It looks like Blue Rodeo is caught between a rock and some sweetgrass.
The band got a dressing down in NOW's letter pages last week for being on the roster to perform at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, because of a "boycott" of the games by Aborigines over, among other things, land claims.
"I was, like, yikes! Is there something we're not aware of?" says band manager Susan de Cartier. "Blue Rodeo has historically been a huge proponent of native rights."
Some Aboriginal groups are calling for a boycott, some are actively cooperating with the Games and offering an Aboriginal "pavilion," and some are simply hoping to use the Games to focus international attention on Aboriginal issues in Australia.
The issue, admits U of T prof Helen Lenskyj, Australian expat and author of the soon-to-be-released book Inside The Olympic Industry, is a bit messy.
"I'm disappointed that groups that present themselves as having a social conscience don't do the research on what's happening in Sydney," she says.
"If it were a more formalized situation, we would seriously look at it," says de Cartier.