• Atz Lee Kilcher to open concert at Pier One Theatre
By Randi Somers
International recording artist Si Kahn will perform with former Alaska state senator Suzanne Little tonight (Wednesday, June 19) in a concert at Pier One Theatre to help protect Bristol Bay by opposing the development of the Pebble Mine.
In August 2010, recognizing the role that music could play in motivating people to join the fight to stop the Pebble Mine and protect Bristol Bay, Palmer resident fisherman Dan Strickland invited Si Kahn to come to Alaska to write songs about the struggle to stop the Pebble Mine.
Former Alaska State Senator Suzanne Little, who had met Kahn some years ago at a gathering for progressive elected officials from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, joined Dan in this invitation.
The two chose Kahn to play this role because of his 47-year history as a social activist, with years of experience in national and international campaigns of this nature. His reputation as a songwriter/performer in the folk, bluegrass and Americana music communities, as well as his long career as a civil rights, labor and community organizer, make him an ideal lead resource person for Musicians United to Protect Bristol Bay, organizers say.
Approximately 50 percent of all wild fish caught in North America come from Bristol Bay, including most of the world’s sockeye salmon. Sockeyes spawn in the headwaters of the many rivers that drain into the Bay. More than 2,000 commercial permits are fished annually in the region, supporting thousands of families.
Bristol Bay is home to several thousand Native Alaska families living largely by subsistence, dependent on the Bay, its rivers and forests to survive. Yup’ik people have lived along these rivers for more than 10,000 years.
A British-Canadian gold and copper mining consortium wants to build what would be the world’s largest open-pit mine next to the headwaters of the rivers where the salmon spawn.
No open-pit mine in the world has ever operated without causing serious and usually permanent environmental destruction to the surrounding area and beyond. If the Pebble Mine is built, it’s very likely the end of the health of Bristol Bay and the people who dwell in the area.
Atz Lee Kilcher will open for the Si Kahn performance at Pier One Theatre tonight starting at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15, with discounts available.
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