Monday, July 17, 2006

Six Nations Fundraiser Wrap

Here is a final report-back from one of the organizers on the fundraiser for the Six Nations land reclamation that I encouraged people to go to and enjoyed very much myself:

The July 6 "6N" benefit concert raised over $1,000 to support the Six Nations struggle in Caledonia.

The concert was a public gesture of support, one of the few public solidarity actions in Hamilton since the land re-claiming began, and a way to financially support the dedicated work of Six Nations' activists seeking justice and recognition of their rights as a people.

From the moment singer/guitarist Kim Koren stepped onto the Casbah stage until Mark LaForme's band closed the place five hours later, the hundreds in attendance were treated to some of the finest music in the city. Between Koren and LaForme, performers Katie Caron, Linda Duemo, The Ray Materick Band, Harrison Kennedy, Martyn Verral, Raphael Keelan, Tim Gibbons, Jack Pedlar, and Daniel Lanois and others filled the Casbah with music as they loaned their considerable talents to support the land claims struggle just a few minutes down highway 6.

Wes Elliot and Hazel Hill spoke to the audience about the ongoing struggle they face in holding their ground in the face of adversity and deeply ingrained racism. Elliot, while thanking people for showing their support, went further and invited supporters to come to the site and see for themselves what is going on. An info table set up at the club had a wealth of information available for free, including backgrounders delving into the historical roots of the Six Nations Confederacy and the current land claim.

Thanks go out to many people for making it happen, especially Mike Hampson who did the brunt of the work bringing the line-up of performers together, and to Brodie and the staff at the Casbah who supported the event from the start to finish. The all-volunteer effort included the talents of Keisha Quinn who designed the poster, Sandy and Mike for putting us in contact with Mark LaForme (himself a member of the Mississauga of the New Credit band), Cheryl Walker for setting up the info-table, Al Loft and Julie Gordon for initial enthusiasm for the idea and Al for helping MC the event. Thanks go out to Ric Taylor at VIEW and other media like CHML, CFMU, the Hamilton Spectator, and CKRZ for advance publicity; of course the performers and finally, the people of the Six Nations for their courageous stand.

The concert subsequently generated some letters to the editor in the local daily (for and against) and the evening created an opportunity to open up lines of communication between aboriginal and non-aboriginal groups in the area. Support came from as far away as Calgary Alberta, Kanehsatake and Las Vegas, Nevada.

For more information about the land-re-claiming please visit www.reclamationinfo.com, sisis.nativeweb.org/actionalert/#updates, www.ckrz.com, or take up the sincere offer to visit the site.


[Quoted text from an email from RK.]

1 comment:

saga said...

The benefit was great! Thanks to all the volunteers who put together a great night for a great cause. I encourage all to go and visit the site !