Artists Join Forces Against the Forced Closure of Aboriginal Communities in "Australia"

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Indigenous artists are fighting back against colonialism genocide and the forced closure of remote communities by the Australian government.

Leave it to the artists to #SoundtrackTheStruggle: eight First Nations artists from occupied "Australia" have joined forces to contest colonial occupation of their homelands and resist the Australian government's attempt to force the closure of Indigenous communities.

Over a rugged hip-hop rhythm, Provocalz, Lady LashDjarmbi Supreme, Task, GekkZ, Mad Madam, Mr. Krow, and Felon spit fire—calling out colonial forces, racist ideologies,  histories, and speaking urgent truth to power.

Solidarity in resistance to our brothers and sisters in the southern hemisphere.

Listen to "STAND PROUD" and download it below:

DOWNLOAD: "STAND PROUD"

Watch Sharif and Sacramento Knoxx's "From Stolen Land to Stolen Land"

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Sacramento Knoxx and Sharif join forces and bring light to the intersections of our common struggles in their new video, "From Stolen Land to Stolen Land".

Resistance is everywhere. From Ferguson to Palestine to Ayotzinapa to Burnaby Mountain, and in many other struggles unseen, the theft of land and the dispossession and colonization of its peoples is coming to the forefront of people's consciousness.

Fighting back against these violent forces, artists are rising and recognizing each other—giving voice to the commonality of our shared struggles to get free.

Sacramento Knoxx and Sharif collab on this latest joint, echoing the need for actual decolonization and shouting out the BDS movement, while chanting: "Turtle Island to Palestine in self-determination / we'll replant every tree, rebuild every home / and until we see that day / our resistance lives on".

Here's their note on the track and the video: 

The foundation of this land is built on the genocide of indigenous populations and the enslavement of African peoples. Today we are still living under the echoes of displacement through constant state repression. Police are becoming more militarized and are increasingly escalating violence against communities of color. The same type of repression tactics that are tested on Palestinian populations, then sold and trained to our local forces.

Let's connect different communities seeking social change by intersecting their struggles. We would like you to join San Francisco based MC and community organizer, Sharif, and Detroit based producer, musician and motion picture artist, Sacramento Knoxx in our premier of “From Stolen Land to Stolen Land”. It is also important to note the importance of our actions. We would also like to encourage all of our viewers to respect the wishes of the Brown family and not participate in Black Friday.

Watch it all the way to the end for a shout out to Fanon and Wretched of the Earth. Decolonize and rise.

Salute!

Watch "From Stolen Land to Stolen Land" by Sharif and Knockzarelli

 

DOWNLOAD: Invasion Day 2014 Mixtape

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The Brisbane Blacks, an independent non-profit First Nations publication based in occupied 'Australia', has brought together a bombastic roster of Indigenous hip-hop musicians, spoken word artists, and activists for the Invasion Day 2014 Mixtape.

Following K-otic 1's killer "Idle No More Invasion Day Mixtape 2013" from last winter, the Brizzy Blacks are keeping the beats banging and the rhythms of resistance rocking with this new compilation of music for the movement.

The Brisbane Blacks "exist for the sole purpose of awakening the Black CONSCIENCE,  raising Black AWARENESS and articulating the Black RESISTANCE"—all of which can be heard in righteous hip-hop form on this dope new mixtape, which was just released as a free download, following a wave of nationwide protests throughout Australia against the colonial celebration of "Australia Day" on January 26th.

The Invasion Day Mixtape celebrates the resistance and resurgence of Indigenous peoples in "Australia" to rise up and reclaim their presence in occupied and colonized lands. As MC Triks and bAbe SUN spit on their anthemic track: "We Still Right Here". And that's something we can get behind. Solidarity, brothers and sisters. This is a perfect first #MixtapeMonday of 2014.

Check the full track list and download the mixtape below.

INVASION DAY 2014 MIXTAPE - FULL TRACK LIST

1. BLACK SHIELD - "Your ENEMY is my ENEMY"

2. Boomerang Effect - "da Brizzy Blacks"

3. Lorna Munro - "Peace Lines"

4. GUERILLA TACTICS - "Dedication"

5. La' Teila - "Propose a QUESTion?"

6. MC Triks ft. Black Shield - "Fist Like This"

7. ?PRE ft. bAbE SUN and C.P.G. - "Why is My/HIStory such a Mystery?"

8. Provocalz ft. Dara and Black Shield - Stand Strong 03:37

9. Grammar - "So Sophisticated" (Brisbane Music Group)

10. Black Shield - "We Still Right Here(intro.)"

11. MC Triks and bAbE SUN - "We Still Right Here"

12. Uncle Paul - "My Land Will Not Be Taken!"

13. La' Teila - "SMILE on my face"

14. MC Triks - "Australian Black Originals(ABO)" Co-Produced by MC Triks

15. Callum-Clayton Dixon - "LAND, LAW, LANGUAGE, LIFE &LIBERATION"

A Flow So Impossible: Sister Lyricists Mixtape

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To kick off #MixtapeMonday, Kanaka Maoli DJ Iokepa Casumbal-Salazar brings us "A Flow So Impossible: Sister Lyricists"—a dope mixtape of female emcees and women's voices in hip-hop to inspire and uplift the people—all the way live from Honolulu, Hawai'i. Our collective shout-outs and mahalo to all the sisters in the struggle. Download, listen, and love.

A Flow So Impossible: Sister Lyricists — Liner Notes and Playlist

Indigenous peoples, in general, and Indigenous women, in particular, experience systemic, institutional, and representational violence all the time.  Though our struggles are different – we seek the return and protection of our ancestral lands, rather than mere inclusion within settler society – many of us Native artists listen to hip-hop and value its subversive qualities.  We appreciate its pedagogical possibilities, making hip-hop more than just a genre, but also a decolonial method and praxis.  As a Native Hawaiian DJ, father, feminist, and writer whose people share a similar struggle, I wanted to support the innovative, if marginalized, voices of women in hip-hop and the music they produce.  This mix features just a handful of artists who are doing something different with hip-hop: something revolutionary.

In Nirit Peled’s 2009 film, Say My Name, hip-hop artist Jean Grae explains, “the most beautiful music comes from pain and struggle”. This mix features some of that beautiful music.  It’s true that much of hip-hop today continues to be exploitative, misogynist, homophobic, and heterosexist. Many male emcees still can’t seem to get through a verse without referencing their body parts or passively disrespecting women and marginalized men. Few men speak out against the degrading representations of women so prevalent in the mainstream. Even fewer explicitly denounce the industry’s failure to support women artists. This silence amounts to culpability. Here’s my humble offering as a show of solidarity in those struggles for a better hip-hop culture: a short and incomplete list, but some of my favorite women emcees.

We have the very dope, “Goddess of Hip-hop,” Medusa, representing Los Angeles, CA. Here she delivers a live version of her stellar hip-hop funk crowd pleaser, “Neck Lock”. Medusa has been in the game for years, but has remained firm in the underground scene, though frustratingly unrecognized by the record labels to the dismay of her fans.

Checking in next is the British emcee with Sri Lankan roots, M.I.A., who is equally loved and scorned by her critics.  Here, M.I.A. kicks a concise verse for the haters.

Founder of the Hip Hop Sisters Foundation and bringing 25+ years in the game, the respected MC Lyte is featured here with her 808-kick drum, boom-bap classic, “Kickin’ for Brooklyn.”  I also had to include a sick duet by Lyte and Medusa that provides the title for this mixtape.

Undoubtedly headed straight to the top is the young and extremely talented Nitty Scott, MC, just slaying us with a refreshing sound on two featured tracks.  Scott combines contemporary content, prodigal technique, and a relentlessly fun approach to wordplay while remaining grounded in the old school, as evidenced by her many nods to the greats who paved the way.

I threw in some beats here and there by the guys, but the tape is really all about the ladies.  Don’t sleep on beat producers Ta-Ku, Samon Kawamura, Ohbliv, The Midnight Eez, Denaun Porter, Dilla, Madlib, The Jazz Liberatorz, Testiculo Y Uno, and Oddisee.  We also have a Nikki Giovanni poem that was featured on Blackalicious’ 2000 Nia, bell hooks and Angela Davis dropping knowledge to beats, along with a few fun clips from the sexy and game-changing Showtime series, The L Word (2004-09).

The microphone fiend, Jean Grae, posts up for three on this mix, clownin’ like she does so well, but also always providing witty lyrics and original concepts.  Jean Grae is one of my favorite emcees at the moment because she is just fierce in her delivery, hilarious with her rhyme style, and selective with her collaborations featuring the best producers around.

We also have Canadian artist, Eternia, announcing her presence in the game.  I respect her courage as a woman emcee rocking a sharp and aggressive energy modeled after the likes of Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J, and Kool G Rap.

From her 2008 collection of unreleased material, here is the smooth Stevie Wonder cover by Lauryn Hill (w/the Fugees), “Blame it on the Sun.”  Many of us would like to hear more from Ms. Hill – whenever she’s ready, of course – but are satisfied with whatever we can get our hands on.

Filipina-American, LA-based, emcee Rocky Rivera was a successful music writer for the likes of Vibe and MTV before writing rhymes.  Her lyrics reveal a well-read artist with a rebel spirit.  Here, she spits verses dedicated to three revolutionary women: Gabriela Silang, Angela Davis, and Dolores Huerta.

I also wanted to include another LA emcee I only discovered recently, Gavlyn.  She writes rhymes that speak to being a woman in the industry among her childish and sexist male peers.  With ample swagger, Gavlyn is hungry: a young emcee with a serious commitment to hip-hop.

One of my favorite emcees since she dropped Shapeshifters in 2008, Invincible hails from Detroit with a beautifully chalky voice, smart writing, and important content.  I had to include three tracks in this mix because, like Jean Grae, she so skilled and concerned with social justice.  On “People Not Places,” she interrogates the violence of forced removal, the logic of replacement, and the illegal settlements in Israeli-occupied Palestine.  A Native person’s go to emcee, for sure.

The well-respected lyricist, Rah Digga, kills two tracks on this mix.  A brilliant artist who has spoken eloquently in interviews about the challenges women face in the masculinist hip-hop scene – from motherhood to the petty games that over-entitled boys play with their dis raps – Rah Digga is ferocious with her intricate rhyme style comparable to the hardest male emcees out there.

From Philadelphia, we have the now classic offering by the under-recorded and under-supported emcee, Bahamadia, with her smooth, laid back signature flow, characteristic of the “golden era” chill that we loved about Tribe, De La, and the Roots.

In light of women’s struggles in the industry still controlled by hetero-white men, the stories and music of women like these help us to rethink what hip-hop can mean and do in this world.  Their voices embody alternatives: methods and aesthetics that defy the violent and abusive status quo.  Our support for women emcees is crucial and can help fulfill hip-hop’s transgressive promise in ways that are free from appropriation, tokenism, and exploitation.

DOWNLOAD: "A Flow So Impossible: Sister Lyricists Mixtape"

Iokepa Casumbal-Salazar (Kanaka Maoli) aka DJ Cookiehead Jenkins, Honolulu, jockey-o-discs, runs the podcast and radio show, Solid State Deluxe, featuring eclectic mixes & delicious sounds of soul, jazz, funk, afrobeat, samba, salsa, boogaloo, beats, blues, breaks, cumbia, reggae, r&b, and hip-hop, new and/or old. Formerly of the University of Hawai`i–Manoa’s 90.3 FM, KTUH, Honolulu: “Hawai`i’s Only Alternative", Solid State Deluxe is a soundtrack for the struggle, music for your mind, and bump for your trunk. For more music, check out: solidstatedeluxe.com You can follow him on Twitter: @iokepakepa

Solid State Deluxe ::: A Flow So Impossible — Playlist

  1. Therepay Session, Skit #1 – Therapy session, The L Word
  2. Ego Trip (feat. Nikki Giovanni) – Blackalicious
  3. Neck Lock – Medusa
  4. Boom Skit – M.I.A.
  5. Kickin’ for Brooklyn – MC Lyte
  6. Bullshit Rap – Nitty Scott, MC
  7. I’ve Come – Ta-Ku
  8. Stick-Up – Jean Grae
  9. Keep It Moving – Samon Kawamura
  10. 32 Bars – Eternia & Moss
  11. Cacao – Ohbliv
  12. Blame It On The Sun – Lauryn Hill
  13. Set It – Gavlyn
  14. Midnight Anthem – The Midnight EEz
  15. People Not Places (feat. Abeer) – Invincible
  16. Bang – Eternia
  17. Heart – Rocky Rivera
  18. State of Emergency – Invincible
  19. jUsT 4 dA hAwAiI eVeNiNg – Denaun Porter
  20. You Got It – Rah Digga
  21. The Band – Jean Grae
  22. Lay Down Low (feat. MC Lyte) – Medusa
  23. Stepoff – Gavlyn
  24. Uknowhowwedu – Bahamadia
  25. Tight – Rah Digga
  26. No Easy Answers – Invincible
  27. Supa Jean (feat. Jean Grae) – Jazzy Jeff
  28. Untitled James Brown Chop – J Dilla & bell hooks
  29. Music of My Mind Pt. 2 – Jazz Liberatorz, bell hooks, & Skit #2 – Therapy session, The L Word
  30. J’s Day Theme #3 – Madlib
  31. Windyridge – Testiculo Y Uno & Angela Davis
  32. San Francisco – Oddisee
  33. FeminiNITTY (Remixed by J.Period) – Nitty Scott, MC

 

STREAM: Cris Derksen - "Our Home on Native Land"

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#SoundtrackTheStruggle continues with this new track from electro-cellist Cris Derksen.

Half-Cree electro-cellist Cris Derksen continually experiments and creates with her instrument (the cello), electronics (especially the loop pedal), the addition of a live drummer, and her voice. Here her impassioned declaration of our home on Native land will ring through your heart and feet and across Turtle Island. #IdleNoMore.

STREAM: Cris Derksen - "Our Home on Native Land"

DOWNLOAD: Derek Miller - "7 Lifetimes"

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Artists are rapidly giving voice to the #IdleNoMore movement in word, dance and song and we're sharing the latest sounds from Indian Country's finest. But it's not just round dances anymore.

Today we #SoundtrackTheStruggle with Mohawk blues rocker Derek Miller, who released a song that he wrote and recorded for Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence.

At the time of press, tomorrow will be Day 19 of Chief Spence's hunger strike. She pledges to continue until PM Harper agrees to meet with her.

Artists, send us your contributions and we'll continue to broadcast the revolution and #SoundtracktheStruggle.

DOWNLOAD: Derek Miller - "7 Lifetimes"

DOWNLOAD: A Tribe Called Red - "The Road"

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Late last night, on the eve before one of the biggest Indigenous mobilizations in history, A Tribe Called Red quietly released a new song, The Road, inspired by the Idle No More movement and the hunger strike of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence.

The moody, minimal electronic track incorporates some of the traditional drumming and singing elements that ATCR have used in the past for their more dancefloor-oriented powwow step bangers. But this is something else.

The Road feels like the calm before the storm. A slow-building soundtrack for the dawning of a new era. With prayers and strength to Chief Spence, we give to you the sound of our people rising up and taking our spirits back.

DOWNLOAD: A Tribe Called Red - "The Road"

The Round Dance Revolution: Idle No More

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Our guest contributor this week is Ojibway/Métis comedian—turned Idle No More organizer and activist—Ryan McMahon. He reflects on what it is about the rising #IdleNoMore movement that has captured our collective imagination, attention and revolutionary spirit. And how it's taken us from online discussion to a massive mobilization that is literally taking over hundreds of shopping malls, town squares and community centres across Turtle Island—and now the world.

This is the story of how we are reuniting our people through our songs, dances and cultures.

The Round Dance Revolution has arrived.

This was supposed to have been written days ago. When I was asked by RPM to do a guest post I immediately said, “Yes, I’ll write a guest post: Indigenous... music...culture...#IdleNoMore... Sounds great!" And I hung up the phone.

Then I attended the first Idle No More action in Winnipeg and when I got home that night I started writing. Sorta. It was -38 with the windchill that day - so - I think I drank tea for hours and sat under blankets, but, I’m trying to sound responsible here.

So.

I wrote for a few hours that night. I wrote. And wrote. I heard typewriter keys in mind. Much like Hunter S. Thompson, I wrote. Sorta. Like Hunter S. Thompson. Well, minus the whiskey, the smokes and the drugs, so, not like Hunter S. Thompson at all, but, dammit, I wrote.

Now, full disclosure - at best, I’m a below average writer. My words, brain and fingers don’t connect. I can’t articulate myself very well in this medium (I’m writing two books by the way, I bet the publishers are stoked I’m saying this publicly) and I struggled to find a clear sense of what I was feeling.

But I knew I was feeling something. We all were. We all are.

The Idle No More Movement, the politics and the struggle, were providing me with mind-boggling confusion, anger, sadness and happiness. The fact that mainstream media were ignoring the movement as a whole, the fact that one of our strongest leaders is currently on a hunger strike and the fact that I felt like we were Tweeting and Facebooking into a vacuum...everything exasperated my frustration. I struggled to find something that hadn’t been covered yet, when the incredible Métis blogger Chelsea Vowel, my Anishinaabe brother Wab Kinew, and many other journalists and independent media were providing great coverage. So I struggled.

And struggled. No angle. Nothing interesting to say. Nothing informative to add.

Then, two days ago I decided that my piece was going to focus on 'Revolution Music'. I’d call on our Indigenous musicians and artists to find their inspiration in the movement to start building our soundtrack.

We have so much talent in our communities—some of the most exciting musicians on the planet are Indigenous, and I was excited about 'calling them to action'. I talked to many of my musician friends who are working on music right now and, although some are working on new music or have released new tracks recently—there wasn’t much of a story. It seemed like a lazy idea. Maybe it was too obvious. Too simple.

But then it happened.

The Round Dance Flash Mob Explosion

A Round Dance Flash Mob was planned and executed in Regina, SK. The next night a Round Dance broke out inside West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton (North America’s largest mall) during the busy Christmas shopping season.

Then round dances started appearing everywhere: Saskatoon, Ottawa, North Bay, Regina, Prince Albert...the list goes on and on. There are currently round dance actions, traditional song and game flash mobs, and other peaceful music-based actions planned across Turtle Island.

Just look at how many #rounddance posts there are on Twitter.

On Wednesday, we saw YouTube video surface of a group of native brothers and sisters from Minnesota singing the “AIM Song” in the Canadian Consulate office in Minneapolis. Incredible.

The round dance revolution.

It’s happening. Right?

The music revolution is happening. And thank God (if there is a God...c’mon, you know my deal with all that) it doesn’t look like Woodstock. Instead, it’s a beautiful, peaceful and inclusive action. We are being led by our drums.

It’s perfect. It’s accessible. It’s transportable. It’s cheap (hey, we’re on budgets, ya know).

And it's a whole new form of direct action, protest and resistance. As Metro News Saskatoon reported:

With flash mob round dances already occurring in Regina and Edmonton some...say the flash mob has become one of the more effective forms of protest....compared to traditional methods of protest, the flash mob is a more engaging and welcoming way to spread a message.

Why This Matters

We are the Indigenous Peoples of this land. We have held unique worldviews and cultural and spiritual practices for thousands of years. So many of these practices included drums.

As kids, we were told that the drum beat represents the heartbeat of Mother Earth. We were told our songs come from Mother Earth. We were told that our communities are only as strong as the sound of our drums.

Then “they” came. And many of our drums went silent. Completely silent. Our songs were banned. Torn from our lives. Forcefully. Violently. But, although they silent for a time, our old people kept their bundles. Some hid them. Some buried them.

Then, slowly, the sound of our drums re-emerged. They started to spread through our communities again. They signalled hope. They signalled our return.

Our drums were being used. And we began to gather again. We danced again. And our communities are slowly regaining their strength.

It's perfect. It makes perfect sense. A Round Dance Revolution. It has reinvigorated and re-inspired our People. It has lifted the spirits of thousands. The act of the “flash mob” can be called “Political/Guerilla Theatre” but it’s not politics in and of itself. It’s a glimpse into who we are. It is perfect.

 

One Heartbeat: December 21, 2012

At 12:00pm on Friday, December 21st, thousands will gather on Parliament Hill to drum sing and dance—while thousands more will gather in communities across Turtle Island for round dances, songs and prayers in support of all our relations.

IdleNoMore: One Heartbeat Across Turtle Island

Idle No More has called on all Nations to drum and sing across Turtle Island on December 21, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. Central Standard time, for a global synchronized Spiritual Awakening.

We want to honor and recognize the Drum as it represents the heartbeat of Mother Earth and the heartbeat of our people.

Indigenous peoples call on all people and nations to join us in solidarity in “One Heartbeat” through the Drum as we honor the ways of our Ancestors.

We have much to do to sustain this movement. We have long term and short term planning to get underway. BUT. If we need to #SoundtracktheStruggle: it's already here. Our songs remind us that we’re fighting for the land, our languages, our women, our children and for our lives.

Round Dance Flash Mobs That Have Happened To Date:

Regina, SK Edmonton, AB Ottawa, ON Regina, SK North Bay, ON Saskatoon, SK

Round Dance Flash Mobs Scheduled To Happen This Coming Week:

Sault St. Marie, ON Green Bay, WI Rapid City, SD Kamloops, BC Prince Albert, SK Duluth, MN Fort McMurray, AB Akwesasne Mohawk Territory North Battleford, SK Winnipeg, MB Victoria, BC Vancouver, BC Kenora, ON Moncton, NB Grand Prairie, AB Sarnia, ON Tempe, AZ Hamilton, ON Brandon, MB Burnaby, BC Richmond, BC Denendeh, NWT Halifax, NS Phoenix, AZ Seattle, WA Havre, MT 12/22 Billings, MT 12/22 Missoula, MT 12/23

Now the only question is: where will you be?

 

Ryan McMahon is an Ojibwe/Métis comedian, actor and writer hailing from Couchiching First Nation. He runs the weekly comedy and current Indigenous events podcast, RedManLaughing.com, and his comedy can be found at RyanMcMahonComedy.com

Ryan McMahon

Ryan McMahon is one of the most dynamic Aboriginal/Native American Comedians working in Canada and the United States today. He’s also a graduate of the prestigious Second City Conservatory (Toronto). His show is a loose, fast paced, silly but always honest look at society from the perspective of a “Native dude.” His breakout performances on “Welcome To Turtle Island Too – A Celebration of Aboriginal Comedy” (CBC TV/Radio, Corkscrew Media, 2010), and the “Hystereotypes” (CBC TV, Frantic Films, 2011) Gala television taping at the CBC Winnipeg Comedy Festival in 2011 led to his own one hour standup comedy special “Ryan McMahon – UnReserved” (CBC TV/Radio, Corkscrew Media, taped in June 2012). McMahon tours independently, selling out venues large & small, and his live show combines standup, improv, sketch comedy and weaves stories and characters into an original style of comedy he calls – INDIAN VAUDEVILLE.

STREAM: Heebz The Earthchild - "Idle No More"

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Leave it our boys Mob Bounce from the West Coast to drop one of the first Indigenous hip-hop tracks to draw directly from the spirit of the emerging #IdleNoMore movement and turn it into music. One half of the duo, Heebz the Earthchild, dropped this new joint on SoundCloud yesterday.

We'll let the lyrics speak for themselves, but we can already hear crowds gathering with a repeated, melodic chant of "Idle No More".

"Idle No More" Lyrics:

Put your coat on, this is a cold song. With the heart of my elders, this is an old song. We have to go strong when they hold bonds. Those politicians with there souls gone. We row on the river that we flow on and keep showing the world what we know is wrong. My eagle eyes are sharper then the scissors held by the barber, cutting the braids of our rivers. That's a cut to and from Stephen Harper. Your treason is harder then the stone in your heart SIR. I see more pride as we fight Bill C-45. We'll make you mortified that you ever tried to attack our people who stand fortified. This land is for the lives who stand for truth and not for lies. I know what I'm fighting for, and what I am fighting for, you know what I am fighting for, for this I IDLE NO MORE.

STREAM: Heebz the Earthchild - "Idle No More"

This is our first installment in an RPM series that seeks to #SoundtracktheStruggle. Submit your music to be featured — and tag your tracks on SoundCloud, Tumblr, Twitter and social media with #SoundtracktheStruggle

Idle No More: Thousands of Indigenous Peoples Take to Streets in National Day of Action

Idle No More: Thousands of Indigenous Peoples Take to Streets in National Day of Action

In communities across Canada, thousands of Indigenous Peoples braved freezing temperatures to take part in the growing #IdleNoMore campaign—an Indigenous resurgence movement dedicating to restoring the rights, responsibilities and strength of Indigenous nations.

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