By Kenneth Jackson
APTN National News
A long list of Canadian musicians and artists have issued a statement of solidarity in support of the Idle No More movement including the Weakerthans, Feist, Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip and Steven Page formally of Barenaked Ladies.
The list continues to grow daily and a spokesperson for the group says they’re ashamed of how Canada has treated Indigenous peoples.
So, supporting Idle No More was an easy decision.
“I think a lot of people are recognizing the goals of Idle No More as being sensible and true. Theoretically they know these things, but sometimes it takes a movement like this to make people feel them,” said John K. Samson of the Weakerthans. “It’s an inspiring action from so many different people and so many parts of the world. I think there is a real power in that that can’t be ignored.”
The idea first came up before Christmas when Samson spoke with First Nation friend and writer Leanne Simpson.
They made a rough draft and sent it to friends for input. After that Samson sent it to people he knows in the business, including the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie.
It just took off from there.
But the list just doesn’t include big names. There are dozens and dozens of musicians, writers, film makers, dancers and other artists in support.
“We’re all in there together. We’re all artists no matter records we’ve sold,” said Samson. “It’s different for the way each artist came to find the statement and sign it.”
The group started a Facebook page but it really hasn’t reached the public. They thought this week was a good time for the “wider world” to see they picked up all these signatures in support of the Idle No More movement and add their voice to the cause.
“I haven’t actually been able to keep count because people keep adding their names,” said Samson. “I like that. I think I’ll keep it up there as long as there is support.”
He said there is a benefit record being compiled by Canadian artists, as well as maybe a concert in support of Idle No More.
The group’s statement can be found on Facebook by clicking the following link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canadian-Artists-Statement-of-Solidarity-with-Idle-No-More/317069378411312