Western Canada hat activist Corb Lund along with artists from across Alberta’s country music spectrum, including Brett Kissel, Terri Clark, Paul Brandt, Armond Duck Chief, Nice Horse, Sherryl Sewepagaham and Mike Plume, have released a new recording of Lund’s This is My Prairie, a clear-cut protestation against proposed coal development in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.
“In light of the past year’s developments regarding open pit coal mining here in Alberta, I have come together with some of Alberta’s greatest country music veterans to release a new version of This is My Prairie, a song I wrote many years ago,” says Lund. “The song voices the solidarity we feel with ranchers, urban and rural Albertans and First Nations communities in strongly opposing coal mining in the heart of our Rocky Mountains.”
Lund says that he and his fellow artists have released this song to express opposition and bring awareness to coal mining and the continued threat it poses to Alberta’s Rockies and its fresh water. It will also raise funds for landowner groups including two collectives representing ranchers and landowners known as The Pekisko Group and The Livingstone Landowners Group, who are standing in opposition to coal development.
“An overwhelming majority of Albertans have expressed very clearly that they do not want coal mining in our Rocky Mountains and strongly oppose the proven risks that coal development will bring to this vital landscape and watershed,” Lund said in a statement. “The proposed mines are a terrible deal for Albertans and a huge threat to our water. The handful of coal jobs we’ve been promised don’t begin to make up for the long or short-term economic and environmental costs of this disaster. I think the government would like the public to forget about this issue, but the fight is a long way from over.”
Alberta’s United Conservative government revoked the 1976 coal policy in early June 2020, that prevented coal mines from surface mining Alberta’s eastern slopes. The revocation of the policy opened the door to multiple foreign coal developments and occurred without public, community, or landowner consultation.
“This is an opportunity for Corb’s music and the lyrics of this song to do the talking surrounding a very important issue: protecting a vital and very vulnerable area of our province,” says fellow western hat star Brett Kissel. “I am proud to stand with Corb in doing what is right for the province of Alberta, for the land, for my children, and for each generation to come.”