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Kakfwi releases new CD

Adam Johnson
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 11/06) - Stephen Kakfwi has never been far from controversy in his career, and a recent concert was no different.

The release of the former premier's second CD, Last Chance Hotel, filled Javaroma in Yellowknife with political discussion, low-key performances and a little conflict with "fans."
NNSL Photo/graphic

Former NWT premier Stephen Kakfwi plays on as his granddaughter, Maslyn Kakfwi-Scott, circles around during the release of his second CD, Last Chance Hotel, in Yellowknife. - Adam Johnson/NNSL photo

After milling about the small crowd for a time, Kakfwi took the mike to thank the crowd for their support and to explain some of the stories behind his new songs.

One he described was a love song that his father wrote for his mother when she spent more than six years in hospital during the tuberculosis outbreaks of the 1950s.

The next song he spoke about was Great Big Lie, a song inspired by Dene leader Chief Ed Bird, who was shot and killed by RCMP officers in 1971.

"He was the first to say, 'We have all our rights, we did not give up our rights,'" and that Treaty 8 and 11 were "nothing but great big lies."

"That got me thinking," he said. "That got me into politics."

As Kakfwi launched into Great Big Lie, his granddaughter Maslyn Kakfwi-Scott moved straight from her mother's arms to the floor in front of Kakfwi.

There she danced, sang a little and ran laps around the former premier

"I love it," he said afterwards. "She knows the songs on the CD."

Kyla Kakfwi-Scott, Stephen's daughter, said it was fun to see her dad moving into life as a recording artist.

"He keeps getting better, so that keeps it interesting," she said.

Kakfwi said he was enjoying the opportunity to give the CD the push it needed.

"It's Northern music, recorded here in Yellowknife," he said. "I paid all the costs myself."

The performances on Thursday and Friday were marred somewhat by a pair of hecklers, both familiar figures around town.

"I bought him a coffee, but he still isn't satisfied," Kakfwi said of one on the second night. "You two make it sound like the Gold Range in here."

One patron told News/North that the heckler was eventually removed, but not before dropping - and breaking - a bottle of liquor on the ground.

She said Kakfwi played on through the conflict, as stoic as ever, even as the mess of drink and broken glass was being mopped up in front of him.