The importance of using modern communications tools to help protect Indigenous people from environmental destruction will be the topic of a screening and talk at Ithaca College on Thursday, Feb. 21. Jason Corwin will present “Defending Ohi:yo’—Indigenous Media for Environmental Protection” at 6 p.m. in Handwerker Gallery, Gannet Center. It is free and open to the public.
Corwin will show his documentary “Defending Ohi:yo’” along with other short videos highlighting Seneca environmental topics. Corwin is executive director of the Seneca Media and Communications Center, a department of the Seneca Nation of Indians, located in western New York. In early 2018, while he was editing a feature-length documentary about opposition to the Dakota Access and Northern Access Pipelines, Corwin and other Senecas found out about a proposal to process fracking waste water and discharge it into the headwaters of the Allegheny River. That river, named Ohi:yo’ in Seneca, flows through the heart of their territory.
The Seneca Media and Communications Center provides internal and external communications and media production services, including graphic design, photography, and video production. It also handles event management, tourism marketing, and management of a commercial radio station, WGWE. Corwin holds a Ph.D. in natural resources from Cornell University and has worked extensively as a community-based media and environmental educator.