LIVE TONIGHT: Rachelle Van Zanten takes on Big Oil at the Blue Chair

Getting the fuel to run our Hummers and hairdryers often involves going to some remote wilderness, kicking out or buying off the people who live there, sucking the goop out of the ground and making such a big mess out of the place that nobody will ever want to live there again.

Who’s to blame? Look in the mirror!

The usual cries come: But what can one, small, insignificant consumer do about it? What can one little female folk singer possibly do with a guitar that a giant corporation can’t undo a million times over? Get the word out, at least. Believe it or not, it helps.

Playing tonight at the Blue Chair Cafe, Edmonton activist folk-singer Rachelle Van Zanten has picked her latest battle with a new video of her song My Country, taking on an environmental crisis brewing in Northern British Columbia. Seems Shell and other corporations want to plunder the remote Spatsizi Plateau in Northern B.C. for coalbed methane and other juicy natural resources. In 2006, women of the Tahltan First Nations People blocked the road Shell had built. Van Zanten’s video was inspired by the event and filmed at the actual site of the protest:


It’s not clear how it all turned out. Shell did suspend drilling, for now. But that’s not the only development going on there. At the end of a recent article on the plan for electrification of Iskut, B.C. (read it here) lurks this sentence regarding an agreement to allow the Northwest Transmission Line to come through: “The Tahltan Nation voted 82 per cent in favour of the agreement that includes a benefit and employment package.”

Attention activist folk singers: We need some sequels.



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