My Peace River: Part 3
I had the opportunity to tour and play in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia this past month. It’s a unique part of the world and we spent a week completely immersed in the local culture, the heat, and the languid pace of life. Arnhem Land is Yolngu territory and at the centre of the Yirrkala community is an art centre. A place where art, music, language and culture are celebrated. The stories of the Yolngu have been preserved and passed down through art in many different forms. This is not a unique concept, art has always been the living breathing language of culture. It is vitally important.
My experiences in Arnhem Land have highlighted the struggles of the people in the Peace Valley in British Columbia Canada where I am from. The Peace River is slated to be dammed and over 100 kms of the valley flooded for hydro electricity. If the project goes through, the land is lost forever. The majestic Peace Valley is home to abundant wildlife and plant life, the Treaty 8 First Nations and many farmers and ranchers. The loss of the land and habitat means the loss of culture, the loss of art and the loss of history.
I co-founded the project My Peace River which uses art with the intent to bring awareness to the Peace Valley and the challenges it is currently facing. It’s a multimedia forum which curates many different views of an endangered area through photos, video, music and performance. It is a collaboration between everyone who has a connection to Peace Region and forms a cohesive picture of what stands to be lost forever if the Site C dam is constructed. We are using art as resistance, art as a voice.
The above images are just a few examples of how people are raising their voices through the creation of art for the Peace Valley. Below are four easy steps to get involved and show your support to My Peace River, Treaty 8 First Nations and the mighty Peace Valley:
Donate to the Treaty 8 First Nations to assist with the court challenges against the Site C dam: https://fundraise.raventrust.com/fundraise?fcid=506654
Share any of your photos, stories, songs inspired by the Peace Valley using the hashtag #mypeaceriver
Watch, listen, and most importantly, share #mypeaceriver videos, live recordings and photos