This is my story. It is the story of many Indigenous Peoples who find themselves in one of Canada’s inner cities with questions. It is the story of how we became dispossessed and how we rise.
The Short Doc
Rooted in Indigenous storytelling tradition, the Life in the City of Dirty Water short doc is a series of intimate vignettes that weave together the remarkable life of Cree climate change activist, Clayton Thomas-Müller. The film premiered at Hot Docs in 2019 and went on to win the Best National Short Film award at the Montreal Cinéma sous les étoiles.
LIFE IN THE CITY OF DIRTY WATER: A MEMOIR OF HEALING is a National Bestseller under the Allen Lane imprint of Penguin Canada. Click here to shop local or buy online now.
“Clayton’s memoir details his escape from abuse he endured due to the intergenerational trauma of Canada’s residential school system; his angry, criminal-fringe youth, and ultimately the journey to hard-earned reconnection to his heritage and to his position now as a leading organizer and activist on the frontlines of environmental resistance.”
– Carolyn Forde, Transatlantic Agency –
Storytelling as an Indigenous practice is alive and immersive, as much about the moment and the listener as about the teller. For decades Clayton has toured extensively as a public speaker, engaging audiences at venues around the world and inspiring listeners to take action for climate justice and decolonization.
In 2021, Clayton will tour Life in the City of Dirty Water as an immersive, multimedia theatre experience weaving together oral storytelling, powerful video clips, audio sequences, and Indigenous Art. All of the tour content is designed to compliment the short doc and the book – allowing audiences to go explore other dimensions of colonial trauma, healing, and Indigenous resurgence.
Indigenous Educators are working to develop Life in the City of Dirty Water curriculum resources for school and community settings. These teaching tools are being designed to accompany video vignettes and oral storytelling.
Clayton Thomas-Müller is a member of the Treaty #6 based Mathias Colomb Cree Nation also known as Pukatawagan located in Northern Manitoba, Canada. Based in Winnipeg. He has been recognized by Yes Magazine as a Climate Hero and is featured as one of ten international human rights defenders in the National Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
He has campaigned across Canada, Alaska and the lower 48 states organizing in hundreds of First Nations, Alaska Native and Native American communities to support Indigenous Peoples to defend their territories against the encroachment of the fossil fuel industry with a special focus on stopping the expansion of the Canadian tar sands and its associated pipelines.
Clayton is an award winning film director, media producer, organizer, facilitator, public speaker and best selling author on Indigenous rights and environmental & economic justice.
Anna Lee-Popham is a writer, editor, communications strategist, and project manager who specializes in transmedia narrative projects. Anna collaborates with progressive movements, organizations, and individuals to support their development of strategic interconnected content that amplifies their stories and messaging across traditional and
new media platforms. She focuses on storytelling that shifts the political conversation and inspires others to deepen their analysis, strengthen their commitment, and be moved to action.
Social movements and organizations that Anna has collaborated with include Idle No More, Black Lives Matter, Southerners on New Ground, the US Social Forum, and the People’s Movement Assembly.
Spencer is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and has directed, filmed, and edited over 100 short films for government agencies, social movements, and nonprofits. Spencer’s footage appeared in the award-winning documentary, Rumble: The Indian’s That Rocked The World and is also featured in a permanent exhibition at the new Royal Alberta Museum.
Spencer’s work focuses on lm as a storytelling medium for social impact and transformation. Through collaborations with Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, Fight for 15, and the climate justice movement, he has honed the craft of filmmaking in service of social movements. Spencer thrives at the intersection of scripted and unscripted content that amplifies the raw emotion and breathtaking power of people rising up to transform their communities and the world.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.