Gwaai Edenshaw‘s Artist Statement from the Exhibit:
“The issue of pipes and tankers conjures images of catastrophic spills. While this would be an unthinkable assault on our way of life, the focus on it does not do justice to the fact that the simple presence of tankers, and their insipient baggage are catastrophic in and of themselves.
We must consider the social effect of this industry.
It creates some decent paying jobs and at the same time, creates sickness of the soul.
Oil and gas attract transient workers and a host of ills that are bound to an influx of moneyed men who have no ties to, nor reason to care about the community.
Case in point- the effect on our girls. Newfoundland’s boom in prostitution is directly linked to the oil industry.
No matter the promises of double hulls, and safety redundancies, and filters in bilges (heard all the same assurances in 1989)… These shallow reassurances shrink in the face of foreign organisms in our water. The allowable spill…
Look at the water around any dock and imagine it as a churning drooling beast with a ten boat length breaking distance, plowing through our clear green waters (60 litres is the size of a reportable spill, I think)..
All bad. All reason enough to put aside this folly.
When we think about pipes and tankers, we need to think about our girls. Our girls and our souls.
An oil community is one of sadness and sickness and ultimately fleeting existence.
We’ll be the ones left to pick up the pieces.”
We invite you to read more on oil boom culture:
As oil patch booms, so does drug abuse and crime
An unreleased development council study found that crime levels in communities such as Grande Prairie, Slave Lake, Cold Lake and Fort McMurray are now much higher than the provincial norm. Fort McMurray, for example, has an overall crime rate five times the provincial average.
Some experts, such as the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission’s Barry Andres, chalk up the problem to a “wild west frontier mentality” that sees people embrace a work hard, play harder outlook.
An Oil Town Where Men Are Many, and Women Are Hounded
Christina Knapp and a friend were drinking shots at a bar in a nearby town several weeks ago when a table of about five men called them over and made an offer.
They would pay the women $3,000 to strip naked and serve them beer at their house while they watched mixed martial arts fights on television. Ms. Knapp, 22, declined, but the men kept raising the offer, reaching $7,000.
They’re consuming all our resources. They’re consuming all our people looking for jobs. All the employee base is used up. Our roads system is being used up. All our water is being used up. All our sewage systems are being used up. They’re overwhelmed. All of our leadership time as local public officials is consumed with this.
– Dan Kalil, chairman of the Williams County Commission
The Impact of Oil and Gas Discovery and Exploration
Although the discovery of oil creates a sense of hope and expectation that the revenue would lead to the development of local communities and countries as a whole, in most cases, this dream has remained illusory as the exploration of the oil resources has led to the destruction of local communities and anarchy in oil-producing developing countries.
Alberta politician charged with paying for prostitutes won’t resign seat
An Alberta politician charged in Minnesota with paying for prostitutes wants more time to decide whether he should keep his seat in the legislature or resign.
Mike Allen, elected in 2012 for the governing Progressive Conservatives, was arrested last week in a prostitution sting while on a government trip in St. Paul.
Life becomes expensive.. Demanding buy in
Drug abuse in patch 4x the national average
Feminine self-defense products a big hit in the oil patch
When the boom is done what will it be like here
Sex, Drugs and Alcohol Stalk the Streets of Fort McMurray