Neil Young: “Keep Your Word. And Clean Up Your Mess.”

Neil YoungNeil Young says that his parents raised him to do two things. “ Keep your word. And clean up your mess.”

The iconic Canadian rocker told reporters today that the federal government has done neither. It has failed to keep the promises of the treaties. It has failed  to properly oversee oilsands development and the consequence has been the devastation of  the land around Fort MacMurray.

Young’s response has been a  a four city benefit concert tour to raise money for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation’s (ACFN) Legal Defense Fund.  He told a press conference earlier today that he hopes the benefit concerts will raise a minimum of $300,000.

Young did not shy away from the controversy that has followed his tour. Instead, he addressed it head on, telling reporters, “ This is not about me. This is not about whether I’m qualified to talk about this. “

Much of the coverage of the concert tour in recent days by other media outlets has centered on some of the colourful language Young has used to describe the impact of the oilsands on the landscape around Fort Mac Murray. The rock star did not back down from those earlier comments; in fact, he followed them with a dramatic prediction of what would happen if treaties with First Nations were not honoured, a pronouncement that will no doubt garner  attention in some other media outlets.

But the real purpose of the tour is to Defend the Treaties. and Young was accompanied by a number of people with something to say about those issues, including Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam, other ACFN officials, guests from Treaty 4 First Nations, renowned ecologist David Schindler and legendary environmentalist David Suzuki.. Continue reading “Neil Young: “Keep Your Word. And Clean Up Your Mess.””