A Tribe Called Resistance

Taking from the criticisms of today’s presentation on Music and Resistance, I though I might just keep it narrow and look at the most interesting case study: Native Canadian electronic trio “A Tribe Called Red” and how their music fits the criteria of Music and Resistance.

The Electro band consists of three DJs: Ian “DJ NDN” Campeau (of the Nipissing First Nation), Tim “2oolman” Hill (Mohawk, of the Six Nations of the Grand River), and Bear Witness (of the Cayuga First Nation). The three native Canadians produce music and culture that is representational and inclusive of all persons native to the American continent and readily opposes themes such as colonialism and minority oppression.

From their beginnings in Electric Pow Wow, a monthly exhibition of aboriginal talent around Ontario, Canada, A Tribe Called Red have been pushing for a solidarity within urban aboriginal artists. Their music and their presence pushes against ideas of colonialism in instances such as the dissection of “White” ideologies in their music video R.E.D, and their press release on the on going controversy of indigenous athletes not standing for Canada’s National Anthem. “I was raised not to stand for any national anthem. The way I was raised, I’m not Canadian or American. I’m Haudenosaunee” Stated DJ Bear Witness to British Columbian Radio News Show “On The Coast”.

This sort of anti-establishment, paired with the unifying nature of ATCR’s music solidifies their position as artists of the resistance, and hopefully we may see more prevalence of indigenous music such as this in mainstream media.



A Tribe Called Red. (2016). A Tribe Called Red – A Tribe Called Red. [online] Available at: http://atribecalledred.com [Accessed 14 Sep. 2016].

YouTube. (2016). A Tribe Called Red – R.E.D. Ft. Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Black Bear (Official Video). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MD8IK19aec [Accessed 14 Sep. 2016].

Tribalspiritmusic.com. (2016). A Tribe Called Red page. [online] Available at: http://www.tribalspiritmusic.com/powwow-music/96-a-tribe-called-red-page.html [Accessed 14 Sep. 2016].

Anon, (2016). [online] Available at: https://www.ontariotravel.net/en/home [Accessed 14 Sep. 2016].

Barnes, T. (2016). EXCLUSIVE: A Tribe Called Red to Unite Artists, Activists Against Colonialism on ‘Halluci Nation’. [online] Mic. Available at: https://mic.com/articles/148474/a-tribe-called-red-aim-to-unite-artists-activists-against-colonialism-on-halluci-nation#.cQSiRJ6SU [Accessed 14 Sep. 2016].

Britten, L. (2016). Indigenous DJ: standing for national anthem ‘doesn’t make any sense’. [online] CBC News. Available at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/tribe-called-red-anthem-1.3743624 [Accessed 14 Sep. 2016].


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