Logan Staats, a Mohawk singer-songwriter and musician, said he will risk arrest and perform Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. at the 1492 Land Defenders protest, located south of Caledonia, Ont. A press statement further states that Staats had performed previously at the site and was told he would be arrested if he returns.
Staats, who was born on Six Nations of the Grand River territory, came to national attention as winner of the first season of CTV's The Launch and is known for his chart topping single “The Lucky Ones”.
“It is not always easy to decide to do something that is right when you have the threat of losing your freedom looming in the background,” said Staats.
The land defenders have occupied the McKenzie Meadows construction site to prevent development. The land is a portion of the Haldimand Tract lands that were given to Six Nations in 1784 for their support of the British during the American Revolution.
“It’s a tract of land that runs about a mile each side of the Grand River right down to Lake Erie. And they’ve lost over 90 per cent of it through improper, illegal sales to where they just have the existing Six Nations reserve today,” Russ Diabo told Windspeaker.com back on Aug. 5 when the Ontario Provincial Police made arrests on the site. The OPP had delivered a court injunction July 31, which ordered the defenders to remove their structures, stop disrupting the work and leave.
Despite court orders and criminal charges, the land defenders remain.
Staats said “we must risk loss to gain, which is sad on many levels. I want people to know I support them. I want people to know I respect the land. I want people to know I respect sovereign First Nations. I want people to know I am one of them.”
Jason Maclennan, publicist for Logan Staats, said he had respect for his client’s decision, but “I am nervous for him with the threat of a confrontation with the OPP”.