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Neil Young Backs Oilsands Fight With Benefit Concerts

Neil Young Stage - P 2012
Getty Images
Neil Young

The California-based music legend plans four January gigs in Canada to fund a legal defense fund for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.

TORONTO – Neil Young will perform four Canadian concerts to fund legal costs for a northern Alberta aboriginal band fighting a local oilsands development, Live Nation Entertainment said on Monday.

The California-based Canadian music legend has scheduled January gigs in Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary, with Canadian Diana Krall also scheduled to appear.

Ticket sales for the Honor the Treaties concerts will fund the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation legal defense fund.

The northern Alberta First Nation band is looking to uphold land rights as Shell Canada expands its Jackpine oilsands mine to impact the local environment and wildlife.

Young has been a vocal critic of Alberta's oilsands development, telling a Washington D.C. gathering in September that the Fort McMurray-based drilling was "a wasteland."

His comments came as the Canadian government backed extending the Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast to send bitumen from Alberta's oilsands to American refineries.