Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy applauds the efforts of Canadian music icon Neil Young after he concluded his Honour the Treaties tour Jan. 19 in Calgary.
“He not only brought to the forefront important issues of environment and industry but he recognizes that First Nations people are the rights holders and caretakers of these lands,” said Beardy in a media release. “He accomplished his goals of raising funds for a Northern Alberta First Nation fighting tarsands development and he raised awareness of the broader issue of treaty rights.”
The goal of raising $75,000 for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation’s legal defence fund was surpassed a few days ago, according to reports. And beyond the financial goal, Young said the concerts have succeeded in getting Canadians talking about these issues.
Young began his four-city Canadian tour Jan. 12 with stops in Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary. His tour which Young said was not meant to be an “anti-tarsands crusade.”
“The solutions of the challenges we face as treaty peoples are in the recognition and implementation of the treaty relationship,” Beardy said. “The treaty talks about resource sharing, it talks about the relationship with the Crown. Yet while the treaty we made with the Crown is legally binding, we have not benefitted fully. We will not stop talking about the treaties until the spirit and intent of them are fulfilled.”
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