Bluesman Derek Miller has put together a benefit concert supporting Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, who has been on a hunger strike for three weeks and has inspired apeaceful indigenous uprising under the banner of Idle No More.
The benefit is to take place Saturday night (January 5) at Zaphod Beeblebrox in Ottawa. Also on the bill are Digging Roots, Melody McKiver, Jasper, and comedian Don Kelly. Comedian and podcaster Ryan McMahon, who has been an enthusiastic advocate for Idle No More on Twitter (@rmcomedy) and elsewhere, was initially slated to appear, but due to transportation issues will not be able to make the trip to Ottawa.
Doors open at 8 PM and tickets are $20; proceeds will go to buy supplies for Theresa Spence's camp and her supporters.
The concert could have a sequel or sequels — soon after announcing the date on his @derekmillerlive Twitter feed, Miller added "we got an offer to come to winnipeg to do this as well. we are working out details. will keep all posted. time is of the essence."
Miller has also recorded a song that pays tribute to Spence. Called "7 Lifetimes (for Chief Spence)", it is available as a free download on the music page at DerekMiller.ca. Miller's track follows a trend of musicians paying tribute to Spence; other artists include A Tribe Called Red, Lorenzo, and Ostwelve.