Elevator pitch: 7 Generations Film

Northern Minnesota is home to some of the most pristine wilderness and cleanest water in all of America. But those waters are threatened.
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Elevator Pitches are written by the company and edited for space and clarity. They do not express the opinions of SNEWS or its editors.

Ride the elevator with Andrew Bydlon, one of the filmmakers of the 7 Generations film.

The 7 Generations film aims to bring awareness to two proposed sulfide-ore copper mines threatening Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, some of America’s most precious water resources. 

From the leasing of public lands to mining companies in Bears Ears National Monument to the controversial draining of Lake Michigan by a new FoxConn factory, the construction of these mines represents the next step in a long-standing tradition of elected officials and international corporations leveraging public lands for short-term profits. 

Northern Minnesota is home to Lake Superior, which houses 10 percent of the world’s fresh water, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, a network of more than 1,100 lakes and rivers that is visited by more than 250,000 adventurers every year. PolyMet Mining and Twin Metals have proposed two sulfide-ore copper mines in this region, which have the potential to pollute the surrounding waters and natural environment. 

Wastewater from the proposed Polymet mine would be kept in open-pit tailing ponds and would need to be treated for an estimated 500 years before being safe to return to the environment. This treatment could cost as much as $6 million per year, and downstream communities would be “protected” from these tailings by a 252-foot-tall dam. 

Conversations with Minnesotans across the state would begin with their favorite outdoor places, but inevitably would lead to a discussion about the threats these mines pose to those places. It was these conversations that made it clear to us that this story needed to be told. The name of the project comes from the “7th Generation Principle," taught by many Native American tribes. This principle states that in every decision, be it personal, governmental, or environmental, we must evaluate how it will affect our descendants seven generations into the future.

A Kickstarter collecting donations until August 16 will help the crew fund the rest of the film.

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