Permafrost transect near Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada


When their wildlife, lands and waters were contaminated by military, mining and municipal waste, indigenous nations of the Yukon River basin joined forces to protect and heal the watershed. By exercising stewardship over their own lands, they proved that even tiny, remote communities can work together to create fundamental change.

Melding traditional ecological knowledge with modern science, they collected data and forged partnerships with supporters – and the polluters – to clean up their own backyard. Their work has become a global model for ecosystem protection.

A team of filmmakers followed the birth and growth of this grassroots tribal environmental movement for more than a decade, collaborating with native people of the Yukon basin. Together they created four films that have built awareness and partnerships to protect wildlife, lands and waters in the northern wilderness of Canada and Alaska.

We Live by the River is the fourth film in the series documenting their crusade for clean water. It was produced with funding from the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Producer/director – Karin Williams
Narrator – Princess Lucaj
Cinematographer/editor – Diana Wilmar
Original music – Kurt Feldhun

Official Selection
Alaska International Film Awards: Denali Award

Docuwest Documentary Film Festival
June 23-27 2010
Golden CO

National Geographic All Roads Film Festival
Sep 28 – Oct 3 2010
Washington DC

Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival
Oct 13-17 2010
Toronto, Canada

Native Spirit Festival
Oct 12-22 2010
London, England

Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Jan 14-16 2011
Nevada City, CA

Cinema Planeta
Mar 11-19 2011
Cuernavaca, Mexico

Festival delle Terre, International Audiovisual Festival of Biodiversity
May 19-23 2011
Rome, Italy


Copenhagen Climate Conference
December 2009
Copenhagen, Denmark

Otago University Centre for the Study of Agriculture, Food and Environment
March 2009
Dunedin, New Zealand

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
April 2010
New York, NY

National Tribal Science Forum
June 2010
Traverse City, Michigan