Fractured Land: A Dene warrior battles Big Oil and neo-colonialism

by: Obert Madondo  | Published Feb 1, 2013

This is the trailer of Fractured Land a film that tells the story of Caleb Behn, a young Dene warrior from northeastern British Columbia, “taking on Big Oil and Gas to protect his ancestral land and people from the ravages of neocolonialism.”

Behn is a remarkable guy. I met briefly late last year when he came to Ottawa to address a public discussion on Line 9, sponsored by the Council of Canadians. Meet a member of the next generation of Aboriginal leaders in Canada.

Learn more about Fractured Land on this Website and this Blog.

Film description via YouTube:

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.

Directed by Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis

Executive Producer – Daniel Conrad

Digital Strategist & Community Manager – Hilary Henegar

Music Composition and Sound Design – Edo Van Breenan

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Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow him on

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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based blogger, activist, photographer, digital rights enthusiast, former political aide, and former international development administrator. He's the founder and editor of these independent publications: The Canadian Progressive, a political blog dedicated to progressive Canadian journalism; The Zimbabwean Progressive, a political blog dedicated to producing fearless, progressive, adversarial, unapologetic, and activism-oriented Zimbabwean journalism; and Charity Files, a publication dedicated to journalism in the charitable public's interest. Follow Obert on Twitter: @Obiemad