Westbank First Nation singer puts Idle No More into song | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Westbank First Nation singer puts Idle No More into song

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KELOWNA - A Westbank First Nation musician is using her debut record to prove that a political statement can be peaceful. 

In her new song Idle No More, Kelly Derrickson pays tribute to the struggles of aboriginal people in Canada. The anthem ties together issues from high suicide rates amongst First Nations to the exploitation of Canada's natural resources and environment.

“There's no economic basis for our people, in some reserves 90 per cent of natives are unemployed," she says. "They have no chance getting a job or hunting and feeding themselves."

Derrickson says this is partly due to industrial resource extraction compromising the traditional lifestyle of many aboriginal communities.

"There's no elk anymore, fish are full of mercury now, the resources are being pumped from their reserves."

The song was also inspired by her father, Grand Chief Ron Derrickson, who lived in poverty as a child before becoming a leader for First Nation's rights.

Derickson takes some of that political spirit with her, but channels it into song. Born and raised in Westbank, she discovered her passion for music at an early age.

“My family had a big bluegrass influence on me. My grandpa played the banjo... the music has always been in my blood,” she says. It lead her to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Professional Music and Music Business.

Idle No More is part of her album titled Warriors of Love, released August 13. The release was celebrated with a performance earlier this month at Two Eagles Golf Course in Westbank.

Her next step?

“Now I'm planning on doing a record release in New York and Los Angeles, then a mini tour going through a lot of the Native American casinos," she says. Another three music videos are already in the works.

Her greatest hope for the album is to stir awareness about First Nations' struggles - and hopefully strike a chord with the Federal Government.

Copies of the album and Idle No More merchandise can be purchased throught Derrickson's website.

Lyics for Idle No More:

Can you look in the mirror
While our people live in squalor?
Raping Mother Earth
While we fight to protect her
In the name of our Father
These things we can't ignore
Can’t turn a blind eye
Its time we dry the tears,
All our children cry

If we expect to survive
We must stand heart in hand
With eyes open wide
To save our home and native land
The miracle of God
Has gone from light to dark
How long must we live
With a hole in our hearts?

We wait and wait and wait
And watch this silent war
Now we must stand Idle No More

Waters turn from blue to brown
Desecrate our Scared ground
Skies have gone form blue to grey
Help us now oh God we pray…

Now we must stand Idle No More
Now we must stand Idle No more

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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