DOWNLOAD: Idle No More: Songs for Life Vol. 2


We are pleased to present Idle No More: Songs for Life Volume 2. As with Volume 1, the highlights are many!

Idle No More is just about 2 months old. It’s hard to know for sure how many strong in number the movement is now, but one thing is for certain - the message has circled the globe, crossed oceans, and reached people from all walks of life. Musicians are among those from the artistic community who have been vocal in their support. Some have written songs. Some have spoken out at shows. And some have graciously allowed us to share their music with you here.

The collection kicks off with the call to arms Red Action by power duo Indian Handcrafts, who will soon traverse our fair land as the opening act for Billy Talent. Blue Rodeo, who made national headlines for their shout out to Idle No More, offer the song Fools Like You, from the 1992 platinum selling Lost Together. Rising stars Nick Sherman and Tracy Bone are here, as are indie darlings Royal Wood and Hannah Georgas. The timeless power pop of Vancouver’s Odds. Reggae and R&B from New Zealand courtesy NRG Rising. And the poignant cello piece Theresa, by Anishinaabe musician, researcher, and media artist Melody McKiver. Plus much more - 17 tracks in all! We hope you enjoy it!

Some are asking, what IS the message of Idle No More? Read on below the set for words from the founders.

This exciting collection – and the additional volumes that will follow soon (there’s that many artists and voices!) – was conceived by Marty Ballentyne, Holly McNarland, Kevin Joseph and RPM’s Ron “Ostwelve” Harris. RPM is thrilled to collaborate on it!

And now -

DOWNLOAD: Idle No More: Songs for Life Vol. 2

‘We contend that: The Treaties are nation to nation agreements between The Crown and First Nations who are sovereign nations. The Treaties are agreements that cannot be altered or broken by one side of the two Nations. The spirit and intent of the Treaty agreements meant that First Nations peoples would share the land, but retain their inherent rights to lands and resources. Instead, First Nations have experienced a history of colonization which has resulted in outstanding land claims, lack of resources and unequal funding for services such as education and housing.

We contend that: The state of Canada has become one of the wealthiest countries in the world by using the land and resources. Canadian mining, logging, oil and fishing companies are the most powerful in the world due to land and resources. Some of the poorest First Nations communities  have mines or other developments on their land but do not get a share of the profit. The taking of resources has left many lands and waters poisoned – the animals and plants are dying in many areas in Canada. We cannot live without the land and water. We have laws older than this colonial government about how to live with the land.

We contend that: Currently, this government is trying to pass many laws so that reserve lands can also be bought and sold by big companies to get profit from resources. They are promising to share this time…Why would these promises be different from past promises? We will be left with nothing but poisoned water, land and air. This is an attempt to take away sovereignty and the inherent right to land and resources from First Nations peoples. We contend that: There are many examples of other countries moving towards sustainability, and we must demand sustainable development as well. We believe in healthy, just, equitable and sustainable communities and have a vision and plan of how to build them. Please join us in creating this vision.’

Jessica Gordon, What is Idle No More?


Don't forget you can also grab the first volume of songs for life here: DOWNLOAD: Idle No More - Songs For Life - Vol. 1


This exciting collection – and the additional volumes that will follow soon (there are that many artists and voices!) – was conceived by Marty Ballentyne, Holly McNarland, Kevin Joseph and RPM’s Ron “Ostwelve” Harris. 

DOWNLOAD: Idle No More: Songs for Life Vol. 1


Idle No More: Songs for Life Vol. 1 is the first of an ongoing series of free downloadable compilations of songs by artists who support the vision of Idle No More, Indigenous and allies. Volume 1 features a broad and diverse array of artists - everyone from Derek Miller (whose contribution, 7 Lifetimes, is a brand new track inspired by Chief Theresa Spence), to John K. Samson of the Weakerthans.

Bluesey-roots from Digging Roots. The indie stylings of Whitehorse. A funky hip hop jam from Plex with Wab Kinew and Sarah Podemski. It’s a feast for the ears. A celebration. And we’re only just getting started. If ever we’ve been idle - whether in our thoughts or our actions - we are now Idle No More.

This exciting collection - and the additional volumes that will follow soon (there's that many artists and voices!) - was conceived by Marty Ballentyne, Holly McNarland, Kevin Joseph and RPM's Ron "Ostwelve" Harris.

Listen to and download the tracks now, and read on below.

Idle No More: Songs for Live Volume 1

From co-creator of Idle No More: Songs for Live Vol. 1 Marty Ballentyne

Music is transcendent. Somewhere in between the melody, the rhythm, the words, the instruments and the people playing them, it all adds up to something more than the sum of its parts. It’s magic! Music soothes frayed nerves. It makes you dance. It says things you just can’t put into words. Songs make you think, make you feel, bring you up, bring you down, bring you around. For some music is loud and groovy on a Friday night; for some, it’s quiet and calming on a Sunday morning. Music brings us all together. We have it in common, along with the air, the water, the earth beneath our feet, and the sky above.

Idle No More began in November as a grassroots effort by four women to educate people about Bill C 45, tabled by the federal government.  The news media and commentators such as Rick Mercer had given the bill cursory attention when the bill was introduced in Parliament in mid October. Hidden inside the 440 page bill are changes that will affect all Canadians, now and in the future. Most Canadian waterways, protected since the days of John A. Macdonald, are protected no longer. Amendments have been made to The Indian Act without consulting First Nations. A series of teach ins by Sylvia McAdam, Nina Wilson, Jessica Gordon and Sheelah McLean first brought awareness, then concern, then action. People started talking. Social media networks were lit up by the sharing of information. And virtually overnight, the national conversation shifted considerably. Little over a month after the first rallies and flash mob round dances took place across Canada, Idle No More has become an international movement.

At the heart of Idle No More is a desire to foster dialogue. People are talking, and about many things - not only Bill C 45, but also the relationship between Canada and its First Peoples, protection of the environment, the economy, and the Third World conditions of some of our communities. People are also talking about how they can contribute. It was in this spirit of pitching in that musicians Holly McNarland, Kevin Joseph, Ron Harris (Ostwelve), and Marty Ballentyne came together to work on gathering tracks from artists in support of Idle No More, to be released as a series of free downloadable collections of songs. This is the first.

Idle No More: Songs for Life Vol. 1 is the first of an ongoing series of free downloadable compilations of songs by artists who support the vision of Idle No More. Over the past few weeks we’ve been contacting people from across Canada and around the world, and the response has been fantastic. It’s a feast for the ears. A celebration. And we’re only just getting started. If ever we’ve been idle - whether in our thoughts or our actions - we are now Idle No More.

Words of support from artists on Volume 1:

Jenn Grant: "Perhaps music can help spread awareness and support our precious earth, and to our leaders who are fighting this cause. Let us grow together and show our cause and concern. Canadians need to shout and sing and sometimes starve - let us be heard. "

Holly McNarland: My focus is to speak to music fans and to hopefully sway some of the opinions and myths about First Nations people, and shine some light on how the Harper Government is selling us out via our water, land and resources. Bill C-45 needs to go.

Whitehorse: We believe that conditions in many First Nations' communities are deplorable and would not be tolerated in neighbourhoods in Toronto or Calgary (for example) and as such there is a deep double standard at play in Canada. We support Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence and urge Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet with her. Also, the shredding of environmental regulations and the defunding of environmental and science organizations at the very time when there is a push by Harper to build a pipeline through environmentally vulnerable lands and waters is cause for great concern to all Canadians.

A Radio Documentary by Dustin McGladrey - "Into The Roots"


New across our desk is this radio documentary by journalist Dustin McGladrey on Indigenous musicians in rock and blues.

A young, new journalist, Dustin McGladrey, recently shared a radio documentary which features insights from several Indigenous artists like Murray Porter, Derek Miller, and John Kim Bell.

In this documentary, Dustin talks to numerous Indigenous artists about the state of Indigenous music now and what might come in the future, with a majority of the interviews having taken place during the weekend of the 2012 National Aboriginal Achievement Awards in Vancouver, B.C.

Great interviews with some of Turtle Island's greatest artists make this a great addition to the journalism section of Indigenous music culture. Props out to Dustin for stepping up and sharing this piece with us.

Full interview credits include:

Derek Miller  Murray Porter  Sean Riquelme  Elaine Bomberry  Evan Adams  Sarah Yankoo  Ray Thunderchild  Michelle Thrush  Adrian Duke  Chief Shane Godfriedson  Robert Simpson  John Kimbell  Chris Louis  Dustin McGladrey

DOWNLOAD: NWK & Gameboy - "Ghost Dance"


Here's a download of a powerful track Ghost Dance by Gitanmaax Nation musicians NWK & Gameboy of the Mob Bounce collective.

NWK & Gameboy are new musicians hitting the scene out of Vancouver B.C. with an electronic style of music mixed with a colour of traditional sounds and revolutionary words.

Here they share their track Ghost Dance which is a call out to colonial forces here on Turtle Island.

DOWNLOAD: NWK - "Ghost Dance"

Also check out Mob Bounce here: DOWNLOAD: Mob Bounce – “Mixed Blood” Mix Tape

Introducing the RPM Artist Index & Artist Pages


In case you haven't noticed them yet, we're very proud to announce a great new part of the RPM site: the RPM Artist Index.

Now you can see all of the beautiful Indigenous faces of RPM at a quick glance—browse artists alphabetically, or zoom into an artist's page for their photo, bio, and links to their music online—plus see what we've featured about them on RPM!

For example, check out Dene singer/songwriter Leela Gilday's artist page:

We've had more than 400 artists come on board since our launch and we'll be adding new artist pages to the site all the time.

Want to be featured on RPM? Go to the Get Involved section of our site and submit your music

And if you're an artist who's been featured on the site, or if you'd like to be, in the future we'll be handing over the controls to you and you'll be able to customize and update this page with your latest news and info.

Let us know what you think in the comments below—and thanks to all of you artists out there in Indian Country, we're doing this for you.

DOWNLOAD: The RPM Launch Party Mixtape


In celebration of our official public launch, here's a fresh new mixtape that compiles some of our favourite tracks submitted to RPM.

So tune in, listen up and enjoy the free music.

And hychga siem to everyone for being a part of—and for supporting—this celebration of Indigenous music culture!

RPM Official Launch Party Mixtape [Download]

RPM Launch - October 2011 by RPMfm

APCMA 2011 Nominees - Single Of The Year


This year's Aboriginal People's Choice Awards brought out the best Turtle Island has to offer for the category of Single of the Year. RPM presents this week's YouTube playlist for APCMA 2011 Single of the Year nominees.

Ali Fontaine - Say It To Me Derek Miller - Stoned For Days Samian - Tshinanu featuring Florent Vollant Terri-Lynn – Call To The Ancestors Winnipeg's Most featuring Rupness Monsta - Don't Stop