In Memory: Robbie Robertson, Native Musician and College Fund Supporter

Aug 11, 2023 | Blog, Featured Post

The team at the American Indian College Fund was saddened to learn of legendary musician Robbie Robertson’s passing. Mr. Robertson was the son of a Cayuga and Mohawk mother and lived on the Six Nations Reserve in Canada southwest of Toronto during his youth.

Robertson is known for his career as a guitarist and composer. He rose to fame with the Band, for which he was the primary writer. His gritty lyrics and guitar created a new genre that was dubbed “Americana.” Robertson’s Indigenous heritage had a profound impact on his music, and he continued writing and exploring his heritage through music. He said he supported the American Indian College Fund because of its wide reach across Indian Country and ability to help Native communities through education.

“They’re [the American Indian College Fund] the best charity in Indian Country,” Robertson said in a 2007 press release after he teamed with Martin Guitars to create limited edition guitars modeled on his 1919 Martin (which he used to write the Band’s hit single “The Weight”) to benefit the College Fund.

Our thoughts go out to Mr. Robertson, his family, friends, and fans. We are grateful for his work that helped provide access to a higher education for Indigenous students.

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Jasmine Neosh (Menominee), University of Michigan law student, College of Menominee Nation alumna, and American Indian College Fund student ambassador says, “I vote so that the people who make the change that our communities need have the best possible partners in that fight. While real change often comes through the work of organizers and boots on the ground, the people that we elect can either be our allies or our opposition. Either way, having some say in that choice seems like our responsibility as future ancestors.”