the situation would be different. She has spoken with community organizer Rosie Koostachin and Chief Theresa Spence about the challenges which they face, and has learned that there is a long way to go in terms of bridging this disconnect between the reality and the myth.

After the Last River was filmed over the course of five years and follows the evolving level of attention paid to Attawapiskat, especially during the course of the Idle No More protests. Lean hopes to shed light upon the complexity of the community and the way that it is viewed as an “imperiled homeland to some and a profitable new frontier for others.” She finds this film particularly timely since, among other mining developments elsewhere, De Beers is now planning to expand the Victoria Mine to another one of the fifteen diamond deposits nearby – this is especially dangerous as existing environmental concerns have not been addressed as of yet.

Funds raised through this campaign will be allotted towards sound and voice recording, editing and colour correction, an original score, team member fees, legal and insurance fees, promotional materials, marketing, and music rights. A more detailed breakdown is available on the project’s Indieogogo page.

So, if you would like to support After the Last River, you can find the campaign and spread the word on Facebook and its official website, where you can also find more information about the film. If you would like to donate, you can do so through the Indiegogo page here. Donations are being accepted until July 24, 2015.