Yesterday, the Canadian federal government under Justin Trudeau voted to purchase a new addition to the Trans Mountain oil pipeline from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion. The expansion of this pipeline has been met with consternation from opposition leaders like Elizabeth May and other environmentalists, but the plan to construct into British Columbia is yet another affront to the lands of Canada's indigenous peoples, raising the risk of polluting precious water sources. This is where Snotty Nose Rez Kids, the Vancouver duo of rappers Young D and Yung Trybez, come in with their seething new song "The Warriors," a pointed barb of hip-hop specifically made to combat the expansion.
Riding a minimal, bleeping beat that lets the group's message of resistance come through unadorned, D and Trybez invoke the timeless menace of the 1979 cult action film ("Come out to plaaaaaay") and tie it to the now-necessary warrior traditions of the Secwepemc peoples. "Yeah we ready for war, don't cross the line in the sand / You'll be lying in the sand, boy I'll die for my land," goes one incendiary line. The video follows SNRK (who are the latest additions to the continually strong roster of indigenous-focused label RPM Records) and Tiny House Warriors' Kanahus Manuel as they roam the BC rainforests, getting tattoos done among the ferns and lighting bonfires.
"The Canadian government does not get the final say when it comes to our land because this is more than land to us as indigenous peoples, this is our identity," Yung Trybez tells Noisey. "This isn’t just a pipeline on our land with risk of infecting our waters, this is the intersection of violence against our lands, bodies, and governance." Manuel, who Trybez says represents "the unceded lands...the women warriors fighting against this genocide" in the context of the video, describes the Trans Mountain expansion as "Canada [having] declared war on us indigenous peoples by pushing this dirty pipeline through without our Secwepemc consent."
If you have time, visit the website for Tiny House Warriors, a group which is fighting the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion by building ten properties along the proposed construction route "to assert Secwepemc law and jurisdiction and block access to this pipeline." Watch the video for "The Warriors" above.
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