While California faces crazy droughts, coal ash spills into North Carolina’s rivers and dangerous chemicals have poisoned water in West Virginia, the moratorium against toxic hydro-fracking goes into a fourth year in New York state.

Born and raised in Queens my water is still safe to drink. So who’s been fighting against multi-billion dollar gas companies since the beginning?

What if I told you there are separate countries, different languages, and war treaties that were debated upon more than a thousand years ago just 5 hours northwest of New York City? When it was revealed to me, it was a shock to my system.

In the United States, Native American nations have their own governments, own languages, religions, schools, casinos and hockey teams. Traveling to Syracuse, New York, we visited the Onondaga Nation, part of the Haundonsaune confederacy; an alliance of six nations of Native American people nearly a thousand years old. I met up with folks from the Oneida, Mohawk and Seneca tribes too, they all agree fracking is bad for the Earth.

I’ve lived in New York City my whole life among 8 million people, and I’ve learnt a few lessons from the Haundonsaune confederacy. We may be stuck between fluorescent lights, elevators, fake leafs in lobbies and dollar slices of Pizza, but we still share the same water, air and planet. That’s all free without charge. While indigenous peoples still exist after thousands of years, will the high-speed natural gas life do the same? I checked in with some organizers and native people of New York to find out. Stay following the Gasland blog for updates.

If you want to join in to stop fracking, check out Two Row Wampum Campaign and New Yorkers Against Fracking for the latest events in New York.

-Messiah Rhodes, Filmmaker


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