Check out this incredible video. See a magnificent part of the country I live in and listen to Rachelle’s wicked tune. Her poignant lyrics are fitting for so many rural and still pristine places out there. We need to stand up and fight for them. We really need to be looking at our economy differently. Money can’t continue to be the bottom line.

“…there’s trouble here, in land so far away, where all the dark suits make the rules from a thousand miles away, I’ve seen the future here, I’ve read the history, you make your money grow while killing my country…”

Rachelle Van Zanten – My Country (Official Video) from Taylor F. on Vimeo.

Inspired by images of Tahltan women blockading Shell in defense of the Sacred Headwaters in northern British Columbia, Rachelle wrote ‘My Country’.

One of the Klabona Keepers brought us up to the Headwaters, the birthplace of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine rivers and a traditional Tahltan territory. This area is critically endangered by a number of industrial mega-projects which threaten all 3 watersheds, affecting an area larger than Ireland.

It was a year and a half ago that Ali Howard swam the length of the Skeena, the longest undammed river in the world, to raise awareness for protecting these headwaters.

We saw Rachelle perform last night with The Racket and Blind Vinyl. Lily was really eager to dance. It was a really fun show!

The RacketThe most expensive guitar available in 1972The Racket

Rachelle and her impromptu back up singers

Back upRocker Girl Camp

Rachelle was also out in Kitamat for a rally against Enbridge last August. Kim, Sam, Lily and I had an awesome time, even when the sun clouded over and the rain came pouring down. What’s better than dancing in the rain? (click if you’d like to see more photos from that day)

Rachelle in the rain


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8 Responses to Get The sHell Out Of Our Sacred Headwaters

  1. denise says:

    Great video. And I love the sign in the bottom photo. That says it all!

  2. tai says:

    I know. This vid had me in tears 20 seconds in. It is such a powerful video. We are headed to see her tonight, so there is lots of dancing fun in our future. The boys are very big fans, they even have hats that they call their Rachelle hats, and they wear them when they want to rock out! I”ll always remember that first night hanging out with the kids dancing (to Rachelle!) together.

  3. hooligan says:

    Such a great post – Rachelle is such a leader and she does it with music. I absolutely adore her and this cause.

  4. elementsofmylife says:

    I’m so grateful for those who have stood up and helped keep such a beautiful part of our country pristine. Thanks to them, Ali, Rachel and others for continuing the fight and spreading the word. The message in this song is so powerful!

  5. Jo says:

    I’m not sure where to start here. Sorry if my thoughts are disjointed…
    Firstly, I can’t believe we forgot to go see her – it was all planned, but we just completely spaced on it! Grr. I’m glad you guys went and had a good time.

    Secondly – I think the Tahltan just agreed to support the project (or perhaps that was the NWTL – I can’t remember, there’s so much ‘development’ happening up there these days).

    Thirdly – I’m torn on the issue. As long as I still drive my car, buy groceries that are trucked in, and anything else that requires oil, then why shouldn’t it come from a local source? Why is OK to watch the environmental and human devastation in places like Nigeria? As long as the oil that we all continue to use comes from somewhere out of sight, does that make it OK? At least in Canada, one would hope that the (relatively) strict human rights and environmental protection standards would ensure ‘cleaner’ oil for us to use.

    As you said, Money cannot continue to be the bottom line – nor can our dependence on oil – THAT’S where the real issue starts… All of a sudden, Site C isn’t looking too bad ;)


  6. greenteacher says:

    The video quickly drove me to tears. I’m hoping and praying for everyone that this gets resolved in such a way that leaves the amazing landscape and home of the native peoples intact. Power to the people!
    By the way, are the local media covering this?

  7. Annie says:

    Tai- that was such a fun event. I was so surprised by Lily’s ability and drive to dance ALL night. Would love to see her again together.

    I’m so grateful for Rachelle and all the many other people that work so hard to raise awareness and organise efforts to fight.

    Jo- You missed a great show! I’ve been struggling to stay organised and get to all events lately so I was glad to not miss that one.

    To a certain degree we are all complicit because of the culture and society we live in. That doesn’t mean we have to follow one bad decision with another and another.

    I think the alberta tar sands makes it startling clear that money talks. There isn’t one redeeming thing about the tar sands! It’s expensive, polluting and unsustainable. That said, how does it stay local when trade laws state that oil must be sold to the highest bidder. There is No mechanism by which Canadian oil can be consumed domestically. Oil is dead, or at least dying!

    The coal bed methane exploration in the headwaters is blatant natural resource profiteering in the name of extending another dying industry.

    We HAVE TO do things differently. I don’t pretend to have all the solutions but standing up for the issues we face in our own backyard is a critical start and it’s more productive than the impossible task of taking on all the issues in the world.

    I hope that one day the world will become more energy responsible and mega projects like Site C won’t be necessary.

    G- The media covers it but there’s so many facets to these issues here and it’s been going on for many years. The enbridge issue, for example had come up decades ago and the communities easily said NO way! Now that jobs have been lost in other industries, some people in these communities are actually entertaining the idea of allowing enbridge to build a pipeline here. It won’t even create that many jobs, unless you’re counting jobs for people to do a clean up when it inevitably happens. It will kill other industries, like fisheries. It’s very simply a bad idea.

  8. Lynn says:

    What a moving song and video. Gave me shivers. I have Tahltan family and none of them support the exploration. They are terrified for their land. I’m surprised to hear that the band may have agreed to support the project.
    It’s true that the only real answer is to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, and on a large scale. I wonder if we’ll be able to do it fast enough. It makes me scared for our kids.
    And it’s also true that we’re all complicit. I talk about being an environmentalist but I too drive a car and buy imported food. I yearn for alternatives.
    Thanks for posting this video.

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