♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -People lived on these creeks for thousands of thousands of years.
There's a lot of factors where man has come in and messed with the balance of things.
-I remember distinctly the vegetation and the flowing, clear, wonderful water out of those artesian wells.
And those are no more.
♪♪ -There are no barracks left.
The main foundations, broken dishes, and a cemetery are the only physical remains.
But the ruins bring forth emotional responses from people, whether they lived in Manzanar or not.
And those emotions have not lessened by the passage of time.
-Every mountain up here has a story behind it.
Those are part of who we are and where we come from.
If they come in and change the land, those stories become meaningless.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ This Manzanar historic site right here is just as important to us as other places because we lived here before anybody came here and then before it was a concentration camp.
We used to drive all over this place and didn't know any of this stuff was here, you know.
I grew up knowing Manzanar was always here, but I didn't -- And I knew the Japanese were here, but I didn't really know the details about what was going on.
♪♪ This huge valley that we call Payahuunadu, it's 2 miles deep, has the Sierras on the west side and the Inyos and the White Mountains on the east side.
It's about three-, four-hour drive from north of L.A. And it's the beginning of the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
♪♪ The outsiders came into this valley and renamed it.
We called it Payahuunadu, which means "the place where the water always flows."
[ Man singing in Nuumu ] The Indian people used the creek to irrigate the land and grow the natural vegetation.
When the outsiders came, they brought in herds of cattle, and they trampled all the tribal people's food supplies.
So there was conflict.
And then when they were hungry, the Indian people would kill a cow.
And then they would come and kill Indians for killing cows.
[ Man singing in Nuumu ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Tovawahamatu women singing in Nuumu ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Horse whinnies ] ♪♪ ♪♪ They took all the Indians and tried to get us out of the valley.
Marched us down by Fort Tejon, and we made our way back, most of us.
My great-grandmother made it back by herself as a little girl.
I always think about that, how important this place was to her.
They talk about history in this valley started when the outsiders came in.
So the native people of this valley are pushed aside, ignored, not listened to.
And that's been the case all along.
[ Tovawahamatu women singing in Nuumu ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ This is our home.
This has been our home.
And we have that tie to this place, and we want to protect that right and the importance of this place to my people.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -Mr. Chairman and honorable commissioners.
my name is Sue Kunitomi Embrey.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.
I was evacuated from Los Angeles on May 9, 1942, along with my widowed mother and six brothers and sisters.
We were sent to the Manzanar concentration camp.
I lived in Manzanar for 17 months.
The period I spent in Manzanar was the most traumatic experience of my life.
It has influenced my perspective, as well as my continuing efforts to educate, persuade, and encourage others of my generation to speak out about the unspeakable crime.
♪♪ -When I graduated from high school and decided I was gonna come out to Southern California here for college, a big reason was because my grandmother lived here.
-I had studied American history and had gone to public school in Los Angeles, and I truly believed that I was American.
I think I sort of gave up the idealistic idea of democracy to a more realistic one.
-I was coming and taking the train in from Claremont to L.A. every weekend to see her as she got sicker and sicker.
And I started studying more about health and environmental pollution and started thinking about connections between the air pollution here in Los Angeles and the cough that my grandmother had for as long as I could remember.
-[ Coughing ] -And so thinking about my grandmother's passing actually helped motivate me to start organizing for environmental justice.
♪♪ ♪♪ I took an amazing class of the history of water in California, and talked about how indigenous peoples had lived in the Owens Valley because of the rich water resource and how white farmers colonized the land, how Mulholland and others captured and seized that water and brought it back to build the empire of Los Angeles.
And then we skipped over the 1940s.
And I knew going into that class a pretty intimate history of the 1940s in the Owens Valley because of what my grandmother and others have taught me and realized a piece of the puzzle was missing.
And so I'd asked this professor why he decided to not include the '40s.
And he said he didn't see a connection between Manzanar World War II concentration camp for Japanese Americans and water and water history in that region.
And so I started doing some research and decided I was gonna prove him wrong.
[ Water trickling ] -It looks so different.
It's actually sort of hard for me to identify where I worked in 2002, but... Mm.
When I was a junior in high school, a guy from Manzanar National Historic Site recruited a bunch of kids to come out here and work for the Youth Conservation Corps.
We didn't study Manzanar in my high school.
I don't know why.
So I came out here not really understanding what this place was.
People would come here looking for the histories of their family's incarceration or their own.
-...came to visit... -I remember talking to a few of these people coming in and just hearing their stories.
-I should remember.
-Manzanar is one little, tiny square mile of land that has a deep history of forced removal, and that can be forced removal to this place, like the government did with Japanese Americans, or from this place, like the government did with the Owens Valley Paiute.
You can also make an argument that the water and land acquisition by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power had a lot of similarities to forcing people to sell their water or land.
♪♪ [ Birds chirping ] [ Tovawahamatu women singing in Nuumu ] ♪♪ [ Hoofbeats ] [ Gunshot ] [ People shouting ] [ Gunshots ] [ Horse neighs ] [ Gunshots ] [ Cow mows ] [ Birds squawking ] [ Metal clanks ] [ Vehicles passing ] [ Vehicle door closes ] [ Vehicles passing, water trickling ] [ Machinery whirring ] [ Children shouting indistinctly ] [ Bird chirping ] [ Chirping continues ] -We drove up there, and in the distance, a pickup truck was driving toward us.
We could see the two guys in the truck had cowboy hats and they had gun racks in the back of their truck.
And they pulled up on us, and they said, "What are you boys doing?"
And we said, "We're not boys.
And we're looking for the camps where racists like you put us in during World War II."
They started laughing.
They said, "Well, you're on the wrong side of 395."
So had we not run into these two cowboys, I guess, and had they not been good enough to give us directions, we never would have found it.
We went back to Los Angeles, and we shared this idea that we'd found a place to march to.
We're gonna go to Manzanar.
-The first pilgrimage to Manzanar was December 1969.
♪♪ In 1972, we applied to make Manzanar a state historical landmark, and we dedicated the plaque which is now at the entrance to Manzanar.
♪♪ -The Owens Valley was a very different place in the early 1970s than it is today.
I remember we'd have to patch the bullet holes in the monument.
We couldn't recast the bronze plaque where they shot at it and took an ax or a hatchet.
♪♪ [ Indistinct conversations ] ♪♪ -Good morning to you.
That's what I love about you.
-I'm happy to see you, though.
I am happy to see you.
The significance of the pilgrimage is that it's a painful place.
It's a place that -- that symbolizes some of the worst that this country has to offer.
But it is also, I think -- It's a beacon for what -- the best this country can offer.
-But as Phil was speaking and we were approaching the land, it just made a few of us very emotional entering the space while someone who was incarcerated and survived and was here.
Here is a schedule of events, and there's a map on the back.
-And then you may take this, and then there's a sign-in sheet right there.
And this is more information.
My name's Mary Roper.
-And my name's Nancy Masters.
-That is a ton of water that heads down there.
-It's going fast.
I've had a great interest in water issues for many years, when the second barrel of the aqueduct went in and the DWP started to pump more to fill that aqueduct.
♪♪ -At Manzanar, there were still lots of fruit trees.
They were dying, and that was a direct result of pumping.
♪♪ [ Projector whirring ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Trolley bell clangs ] -The city of Los Angeles experienced lots of growth in the late 19th to early 20th century.
They came here for the water.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Explosion ] ♪♪ It's one of the prime exemplars of resource extraction by a remote and often-hostile urban area.
♪♪ ♪♪ -They were land speculators, so they made a lot of money off of this water.
And they didn't want anybody to have any water rights.
So you can imagine that the local residents were really sad, really angry.
[ Explosion ] ♪♪ [ Explosion ] In the 1920s, they blew up the Alabama Gate, which is just to the south of here.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ Businesses failed.
There were very few holdouts as far as selling to the Department of Water and Power because they had a lot of money.
And some of the ranchers were desperate.
♪♪ -Water has always been central and a common issue everywhere in this valley, and especially with the tribes.
The L.A. Department of Water and Power bought all these lands and they came up with a series of reports called the "Indian Problem."
♪♪ [ Tovawahamatu women singing in Nuumu ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ Because we did the land exchange, we were put on these small reservations with a set amount of water.
That's been a fight since the beginning because they keep wanting to take away, take away.
-I remember when Dad came home from the service, which was 1945, '46.
In fact, seems like all the Indian men on the reservation that was of that age went in the service, so we didn't hardly have any young men around.
[ Tom Stone singing "War Dance" in Nuumu ] [ Explosion ] -Hello, NBC.
This is KTU in Honolulu, Hawaii.
...the severe bombing of Pearl Harbor by enemy planes.
-I had two uncles in Pearl Harbor at the time it was bombed.
♪♪ I just remember all my aunts sitting around listening for casualties.
♪♪ ♪♪ [ Hammering ] ♪♪ ♪♪ -We were told to send the head of household to a particular location, where everybody was to be registered.
My mother was 2614A and then the rest of us were the B, C, D, and whatever down the line.
So, when we came to Manzanar, they also had us listed as that number.
♪♪ -Early March of 1942 is when the Army started looking at Manzanar and part of the reason was that it was held by a single entity.
That entity was the Department of Water and Power of Los Angeles.
♪♪ It was not met positively.
LADWP did not want this camp established here.
Development equals water use, equals less water going to Los Angeles.
A development that would eventually have 11,070 people pass through it, that's a lot of water use.
[ Water flowing ] ♪♪ Turns out that the U.S. government has the right to overrule Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and so, mostly against our wishes, they put the camp here.
[ Hammering ] -My brother volunteered, with the first 1,000 people, to help build the camp and he told my mother that, as long as we had to be moved, that he would go ahead and see if he could make things a little bit easier for the rest of us.
♪♪ -The part that I remember the most was seeing them coming in.
You'd see this long line of cars just coming up the highway and, as it came by, they had like suitcases and pillows and blankets just tied everywhere to the car.
♪♪ Car dealerships throughout the valley came to Manzanar and bought like all the cars because they couldn't take cars in there.
$10, $20 -- I don't know what it was.
Yeah, you prey on what?
That's what you do.
♪♪ -My brother had already filled the mattresses with hay for all of us and had the room ready, whereas, all the other people had to find the pile of hay somewhere in the dark.
♪♪ ♪♪ -One thing that struck me is how desolate it was.
You'd look outside and all you could see were the stars.
It was very, very, very dark.
And, the first night that we were there, I remember my mother was crying.
♪♪ ♪♪ -It's like watching another vanquishment?
I don't know.
It's just like we know we had our place to live and I guess that's where they're going to go to, where they have to live now.
And I thought, "God, what a terrible way to treat people."
But then you say, "Well, they did that to us, drove us across the mountain.
Yeah, same thing, I guess."
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Wind whipping ] [ Tinkling ] So, my grandmother, she was standing here on the porch and a neighbor came by and was commenting how beautiful this and that and a breeze was blowing through the trees.
And she had this outburst and she said, "I hate the wind!"
She goes, "The wind reminds me of Manzanar."
-[ Coughs, clears throat ] -We got dust in our eyes and grit in our teeth and mouth and it seemed like it was one of the worst things that could happen to people who have come from the city and had never experienced such wind.
-When we arrived, it was pretty raw.
[ Laughs ] It was dusty.
Oh, my gosh.
[ Water lapping ] -When my grandmother was a young girl, she was standing on the shores of Owens Lake.
Over 110 square miles of water out there.
And her Grandpa Sam told her, "You're going to live to, one day, see this lake dry."
♪♪ ♪♪ This was the lake and that's what you're seeing, is the dry lake bed.
This was all water before then.
♪♪ In the '70s, they built the second aqueduct.
In order to fill that up, they started groundwater pumping and that's where you saw the real decimation of this country.
♪♪ Off of this lake bed was huge clouds of dust.
Looked like a bomb had gone off and that's a real health hazard.
♪♪ -Many people, anecdotally, who lived at Manzanar were exposed to particulate matter 2.5 from the drying up of the Owens Lake and that meant that many of them developed upper respiratory breathing problems, like my grandmother.
♪♪ -How's that atrial fibrillation?
-I just don't have any energy.
When I walk a little ways, I get tired real fast.
-Every once in a while, I can feel pressure.
-Take some deep breath.
-It gets to you.
Where it's physically affected me.
Not just the stress of watching things be destroyed, but where it affects your body.
-Cough a little.
-[ Coughing ] -Okay.
And that's when you start going, "Okay, something needs to change."
♪♪ -Sources of ongoing dust problems in the Eastern Sierra remain the subject of studies.
Under state law, the Los Angeles DWP must study air quality and correct any dust problems that may be related to its water gathering.
♪♪ ♪♪ -When I first came out here, I was just watching and amazed at what all was going on and going, "This is ridiculous."
But, of course, you know, something needed to be done about the dust.
♪♪ I later got a job as a tribal monitor, to come out and watch the work being done.
We weren't included in any of the decision-making.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ My people, my ancestors, my grandparents, have lived on this lake for thousands of years.
♪♪ It's where a lot of our ancestors are buried.
[ Water lapping ] This lake was called Patsiata, which is fed by a whole bunch of streams and creeks and rivers.
♪♪ Water, as it gathers from clear up north, comes down and, as it's coming down, it's gathering life.
So, even though they've drained the water, all of that power and life is still in that lake.
♪♪ ♪♪ This area right here is how the lake was before.
It would seem that you would want to use that as a way to revegetate the lake.
But they don't use anything natural.
It's all manmade.
-This reminds me of when I was a mother with a child with very long hair.
-[ Laughs ] -We'll leave a nice long tail.
-I feel very together now.
1983 is when OVC started, Nancy?
-You were there.
♪♪ The Owens Valley Committee arose because the city of Los Angeles put in the second aqueduct.
The county of Inyo sued them.
The Owens Valley Committee was concerned that the water agreement which was being developed be strong because this was our shot at protecting this valley.
♪♪ -So they're not diverting anything now, but when the runoff happens, they'll start diverting.
-Mary Roper, she and her sister are from a ranch family, I've known them and their brother for quite a long time.
It wasn't what I would say would be a natural fit several years ago.
You know, there are some of the environmental people that don't like ranching here and there are some of the ranchers don't like what the environmentalists want to do.
We weren't on the same side.
We really benefited from DWP's ownership of the land.
It's always been a pretty good place to live and operate livestock operations.
They've been good landlords for 100 years.
Until when they started to systematically dry up the balance of valley.
♪♪ ♪♪ DWP owns over 90% of the private land in Inyo County.
♪♪ They own the heart of the valley.
They own everything that's worth owning.
At some point, somebody has to think, "What is the moral requirement here of them?"
Fine, you need to deliver water to a bunch of people to the south.
You own the land, but does that give you the right to destroy the economy and the environment of somewhere else in the same state when, you know, increasingly, the way the state looks at it is you have the water rights, but you don't own the water.
The water's really the property of the people, the public.
♪♪ ♪♪ -I can remember Dad in my backyard, putting up a fencepost and he dug a hole and I swear, at a foot, he ran into water.
Water was rising to the top.
It was so wet and the water table was so high.
But, boy, not anymore.
-Let's talk about the role of memory here and how that intersects with the culture of the city of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
So we're in our 60s and we -- [ Laughter ] we remember some things, still.
-Might not happen next year.
We might not remember, but we do now.
-And part of the ploy is to outlive the people that remember.
♪♪ And one of the things that has been their modus operandi now is that they are trying to recharacterize this valley, as always being a desert, a desert devoid, you know, of vegetation, of trees.
And it wasn't.
It was filled with life from the seeps and springs and what made it such a desert is their pumping.
♪♪ So, if it's not documented, and documented in a way that's easy for the future to access, then it just relies on us being truth tellers.
♪♪ ♪♪ [ Water trickling ] ♪♪ -Not only was water a major factor in the siting of Manzanar in the Owens Valley, because where else could you put a war camp without water?
♪♪ Water was also the means of resistance and so it was the same vehicle that people behind barbed wire used to tell their stories, whether they were etching it in the concrete of the water reservoir with their fingertips... ♪♪ ...or with the beautiful, amazing gardens.
And so water became, for me, this metaphor, both of the oppression, but also of the resistance to that.
♪♪ [ Water running ] -Not once was I ever told, "Don't take too long a shower."
Once I turned all of the ten spigots on because I thought, "I'm in here by myself.
I'm going to them all on."
[ Laughter ] And I go running back and forth, back and forth.
Sometimes I'd be in there half an hour, just playing under the water.
-People just got together collectively and really tried to make things better for everybody else.
So, gradually, people began to decorate with stones and ordered fish and built fish ponds.
♪♪ -There was another barrack there.
♪♪ My father was going to build something in front of our barrack because they were digging a hole.
And then, finally, I asked him why was he digging such a big hole?
He said, "Well, because I'm going to build a fish pond."
And I said, "Why a fish pond?"
It was just as dry as can be.
But I think he just wanted something that reminded him of Japan and something that would entertain us.
Many camp residents would come by to look at the pond and sit and just watch.
It was just a very quiet, beautiful area.
♪♪ ♪♪ [ Birds chirping ] ♪♪ -Everybody liked to do gardening shows.
They started planting things and that helped a lot.
♪♪ ♪♪ -We moved in in November.
In December, the war broke out, had to move out.
It had to be 1937 or 1938.
-When this picture was taken.
♪♪ ♪♪ They all knew my dad.
He worked on that Merritt Park.
♪♪ He was the nursery man.
♪♪ He was actually a rose grower.
He grew roses in the San Fernando Valley.
But everybody like they were competing against each other because they wanted to get the most beautiful garden.
Everybody was -- They had nothing better to do than pretty up the place.
♪♪ Especially when you're in a place like in prison, I'd say, because, otherwise, you go nuts.
♪♪ -I know, after a while, some of the younger men would leave camp to go trout fishing.
♪♪ This was a lot that went on.
We just did it quietly.
The sentries that were out there, my father always spoke to them.
He would explain to them why we were going out of the camp.
-A lot of Indian people assisted the Japanese people in going fishing because a lot of Indians worked in that area and probably developed friendships, you know.
And, if I know my people, they had a good sense of humor.
♪♪ That's one thing we're always taught, that continued us to be strong, no matter everything -- the forced march, the treatment of the people that came into this valley -- never lose your sense of laughter, of being who you are as a person.
♪♪ -What I knew was desert before and, after they had developed it, it was just gorgeous.
It was just transformed from night to day because there was little streams running through it.
It was a garden spot.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -Regarding the landscape, the idea was that the federal government was to return Manzanar to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, as close to the condition it had been in when they got it as possible.
♪♪ ♪♪ [ Man singing in Nuumu about awakening the ancestors ] ♪♪ -We're having a commemorative run right now to honor the memory of our ancestors that were force marched out of the Payahuunadu, the Owens Valley.
[ Man singing in Nuumu about awakening the ancestors ] ♪♪ -What's really hard is we're dealt this hand and we're trying to live in it.
♪♪ -[ Whooping and trilling ] -And that, more recent years, people are like, "We don't have to sit here and take it."
♪♪ The pipe broke a few years ago and nothing was done.
-Our irrigation line, it was on DWP land.
We asked them to fix it.
They said no.
-It got worse and then the reservation got no irrigation water.
[ Rattling ] -We must all honor our lives and stand our ground.
-One day, we're going to see all this water around DWP, it's going to be back in the Owens Valley one day, you guys, just watch.
-[ Whooping ] -We can't even get at the table to meet with DWP, to talk with their leaders.
-Our tribal citizens and allies have traveled eight hours to deliver this message regarding delivery of irrigation water, per the 1939 Land Exchange Agreement.
Without water, our tribe is placed in a state of emergency.
The lack of irrigation water puts a strain on our aging domestic water because citizens now have to utilize treated water for agriculture and livestock.
-In 1939, you did a land exchange with certain agreements, contractual agreements, and today they're being broken.
-You probably have heard from your staff that they've worked out a solution to fix this broken pipeline that's located right here, below the boundary of the reservation.
However, that solution comes with strings attached and those strings are asking the Big Pine tribe, the original inhabitants of the land where your water comes from, before the settlers came, before Los Angeles came, you're asking them to sign away their future water rights.
-I get phone calls daily -- "Are we going to get water this year?
Getting water this year?"
I don't want to blame anybody, but who's to blame?
The pipe's on your land.
You're responsible for that.
-President Levine, may I speak for a moment?
I personally apologize for the frustration and hurt that your families have experienced.
I take this to heart because I have been involved with your community and I'm disappointed by the fact that I feel that legalities have not led to executing a proper agreement.
That being said, to respect all of you and to honor my fellow board members, I, as a personal citizen, am willing to fix the pipe on my own expense, separate and apart from legalities, but I'm happy to underwrite that, so I will issue the check as soon as the invoice is -- [ Cheering and applause ] -Yes!
-And I thank you ladies for offering that, but no.
I want DWP to do the right thing.
I don't mind no side handlings or nothing.
I want agreements and I want action.
This water, our water, that's supposed to serve our people in our own valley, Payahuunadu, that you guys call Owens Valley, it's there for everybody.
Natives, non-Natives, everybody.
[ Intertribal singing ] ♪♪ -Because they got shamed out in public by one of their own, they finally fixed it.
♪♪ If they're really trying to solve a problem and make things better, they should be listening to everybody involved and thinking of all the ideas and options.
[ Intertribal singing ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -The Manzanar Committee believes that the resettlement period for Japanese Americans has never really ended.
The violation of human rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution, the stripping of our human dignity, and the destruction of our community... -[ Whooping ] -...can we honestly say that it will not happen again?
[ Intertribal singing ] [ Applause ] ♪♪ -That's the best part about sitting here and just talking to people.
-About Paya, huh?
-Paya is the most important... -...thing.
I don't know what we would do without water.
Can we live without air?
-We would die.
-No, we can live without air.
Can't live without water, either.
Is that cool?
-L.A. can't just take and take from this valley.
This valley can't keep giving and giving.
It's going to run out of things to give.
♪♪ -Residents of the Eastern Sierra Nevada have an angry history with the city of L.A.'s Department of Water and Power.
The latest dispute is over a large solar facility planned across from the old Manzanar Relocation Center near Bishop.
-When they wanted to put the solar project across the valley, everybody was trying to fight it on their own terms and, when we all got together with the Manzanar Committee, it just really showed a powerful story -- that we need to protect, not just Manzanar, but the view around it.
♪♪ Why make this place a National Historic Site, if you just build up industrial around it?
You're losing the importance of what it is and the message you're trying to educate people on.
-A woman walked up to me and she said, "I worked for DWP for 25 years.
Don't fight the DWP.
You won't win."
♪♪ -There was many elders from Manzanar that were in their 90s and then there was us tribal people forming an alliance.
To have two groups battling against DWP, trying to protect two things that are sacred in both of our histories.
-The Owens Valley Committee and the Lone Pine Tribe, all of them played a vital role and, without them, we would not have been able to stop this.
♪♪ This is the first time that our little committee and the DWP have squared off.
When Congress acts to establish the Manzanar National Historic Site and create the national park, initially, there was almost universal opposition.
The main opponent was the Department of Water and Power.
They did not want anything up there that was permanent, much less the scale that it's at.
♪♪ -What moved people was a sense of camaraderie.
-In trying to preserve Manzanar, I've sort of turned a negative experience into something a little more positive and you sort of make peace with the past and try to use it to educate other people and to try to learn a lesson.
♪♪ I think we've reached a point in America where we have to look on ourselves as more of a diverse nation and that all of us bring strengths, you know, to the country and that we try to understand each other better.
[ Clapping ] ♪♪ [ Buddhist chanting in Japanese ] ♪♪ -Manzanar, for me, is a place where we can think about what is this resource that we are dependent on every day?
Because, yes, water is life.
♪♪ -[ Playing flute ] ♪♪ -[ Muslim call ] ♪♪ -We walk with everybody, you know.
They're still, even though they've passed on, they're still here to help us.
They're still here to teach us.
They're still here to guide us.
And that's how I feel anytime I'm anywhere in this valley and Manzanar is no different.
[ Cheyenne Stone singing "Hand game song" in Nuumu ] ♪♪ [ Cheyenne Stone singing "Hand game song" in Nuumu ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Sage Romero singing "I Want to Run" song in Nuumu ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -Hi, my name is Ann Kaneko, and I'm the director and producer of "Manzanar Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust."
And I'm on the unceded lands of the Tongva, the Chumash, the Kizh, and many other indigenous people, also known as Los Angeles.
"Manzanar Diverted," unlike a lot of films, which are much more character-driven, this film, really, the main protagonist is the land and the water.
We really wanted to center water because it's the through line for the whole film, and it's what brings together all of the different players in the story.
You know, it's a very strange and abstract idea that a city owns land 200 miles away, and that's how it enables us to get water.
But, really, how that happens and who the people are that are being impacted by that is something that I don't think most people know about.
This film being in relation with indigenous people has really made me realize much more deeply how nature isn't a resource, right?
How water isn't a resource, how it's a life source.
In this moment, with climate change, we need messages of how we can work together to make this world better, how we can survive this catastrophe that -- that faces us, unless we take action.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪