A punk band from the Navajo nation, Blackfire, has been blending music and activism out in Arizona for over 20 years, from speaking out against immigration policies to environmental issues. A current issue they are trying to raise awareness on and fight is a plan for a ski resort company to produce more artificial snow on the San Francisco Peaks, a land that is very sacred to 13 Native nations, and is part of their religious beliefs. The environmental impact of pumping up and depositing on the peaks "reclaimed refuse water" will have a devastating effect on the animal and plant life, and is considered a desecration of sacred land by the members of Blackfire: Klee, Clayson and Jeneda, who are also family. Read a great interview of them on Truthout.org, and watch a video of theirs below.

Blackfire has been partnering with two great organizations to empower Native youth to bring about social change. The first organization is Outta Your Backpack Media, who empowers indigenous youth through free movie making workshops, and seek to create community ownership of media and more. The second organization is Taala Hooghan, an "Infoshop" and Youth Media Arts Center, that are "an Indigenous-established, community based and volunteer-run collective dedicated to creatively confronting and overcoming social and environmental injustices in the occupied territories of Flagstaff and surrounding areas." They focus on the media, arts, and education to empower youth.

 Blackfire is also going to play at the Grassroots Festival, a music and dance festival near Finger Lakes that has been held for decades using music to raise awareness on issues and to raise funding for causes. Some of the causes and organizations they support are Doctors Without Borders, Ithaca Free Clinic, and many others. On the Grassroots Festival's website it says, "It's all about having a grand time, generating a feeling of community, and giving something back to enhance our town, our society, and our world."


By Viktor

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