Citizen Action Monitor

Caleb Behn, young indigenous activist and recent law school grad, takes on Big Oil and Gas

Documentary filmmakers were so inspired by Caleb that they decided to produce a film about him. Watch the trailer here.

No 674 Posted by fw, February 09, 2013

Caleb Behn is Eh-Cho Dene and Dunne Za/Cree from the Treaty 8 Territory of Northeastern BC. He has recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a Juris Doctor degree and is among the first UVic Law students granted the Concentration in Environmental Law and Sustainability. Prior to law school, he was the Oil and Gas Officer for the West Moberly First Nations and a Lands Manager for the Saulteau First Nations.

Fractured Land, the documentary

First, a message from the film’s co-director’s, Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis —

Fractured Land tells the story of one man’s journey to find balance between the modern world and that which we hold most sacred – water, land, tradition, each other.

Join Caleb Behn and a powerful new wave of leaders challenging a system that threatens to destroy us – seeking sustainable solutions to our voracious energy needs while blazing a new way forward to heal this fractured land.

We are delighted to share with you the latest trailer for our documentary film, Fractured Land, featuring interviews with Naomi KleinMP Thomas MulcairJosh FoxMaude BarlowWade DavisLillian MoyerTerri BrownOscar Dennis and other powerful voices!

Our deep thanks.

For more information, visit

Watch the film trailer here

Published on Jan 16, 2013 — Caleb Behn is a young, Indigenous warrior fighting to save his people’s land and culture. Deep in the exquisite wilderness of northeastern British Columbia, the ancestral home of Caleb’s Dene people, the multi-billion-dollar oil and gas industry emits chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, the killing of brain and blood cells, and environmental harm. Caleb himself was born with a birth defect and spent long, painful years under the surgeons’ knives, face cut, lips sewn. He cannot show that emissions from the industry caused his condition; still, it made him tough, gave him a deep aversion to gambling with children’s health, and helped drive him to action.

Though adept with a high-powered rifle and throwing knife for hunting, a vital part of his culture, Caleb needs stronger weapons to battle Big Oil and Gas, so he decided to get his law degree. Now, with his Mohawk, tattoos, and three-piece suit, Caleb is equally comfortable hunting moose on his land as he is fighting the oil and gas industry in corporate boardrooms and the courts.

Filmmakers Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis have been documenting Caleb’s journey, including following him to New Zealand. There he learned from the Maori, shared his experiences dealing with Big Oil and Gas, and explored common strategies. Both Maori and Canadian First Nations are facing the ravages of this industry, and are now raising powerful new Indigenous leaders. They are forging alliances using ancient knowledge and the modern weapon of the law.

All Caleb ever wanted to do was to live off the land and teach his future children the traditional ways of the Dene. But before he can do that, he and his allies must first do battle with the Goliath industry that threatens to destroy everything he holds dear. The industry is powerful; but, like many great leaders, Caleb was born with natural talent, eloquence, and passion, tempered by hard work and hard challenges. And he has arrived at a moment in history when his people and territory need him.

Fair Use Notice: This blog, Citizen Action Monitor, may contain copyrighted material that may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material, published without profit, is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues. It is published in accordance with the provisions of the 2004 Supreme Court of Canada ruling and its six principle criteria for evaluating fair dealing

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This entry was posted on February 9, 2013 by in counterpower of one, Indigenous people's counterpower, leadership, personal narratives and tagged .
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