Navajo musician, Klee Benally, was a highlight at Farce of July, a Native American event held in Los Angeles on Fourth of July celebrating the spirit of resistance.
As an activist against resource colonization in indigenous lands, Benally fights for legislations trying to protect his people from the health issues, or you could call it “mass extermination,” caused by the extraction of natural gas, uranium, coal mining and fracking in his sacred Navajo motherland.
Before singing “Without Water” Benally mentioned:
“My relatives are resisting forced relocation. More than 20,000 people have been forced to relocate from our ancestor homelands because of coal mining. As long as Mother Earth is viewed as a commodity we are going to have this conflict. For our cultures, for our people to live, capitalism must die. This is the nature of the battle that we have. So this song is for everybody that recognizes that maybe this system wasn’t made to last. We as indigenous people know how to live with the land because we listen to the land, and that connection can never be taken from us."
Respect Existence or Expect Resistance is Benally’s acoustic solo album. Prior to this work he was the lead singer and guitarist of Blackfire, a punk rock band he formed in 1989 with his brother Clayson Benally on drums and his sister Jeneda Benally on bass and vocals.
For more information, visit kleebenally.com
Text and photos by Paula Tripodi
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