Browsing: Indigenous

The awards ceremony of the Indigenous Music Awards is a celebration of First Nations creativity. It is also an important event in the larger program of the Manito Ahbee Festival of Winnipeg, which is named after a sacred site for all peoples in the west part of the Whiteshell area of Manitoba. In Ojibwe, Manito Ahbee means “the place where the Creator sits.” The name of Manitoba finds its origin in this special place. The Manito Ahbee Festival, whose 13th edition just ended, celebrates Indigenous arts, music and culture at large. It presents international powwows, a conference on international Indigenous…

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Now residing in Montreal, Inuit singer-songwriter, film director and activist Elisapie will release The Ballad of the Runway Girl at the end of summer. About 30 concerts are already planned in connection with this new album. Elisapie launches her cross-province tour in Lavaltrie and travels to Val-d’Or. Montreal welcomes her on Sept. 27. Elisapie’s fourth album was inspired by the life of Willie Thrasher, an Inuit singer. “Sent to a residential school in the south, deprived of his language and traditional lifestyle, Willie Thrasher did not have an easy life, but this fighter gave me force and influenced my work,”…

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Singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie is a trailblazer, the first Indigenous musician to come to prominence in Canada. Her first album, It’s My Way!, was released by Vanguard Records in 1964. Last November, Medicine Songs, her 19th album, was released to critical acclaim. It contains some new material, like You Got to Run (Spirit of the Wind), in which she is joined on vocals by well-known throat singer Tanya Tagaq. Almost all the other songs have new arrangements. Overall, Sainte-Marie continues to have a remarkable career, enriched (although commercially hindered at one point) by her educator/outreach work and activism on behalf of…

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Last April, First Nations musician, composer and activist Jeremy Dutcher released his first album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa. Bridging traditional music, pop and classical, it pays tribute to his beloved roots in the Wolastoqiyik reserve where he grew up. Can his style be described as Indigenous pop? “I prefer not to be labelled,” says the 27-year-old classically-trained tenor. “I’m more than an First Nation singer. I see myself as metamorphosing from pop to traditional music. A hybrid, if you like.” Dutcher is keen to point out that his pieces were written to be as accessible as possible to a young audience.…

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