Rage Against the Machine called out injustices against Indigenous people in Canada during their performance at this year’s Bluesfest in Ottawa.
The American rock band – comprising Zack de la Rocha, Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk – performed their second Canadian show in over a decade.
While performing their hit track “Freedom”, a massive black screen in the background read: “An Indigenous person in Canada is over 10 times more likely to be shot and killed by a police officer than a white person is.
“In Canada, Indigenous women and girls are 16 times more likely to be murdered or to disappear than white women are.”
Canada has been coming to terms with the grim discovery last year of hundreds of human remains in unmarked graves at former church-run schools and institutions to which Indigenous children were forcibly relocated for generations.
From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian boarding schools in an effort to assimilate them into Canadian society.
Thousands of children died of disease and other causes, with many never returned to their families.
The Canadian government has acknowledged that physical and sexual abuse was rampant in the schools, with students beaten for speaking their native languages.
This isn’t the first time Rage Against the Machine has called out injustices.
The band spoke out against the recent ruling regarding Roe v Wade at their first show in 11 years.
Earlier this month, while performing at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin, the band flashed politically-charged messages aimed at the US Supreme Court over its decision to overturn Roe v Wade on a screen behind them.
“Forced birth in a country that is the only wealthy country in the world without any guaranteed paid parental leave at the national level,” the text read.
“Forced birth in a country where Black birth-givers experience maternal mortality two to three times higher than that of white birth-givers,” the messages continued, as confirmed by videos from the show.
“Forced birth in a country where gun violence is the number one cause of death among children and teenagers,” the messages continued, ending with “Abort the Supreme Court” in capital letters.