We Are All Related Here is a documentary FILM that tells the story of the Yup'ik people of Newtok, Alaska, who are being forced to relocate their village due to the erosion and flooding they are experiencing as a result of global warming.
"We Are All Related Here is a beautiful film about our urgent need to support coastal communities as they adapt to enormous environmental challenges in the U.S. The film was incredibly useful for teaching about the impacts of climate change and environmental policy within indigenous communities to my undergraduate Human Ecology class. Students were enthralled, engaged, and walked away wanting to know what they can do to support the people of Newtok. I highly recommend this potent and picturesque film."
Nathan Jessee, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology, Temple University
"As the sea swallows the last months of a remote Yup'ik village in western Alaska, We Are All Related Here reveals a deepest sense of family and community in the reckoning and resilience of people young and old. It is a film that provokes powerful and necessary conversation."
James Loucky, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Anthropology, Western Washington University
"Moving is always included as one of the top three of life’s most stressful events. But imagine how much more stressful it would be to move because the ground under your home is being washed into the sea; or because you have very little or no control in deciding when you move; or when moving puts your cultural and social underpinnings at risk. Brian McDermott’s film, We Are All Related Here, introduces you to the people of Newtok who are resolutely moving under these conditions. Not one of your typical climate victim exposés. Highly recommended."
Mervyn Tano, President, IIIRM
“The documentary gives viewers an inside look as to what the Yup’ik people are learning to deal with and live with...“We Are All Related Here” is an educational and eye-opening film that contributes to the message of being environmentally aware and depicts what harm climate change has done and will continue to do to our planet, our homes, and ultimately our lives.”
We meet some of the people The New York Times, The Guardian and NPR are calling America's "climate refugees," and learn about the history and culture of the Yup'ik people of Newtok, who are being forced to relocate their village due to the erosion and flooding they are experiencing as a result of global warming.
We witness their traditional ways of hunting, fishing and dancing in this village where the Yup'ik language is spoken fluently by the elders and children alike. The film also shows the devastation that is taking place in Newtok as a result of climate change and describes the multiple challenges facing the residents as they prepare to relocate their village nine miles south to a site called Mertarvik.
Robin Bronen, the Executive Director of the Alaska Institute for Justice and Senior Research Scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Arctic Biology, addresses the limitations of current disaster relief legislation and the implications for those being threatened by climate change. We also hear from the Deputy Regional Executive/Center Director of the U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center, Carl Markon, who provides us with some context for the erosion and flooding that are occurring in Newtok. Finally, Sally Russell Cox, a planner with the state of Alaska in charge of helping the village to relocate, explains some of the difficulties involved with securing the funding needed for relocation. She also gives us an overview of the process for relocating this village—that the Army Corps of Engineers estimates has only two years until its largest and most significant buildings are impacted.
Directed by Brian McDermott; 2015, 51 minutes
NTSC DVD with closed captioning