‘Black Gold Boom’ film documentary

Some Native American tribes have banned fracking on tribal lands. With vast deposits of oil underneath its borders, Three Affiliated Tribes is at a crossroads. Should the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in western North Dakota drill for black gold or outlaw oil exploration on its land? Tribal member Marty Young Bear worries about environmental effects. Meanwhile, local leaders rush to form a tribal-owned oil company with the motto “Sovereignty by the Barrel.”

The documentary, directed by Todd Melby, is now available for online streaming.

Previously, the documentary aired on PBS World Channel (155 stations nationwide), Prairie Public, Alaska Public Media, TPT (Twin Cities PBS), New Mexico PBS, Wyoming PBS, Arizona Public Television, WOSU Ohio, Colorado Public Television, KEDT (South Texas), SOPTV (Southern Oregon), WTVP (Peoria, Illinois), WSKG/WSQX (New York), KVIE (Sacramento, California) and WDSC (Daytona Beach, Florida).

Black Gold Boom

Press coverage:
MPR News
South Dakota Public Broadcasting
Midwest Energy News
TPT Almanac (begins at 23:15)



  1. […] the contention of a new interactive documentary called “Oil to Die For” which premieres May 18, airing at 9:30 pm on the PBS stations of Prairie Public Broadcasting in North […]

  2. Heather Andersen says:

    I have just viewed “Oil to Die For” via internet. I am very impressed with the telling of the loss of this young life. He appears to be a son of all parents. But for, The Grace of God, goes my son. I live in West Central WI where we are inundated with huge mining corporations that are convincing farmers to sell valuable agricultural land for the purpose of silica sand mining. This mining sand principally goes to the oil fields of shale play for the purpose of fracking these wells. We are losing thousands of of acres to these mining companies regularly. We are losing our health, safety and welfare to these companies. Not only the unabatement of fugitive silica dust (known to be a carcinogen) to the nearby residents but the pollution to our environment; increase of 100+ train cars carrying this sand; increase of truck traffic getting the sand to RR; blocking of streets/highways to hospitals/clinics; road wear and tear … to name a few of the problems we are experiencing. The jobs are not worth the destructions to our environment and rural way of life.
    Another tragedy that we are beginning to understand is the role, we, sand producing counties are playing in the death and destruction of states like North Dakota. Your film documentary explains and reminds us of the role that our sand is playing in these tragic circumstances. We activists are fighting this horrendous destruction in our states, counties and townships with the clarity and understanding of our one planet belonging to all. We must all come together to fight Big Oil and what it is doing, not only to our country, but to the countries of the world who have not banned the fracking process. Not an easy task but we must try to reach out to each other dismissing our differences and embracing our likeness to save our Mother Earth.
    My heartfelt thanks to the producers of this documentary. We have our own sand movie productions of the toll that the mining companies have on our citizens and environment. These documentaries are crucial in making other people aware of what we are allowing to happen to our citizens and our environment.
    Thank You!
    Heather Andersen/Environmental Activist

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