In Support of Neil Young's "Honor the Treaties" Tour
by Manda.V on February 28, 2014 - 8:49pm
By: Amanda Valentini
Athabasca Oil Sand Corporation wants to exploit Alberta land in order to dig up oil sands. However, by doing so they are taking over native reserves, which has created a controversy between the corporation and the natives. Neil Young, a fellow citizen of Canada, has launched a musical tour titled “Honor the Treaties” in order to help raise awareness of the current situation as well as give a voice to the natives who are being taken advantage of. I believe the tour will have a positive consequence on the natives fighting for the right to their land because of the money it raises for the aboriginal community, the increasing support of other artists, and because the oil sands go against a treaty between the government and the natives.
Firstly, Young began his tour with the goal of raising $75 000 for the aboriginal community. All the proceeds are to go towards the legal defense fund of the natives. Young believes that in order for the natives to have a fair fighting chance, they need more money on their side in order to compete with the wealthy Sand Corporation. His tour is raising money to help them defend their lands. I think it’s unfortunate that in order for the natives to have a voice in the situation they need money. However, I find it very positive that Young sees these people struggling and he is devoting an entire tour to help them. Many people know about the controversy and aren’t doing anything to help the aboriginals. Young sees this as an opportunity to stand up for the minority and protect their rights. The money he raises on his “Honor the Treaties” tour will go towards their cause.
Secondly, Young’s tour is influencing other artists to join in on the cause and stand up for the natives. Without the media coverage and publicity, the controversy would not be as discussed as it is. Popular trending brands like Obey are designing clothing related to the cause. Also, other native singers and musical artists are performing at his concerts. I think this helps promote the situation because Young is creating a scene to spread awareness and the native artists are ceasing the opportunity raise their own voices. I believe the aboriginals fighting for their own rights adds a personal touch to the cause.
Thirdly, Young is protecting the treaty between the natives and the government. They are a minority living on reserves with opportunities for oil sands. However, the aboriginals have a treaty protecting their land from exploitation. Now that the Athabasca Oil Sand Corporation wants to exploit their land, the treaty is being disregarded. Legal forces are trying to work around the contract in order to benefit from this rich land. I believe that Young is looking out for the aboriginals. His tour is raising awareness of the ongoing controversy. The government should not allow the Oil Corporation to manipulate the treaty. I believe his tour is going to help the natives keep their land.
In conclusion, I believe Neil Young’s “Honor the Treaties” tour has raised a considerable amount of awareness to this controversial situation. The aboriginals are struggling to fight for their land, and this tour is helping them out because it’s raising money for the cause, influencing others to join in, and reminding the government of the treaty present on these reserves.