A range of DJs will provide a soundtrack of an eclectic mix of pop, hip-hop, and dance favourites this Friday, all for a good cause.
On Jan. 31, the Grad Club will host SOUTH NODE’s winter edition dance party to fundraise for and bring attention to the Likhts’amisyu clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia’s fight against the controversial Costal GasLink pipeline project.
“We’re just a collective of musicians and organizers who like to throw parties and support rad political projects,” Chlo Felina, a spokesperson for SOUTH NODE said in a written statement.
SOUTH NODE explained why they’re supporting the sovereign Likhts’amisyu clan.
“We strongly believe in the sovereignty and self-determination of Indigenous people. We also see these pipeline projects as being potentially harmful to the ecological stability of the region.”
The Coastal GasLink pipeline project that would run through Wet’suwet’en land. Challenges to the project saw the company being taken to court in 2019, but a Supreme Court judge ruled against the Indigenous community’s cause, allowing the project to progress. As a result, the Likhts’amisyu are still defending their land.
“The focal point of these efforts has been the Unist’ot’en Camp, a long-standing territorial re-occupation built directly in the path of the proposed pipeline corridor,” Felina said.
“In January 2019, the RCMP raided the camp and ushered in pipeline workers.
[…] A few months later, the Likhts’amisyu clan began constructing their own re-occupation village, and vowed to defend their territory from resource extraction at all costs.”
In 1997, the Delgamuukw v British Columbia Supreme Court ruling upheld Indigenous claims to large portions of land in B.C.—including the land involved in the pipeline building—and affirmed “Aboriginal title as Indigenous peoples’ exclusive right to the land.”
It’s an ongoing battle for the Indigenous community to defend unceded land, especially against action which could cause harm to the environment.
That’s why SOUTH NODE decided to throw their dance party and donate the proceeds to support the Wet’suwet’en cause.
“We think it’s important to host cultural events that strengthen communities here in Kingston while also extending solidarity to political projects that inspire us to fight for a better world.”
All of the organization’s events in the future will be specifically tailored to relevant political and social issues.
“Our goal is not only to raise money, however, we would also like to foster events that are inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community, people of colour, and folks who generally don’t feel like they fit into the popular party culture here in town.”
In a written statement, headliner DJ Kilombo explained why he felt the dance party is such a good way to bring awareness to the issue.
“Parties can bring many people together who may not otherwise interact with each other, thus making them good spaces for raising awareness about social issues. There is also a longstanding tradition of music being political,“ he said. “I don’t think consuming media should be purely about escapism; I want it to expose us to difficult ideas that help us make sense of the world around us.”
This article has been updated to reflect the frequency at which SOUTHNODE hosts dance party events.
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