Published Feb 21, 2013John K. Samson's 2012 solo album, Provincial, included a track called "www.ipetitions.com/petition/rivertonrifle/," which lobbied the Hockey Hall of Fame to induct First Nations Manitoba NHL star Reggie "The Riverton Rifle" Leach into its ranks. This weekend, Samson will be putting his money where his mouth is by showing up at the hall in Toronto to make his case in person.
Samson has been collecting signatures for the cause at the titular URL of "www.ipetitions.com/petition/rivertonrifle/." To date, he's amassed over 2,600 supporters — an impressive number, but just over half of his original 5,000 signature goal. His official 30-page submission to the hall also includes letters of support from various writers and journalists, plus statistical analysis of Leach's career.
In Samson's letter to the Hockey Hall of Fame, he explains, "A member of the Berens River First Nation, Reggie Joseph Leach was born in 1950 in Riverton, Manitoba. While facing the injustices of racism and poverty, and playing on borrowed skates for much of his childhood, Leach's terrific speed and honed shooting skills earned him the nickname 'The Riverton Rifle.' He went on to become one of the most gifted and exciting hockey players of his generation."
Not only will Samson be handing over a formal submission to the Hockey Hall of Fame, he will perform the song at 2 p.m. local time on Saturday (February 23) on the corner of Yonge and Front Street, just outside of the museum. He will be joined by what a press release calls "a small choir of comrades," and all are welcome to come join the singalong.
Listen to the song below and find out more about the petition here.