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ATCR Tells Museum: We Won't Play Until You Use the Word 'Genocide'

The popular and influential DJ trio objects to the language used -- or not used -- to describe the treatment of Aboriginal people in Canadian history.
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Canadian Aboriginal DJ trio A Tribe Called Red has canceled its plans to perform at the opening festivities at the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The group said that it could not support the museum, which held its opening ceremonies this morning and has yet to open to the public, unless some changes were made. ATCR issued the following statement:

Human rights are great for society. We appreciate the work the museum has been doing to bring attention to global issues. Unfortunately, we feel it was necessary to cancel our performance because of the museum's misrepresentation and downplay of the genocide that was experienced by Indigenous people in Canada by refusing to name it genocide. Until this is rectified, we'll support the museum from a distance.

The concert happens Saturday, September 20, from 6:00-9:00 pm. Other Native performers in the concert lineup include Buffy Sainte-Marie, Don Amero, and J.C. Campbell. Campbell told CBC News that he will play as planned because he feels there should be an Indigenous presence on stage, although he appreciates the statement being made by the hugely popular DJs.

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The museum issued its own statement, which reads, in part: "The CMHR understands the group has elected not to participate over concern around the way Indigenous issues are presented in the Museum.. ... We know that building dialogue and earning trust is a long-term process, and we hope this will again be an opportunity for respectful conversation on issues that historically haven't been easy to talk about."