Band works at building a strong foundation from the reserve
No More Moments is a hardcore punk band from Siksika Nation, which is located about an hour-and-a-half east of Calgary. According to its members, the band formed in 2009 as a way for "the boys" to pass the time, especially since they weren't into other more "popular" activities such as hockey, powwow or hand drumming.
Since then, No More Moments has developed into a recognized and respected band. Members Carlin Black Rabbit (drums/vocals), Quarthon Bear Chief (vocals), Brandyn Darko (guitar) and the recently recruited Dallas Many Heads (bass), said what began as "something to do" has transformed into a much bigger endeavour.
"It was just about having something to do, right? Obviously we're not into sports or into our traditions...[just] wrestling. We found music as a way to survive," said Black Rabbit.
Most of the band members are in their early twenties and have been harnessing their music as a way to relate their personal experiences and social views to the masses.
"It's a way to express ourselves, a way to get what we really want to say out there," added Bear Chief.
Siksika Nation has always been rich in musical heritage, similar to most of the surrounding Alberta reserves, and has produced several quality bands over the last several decades.
"We used to have a lot of bands around our area when I was growing up in our community, and that's what inspired me," explained Bear Chief.
"If they could do it from a place like Siksika Nation, if they can grow and develop to play shows and get recognized by people and stuff like that, then it's a possible dream, you know? It's just pushing for it and going for it, and that's what we've been doing for that last while," he added.
The band promotes a message of positivity and unity among the indigenous community. Black Rabbit, in addition to his ongoing social work with an agency based in Siksika, is also in the last semester of his social work diploma with Indigenous Social Work at Old Sun Community College. He said he plans to use his knowledge to help his community in any way he can, which received its latest blow last spring when flooding destroyed many homes.
"This is an ongoing issue right now. A lot of our people are still suffering. Family members, you know, they're grieving about it. They're basically homeless," said Black Rabbit.
After the flood, Black Rabbit organized a benefit concert where he was able to raise several thousand dollars for the relief efforts alongside several other performers and one of his former bands, Copsickle.
Since then, the band has been building a strong foundation on Siksika Nation, with Black Rabbit utilizing the recording studio at Siksika College, getting No More Moments airplay at the radio station based out of the same building, and hosting shows at the nearby powwow arbor, a venue that plays host to a plethora of different events and activities in Siksika.
With these shows, Black Rabbit said he has made it his personal mission to revitalize the once vibrant musical community in Siksika, and give some of the community youth an outlet for fun in a positive and safe environment.
"What I want to do is get volunteers, like a street team," said Black Rabbit. "Get these kids to go out and hype the shows. Give them something to do because there isn't much to do when you're broke,".
Cory Cardinal, the native student centre coordinator at Mount Royal University, emphasized the importance of Black Rabbit's work both on and off the stage, having collaborated with him on some events during Black Rabbit's stint on campus.
"I think doing the work he does off campus and with his personal mission of bringing good music to communities is positive for young people," said Cardinal.
"They get to see that these guys can do it. It gives them hope and inspiration. It makes them look at the world that they usually only see on TV available to them and something that they can reach for as well," he added.
Video produced by Geoff Crane and Brandon Macneil
For No More Moments, the idea that they're being looked up to as role models is a humbling experience, something that Black Rabbit doesn't plan on taking for granted.
"It's a little weird because we have community functions like powwows and I got asked for an autograph, and I was like 'Why? Have a bite of my burger. I don't want to give you an autograph.' I look at myself as just another person," he said with a chuckle.
"I guess if we get looked at as role models and we can inspire a kid to get out of his room, to playing guitar, to going on the road, then I'll be happy. Because that's what inspired me to do what I'm doing now."
- By Brandon McNeil and Geoff Crane