August 24, 2009

Film about Quapaw Superfund site

Pollution flowing down to tribal lands

Town is seeking federal dollars to clean up former mining site in Cherokee County, Kansas.

Written by Roxana Hegeman
A new documentary film, “Tar Creek,” by Vinita, Okla. native Matt Myers will have its Oklahoma premiere on Sept. 12 in Shawnee at the Southern Winds Film Festival.

The film examines the troubled past of Picher, beginning with the days when a small band of survivors of the Quapaw Tribe were routed from Arkansas to a patch of land in Northeast Oklahoma. The discovery of lead and zinc would forever change their lives and lead to the creation of Picher. The film depicts how the discovery created extraordinary wealth for the mining companies while the men who worked in the mines faced daunting lives. The film explains what happened after Picher was designated as a Superfund site, the failed federal effort to clean it up, and the ongoing buyout and relocation effort of Picher residents that has left many of them angry and bitter.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Documentaries and News.

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