Lights, camera… action (for nature and people) - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

Lights, camera… action (for nature and people)

Northern lights in the Canadian Rockies (Shutterstock photo)

How films inspire us to do what’s right + four to add to your list

Has art ever moved you to help make the world a better place?

At Y2Y, we love bringing art into the conservation conversation because it has the power to inspire, share underrepresented perspectives, open minds, and create positive change.

For many years, we have partnered with art galleries and museums on events, supported creators through partner grants, and hosted online film screenings.

In our most recent ‘Y2Y Film Fest,’ nearly a thousand people joined us online for three films about protecting sacred landscapes that hold both ecological and cultural value in the Yellowstone to Yukon region.

Those films, Running Dry: Alberta’s Shrinking Rivers, DƏNE YI’INJETL: The Scattering of Man, and For the Next Generation, were each followed with a flood of comments from people asking what they could do to help.

“I believe inspiration from art comes from the same place as inspiration from nature. Films bring nature’s beauty right to us — and a desire to protect it — no matter where we live.”

Robin Forsyth, Y2Y donor relations co-ordinator

“I believe inspiration from art comes from the same place as inspiration from nature. Films bring nature’s beauty right to us — and a desire to protect it — no matter where we live,” says Y2Y’s donor relations coordinator, Robin Forsyth, who often runs these events.

Y2Y’s Robin Forsyth at a January 2023 Y2Y + Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies film screening event

After the film screenings, we received dozens of messages from folks sharing their own stories, telling us they had contacted decision-makers, and had shared important messages with others. Maybe you were one of them!

“Y2Y’s community always shows up ready to make a positive difference for nature and people,” adds Robin. “And that change is happening right now thanks to them.” (Yes, you!)

Four more films that continue to inspire us to do the right thing:

1. Dene Kʼéh Kusān: Always Will be There

The Dena Kayeh Institute seeks to establish an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) within the Ancestral Territory of the Kaska Dena, in the northern boreal forest of interior B.C. The name of the IPCA, Dene K’éh Kusān, translates to Always Will Be There. The Dena Kayeh Institute presents this film to introduce the world to Dene K’éh Kusān, and to the Kaska Dena people, culture and way of life.

2. Mothers of the Mountains

Artist Caitlin Bodewitz meets some of the people who are saving the Klinse-Za caribou herd on Treaty 8 Territory in northern B.C. and brings their story back to her art studio. Get a glimpse into the world of the caribou that have come back from the brink.

3. Tsay Keh Dene Nation: Ingenika Protected Area

The Ingenika River watershed in northern British Columbia is of crucial importance to Tsay Keh Dene Nation historically, ecologically, culturally and spiritually. It is one of the last refuges in a territory devastated by the Williston Reservoir and unsustainable development. Tsay Keh Dene Nation are building an Indigenous Management plan for the Ingenika. Work is ongoing, and support is needed.

4. INHABITANTS: Indigenous Perspectives on Restoring our World

INHABITANTS is a feature documentary that follows five Native American Tribes across deserts, coastlines, forests, and prairies as they restore their traditional land management practices.