Reviewing “Politician Man” by Adrian Sutherland

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Just in time for the Canadian Election, Adrian Sutherland releases a single, “Politician Man”, discussing the issues of drinking water in communities throughout Canada.

Introducing Adrian Sutherland

Adrian Sutherland is an artist with more than just creativity and talent but a quality musician and a quality father. Adrian Sutherland is a Canadian artist from Attawapiskat First Nation on the James Bay. He’s not just a singer, songwriter, musician, speaker, author, and advocate but He’s also a father of four, a grandfather to four, a traditional knowledge keeper, and a respected cultural leader, fluent in Mushkegowuk Cree.

Northern Canadian roots rocker, Sutherland has become an increasingly popular artist. His Spotify Wrapped shows a huge following with over 10k listeners in over 57 countries.

Photo of Adrian Sutherland

As an artist, he’s taken to using his musical popularity to spread information and hope among Canadian citizens. Sutherland wrote this American-style song himself. With the writing help of the brothers Chris Gormley and Matt Gormley, the lyrics send such a vital message. During the Canadian election, this is a rather poignant message.

Introducing Politican Man

A press release by Adrian Sutherland explains, “The powerful protest song – Sutherland’s debut single as a solo artist – has been gaining audiences ever since its premiere on October 17, 2019, four days before Canada’s federal election. The video and its important message earned national media coverage at that time and continues to garner attention today.”

The federal election is a chance for a citizen to have their voices heard. People can fight for what they believe in, make a stand for their values, to stand with the people that can’t stand for themselves. The meaning behind this song isn’t just political. It’s much deeper than that, especially for Sutherland. It’s a far more personalized message.

Message Behind The Music of “Politician Man” by Adrian Sutherland

“The seeds for the song were planted in July 2019, when Attawapiskat First Nation – Sutherland’s fly-in Cree community on the James Bay in remote Northern Canada – declared a state of emergency over contaminated water,” describes Sutherland. This contaminated water has elevated levels of Trihalomethanes (THMs) and halo acetic acids (HAAs) which can cause skin irritation as well as increase the risk of cancer. These can’t be cleared by boiling the water.

“Attawapiskat should be drinking the same quality of water the people in Ontario and Canada take for granted,” Attawapiskat Chief Ignace Gull said in an interview with CBC, “We shouldn’t be going through this kind of stuff, to declare a state of emergency. If this happened in Timmins, they would deal with it the same day.”

Nigel Nakogee, 17, holds a sign in front of the Attawapiskat band office on Tuesday, protesting the community’s water quality problems. Published via CBC

In the Globe and Mail, you can Read Adrian’s previously written editorial piece about the lack of clean drinking water in Canada’s communities. Sutherland has never had clean water running into his home. This is a sad case for countless communities throughout the country. Countless communities throughout Canada are under water advisories.

Keep up to date on Short-term drinking water advisories including Boiled Water Advisories (BWA), Do Not Use Advisory (DNU), and Do Not Consume (DNC). There are also numerous long-term drinking water advisories available here.

“For his entire 44-year-old life, he has had to collect clean drinking water from elsewhere. When he was younger, his family used to draw water straight from the river. These days, Attawapiskat has two dispensaries where families access drinking water,” reads a press release from Sutherland.

This prompted Sutherland to write a song in response. Coming from a very personal place, Sutherland is using his platform to send a message about this issue.

“At almost the exact same moment, insensitive comments about water from a thoughtless politician in Ottawa sparked massive public outcry, and national media coverage. Politician Man, a song that speaks to Canada’s troubled relationship with First Nations, was Sutherland’s response.”

“The relationship between Canada and First Nations has been difficult for a long time, and in many ways, it still is,” continues Sutherland Politician Man is about this relationship, and the need for all of us – politicians, chiefs, Indigenous people, all people – to start listening to each other, and move past the blaming. We all need to do our part to make real change happen. That’s the message behind Politician Man.”

About The Music Video

The music video portion was created by Justin Stephenson, an acclaimed animator and filmmaker and produced by RoseAnna Schick. produced and engineered by Carl Jennings in Hamilton, Ontario, this is a fantastic masterpiece of a music video. Not only that, but it’s also been screened in over 20 film international festivals gaining several rewards including the following.

🎥 Yorkton Film Festival – Best Performing Arts & Entertainment – Jun 18, 2020   

🎞️ Moving Parts Film Festival – Best Music Video – Sep 26, 2020  

📹 Indie Shorts Buenos Aires & Indie Shorts Miami – Best Music Video – Dec 8, 2020

📽️ Phoenix International Short Film Festival – Best Music Video – Jan 4, 2021  

🎬 London Music Video Festival – Best Music Video – Jul 1, 2021 

“Politician Man” by Adrian Sutherland is not only an impressive work of art but also an impressive message. Visit here to see how you can make a difference in your community. Keep up to date on the progress of the Canadian Government here. Write and send a letter to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Tell him it’s time to end drinking water advisories in First Nations.