I think many artists try to understand who we are, where we are from, and how to act on that knowledge to make the world better.
—John K. Samson, musician
The Idle No More movement has rallied artists from across Canada to lend support to the cause.
John K. Samson is a solo artist and frontman of The Weakerthans, he helped craft a statement of solidarity about the movement.
"The idea came from my friend Leanne Simpson, a great First Nations
writer. She suggested it was time Canadian artists expressed their
support for Idle No More. I agreed, and compiled some
ideas for the statement, sent it to other artists for
input. Once we had settled on the language we sent it to our contacts,
and it just went from there."
Musician John K. Samson (Trevor Marezylo Photography)
But even Samson was surprised by how quickly response came back. "[It] was massive and enthusiastic. Artists from everywhere,
every discipline, signed on. After a few days we moved it to a Facebook
page, where we continue to gather a steady stream of names," he said.
Hundreds of artists from across the country have signed the statement,
including author Miriam Toews, filmmaker Noam Gonick and musicians
Leslie Feist, Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor and Tragically Hip
frontman Gord Downie.
The statement expresses support for the Idle No More movement and
its contention that, "recent legislation proposed and passed by the
including Bill C-45, violates...sacred and sovereign Treaties."
While Samson may have been surprised by how quickly his fellow artists responded, he's not surprised by their motivation.
"I think many artists try to understand who we are, where we are from,
and how to act on that knowledge to make the world better. Seems to me
the goals of Idle No More are exactly the same, so the very least an
artist can do is wholeheartedly support it."