Aboriginal Music Week 2016 Announces Full Festival Lineup and Performance Schedule


Aboriginal Music Manitoba have announced the full lineup and performance schedule for Aboriginal Music Week 2016. The eighth edition of the festival runs August 9-13 and includes performances by 27 Indigenous acts from across Turtle Island, South America, and Australia.

Aboriginal Music Manitoba continues to highlight incredible Indigenous music and performance at the 8th annual Aboriginal Music Week. This year, the festival expects more than 9,000 people to attend, which would make it AMW's biggest turnout to date.

Packed with block parties, concerts, networking events, youth workshops, picnics, and lunch hour shows, AMW continues to do what it does best: build community and support great music.

The week officially begins with a sweat lodge ceremony for visiting artists, local performers, and festival producers on August 8th, and AMW's public programming kicks off August 9th with the first of four free, lunch hour concerts at the Winnipeg Art Gallery's Rooftop Sculpture Garden.

The lunch hour concerts, presented by Digital Drum, will feature performances by Maliseet operatic singer Jeremy Dutcher, Pitjantjatjara singer/songwriter Frank Yamma, Metis neo-soul singer David Morin, and Cree hip hop emcee Eekwol.


JUNO Award-winning artists Boogat and Digging Roots are on board for performances at the Ka Ni Kanichihk Block Party presented by NCI FM on August 9th.

RPM will also be partnering with Aboriginal Music Week again this year. We will be presenting the Spence Neighbourhood Block Party on August 1oth, featuring performances by Digging Roots, Frank Yamma, Jeremy Dutcher, Boogey The Beat, and Rylee Sandberg.

Tracy Bone will headline the Turtle Island Block Party presented by Teekca's Aboriginal Boutique on August 11; Jade Turner, Ila Barker, and Ashley Robertson will anchor the AMW Stage presented by NOW Country at Austin Street Festival on August 12; and, country music legend Ray St. Germain will entertain audiences at the AMW Stage presented by TD at Picnic in the Park on August 13.

The evenings of August 10 and 11 will be dedicate to community building for the performers and MuchFACT and TD are sponsoring networking dinners to give the artists a chance to connect, build business relationships, and discuss the future of Aboriginal music. The Open Mic presented by MB Live on August 12, which is open to the public, will give the group a third opportunity to build rapport and extend their networks to include the local music community.

This year's festival looks to be another expression of #IndigenousExcellence and a highlight of an already packed summer of Indigenous music culture.

See you there!

AMW 2016

Aboriginal Music Week 2016 - Festival Schedule

AMW at Lunch presented by Digital Drum Jeremy Dutcher Winnipeg Art Gallery, Rooftop Sculpture Garden, 300 Memorial Boulevard Tuesday, August 9, 2016 12 p.m. -1 p.m. Free | All ages

Ka Ni Kanichihk Block Party presented by NCI FM Leonard Sumner, Boogat, Nikki Komaksiutiksak, Rhonda Head, Four Sacred Winds, and special guests Harriet Street, between McDermot Avenue and Bannatyne Avenue Tuesday, August 9, 2016 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. Free |  All ages Free BBQ, activity stations for kids, bring lawn chairs Community Partner: Ka Ni Kanichihk

AMW at Lunch presented by Digital Drum Frank Yamma Winnipeg Art Gallery, Rooftop Sculpture Garden, 300 Memorial Boulevard Wednesday, August 10, 2016 12 p.m. -1 p.m. Free | All ages

Spence Neighbourhood Block Party presented by RPM.FM Digging Roots, Frank Yamma, Jeremy Dutcher, Boogey The Beat, Rylee Sandberg Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre, 430 Langside Street Wednesday, August 10, 2016 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. Free |  All ages Free BBQ, activity stations for kids, bring lawn chairs Community Partner: Spence Neighbourhood Association

Networking Dinner presented by TD Wednesday, August 10, 2016 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. Performers and invited guests only RSVP Req'd

AMW at Lunch presented by Digital Drum David Morin Winnipeg Art Gallery, Rooftop Sculpture Garden, 300 Memorial Boulevard Thursday, August 11, 2016 12 p.m. -1 p.m. Free | All ages

Turtle Island Block Party presented by Teeka’s Aboriginal Boutique Tracy Bone, Eekwol, Double The Trouble, Mary Mahler, Loud Thunder Singers Turtle Island Community Centre, 445 King Street Thursday, August 11, 2016 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. Free |  All ages Free BBQ, activity stations for kids, bring lawn chairs Community Partner: Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre

Networking Dinner presented by MuchFACT Thursday, August 11, 2016 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. Performers and invited guests only RSVP Req'd

AMW at Lunch presented by Digital Drum Eekwol Winnipeg Art Gallery, Rooftop Sculpture Garden, 300 Memorial Boulevard Friday, August 12, 2016 12 p.m. -1 p.m. Free | All ages

AMW Stage presented by NOW Country at Austin Street Festival Jade Turner, Ila Barker, Ashley RobertsonDavid Morin, Tara WilliamsonKristi Lane Sinclair, Billy Simard, Buffalo Gals, special guests Austin Street, between Euclid Avenue and Selkirk Avenue Friday, August 12, 2016 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Free |  All ages Free BBQ, activity stations for kids, bring lawn chairs

Community Partner: North Point Douglas Women's Centre Open Mic presented by MB Live Hosted by MJ Dandeneau and friends Le Garage Café, 166 Provencher Boulevard Friday, August 12, 2016 9 p.m. - 1 a.m. $5 tickets | 18+ I.D. Req'd Email bhuson@belowthebasement.ca to sign up in advance Bring your own instruments Drum kit, keyboard, one guitar amp, and one bass amp on site

AMW Stage presented by TD at Picnic in the Park Ray St. Germain, Renee Lamoureux, Shanley Spence, Ivan Spence & Burntwood Band, Bob Chartrand, special guests St. John's Park, Main Street and Mountain Avenue Saturday, August 13, 2016 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free | All ages Free BBQ, activity stations for kids, bring lawn chairs Community Partner: North End Community Renewal Corporation

Visit aboriginalmusicweek.ca for more information about the festival and keep updated at RPM.fm for more AMW content in the coming weeks.

Retrospective cabaret celebrates the music and wit of award-winning storyteller Tomson Highway


Songs in the Key of Cree will showcase the musical achievements and unique wit of the multi-talented Cree playwright, author, storyteller and musician Tomson Highway.

A master pianist, composer and songwriter with a repertoire spanning three decades, Tomson Highway’s music takes inspiration from a wide range of styles, including country, Brazilian samba, jazz and French Canadian folk songs with influences of Cole Porter and Kurt Weill. In addition to his Order of Canada, the JUNO-nominated performer was named one of the 100 most important people in Canadian history by Maclean’s magazine.

And that's just a sampling of the accolades and experience Highway has collected in his life and work so far, while he has criss-crossed the world conducting lectures, readings and musical performances. It's no wonder the SPEAKeasy Collective has produced a night to celebrate him. Songs in the Key of Cree, a one-time musical tribute to Highway, will take the stage for two nights at Hugh's Room in Toronto, Ontario. The retrospective will include performances by Highway with musical director and pianist John Alcorn, saxophonist Marcus Ali, and performers Micah Barnes, Laura Hubert, Teresa Castonguay, Jani Lauzon and Patricia Cano.

Dates: Saturday, December 12 & Sunday, December 13th Show time: 8:30 PM Tickets: $22.50 Advance - $25.00 Door Hughsroom.com / 416.531.6604

We'll be there!


RPM co-presents Indigenous showcase series at Gardiner Museum with Sean Conway, Amanda Rheaume, Logan Staats, and Christa Couture


This month we are co-presenting two hot nights of Indigenous music at Toronto's Gardiner Museum! 

The concerts are part of the programming around the current Kent Monkman exhibit and we're thrilled to be part of the mix.

Kent Monkman’s site specific installation at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, Ontario, entitled The Rise and Fall of Civilization includes a nine-foot cliff structure, taxidermied bison, a statue of Monkman’s two-spirited, trickster alter ego, Miss Chief, and artistically it sits in direct contention with Picasso, primitivism, and modernism.

It's fantastic.

And in conjunction with this presentation, the Gardiner has a series of related programming including these two nights of Indigenous music that we were stoked to curate.

Friday November 7th, you'll see Irish-Ojibwe outlaw-country singer-songwriter Sean Conway and Métis folk/roots singer-songwriter Amanda Rheaume. Both artists will have their bands in tow and RPM's own Jarrett Martineau will host the night.

Friday November 13th, join us for intimate, solo performances by Six Nations bluesy, passionate artist Logan Staats and Cree folk/roots singer-songwriter Christa Couture.  

These concerts are free with half price admission into the Gardiner and start at 7pm both nights! Come early to explore Kent's work and the rest of what the museum has to offer. See you there, Toronto!

November 7th - details on gardinermuseum.on.ca, Facebook event November 13th - details on gardinermuseum.on.ca, Facebook event

Kent Monkman Programming postcard_Page_2



Aboriginal Music Week 2015: Full Schedule of Events


Aboriginal Music week is here! 35 acts from Turtle Island and beyond take to stages throughout Winnipeg.

Now in it's seventh year, Aboriginal Music Week continues to bring the hottest Indigenous talent together in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for five days of non-stop events. Check out the full schedule here and enjoy!

And don't forget to join us for our closing night party on Saturday, August 22nd. See below for details.


International Mentor Meetings begin Maisey Rika, Tama Waipara, Benny Walker August 18-22, 2015 | One hour mentor meetings available Free for festival performers and local artists Booking a meeting: Please email alan@ammb.ca to book a meeting

Aboriginal Music Week at Lunch presented by Digital Drum.ca (details) Air Canada Park, Portage Avenue & Carlton Street August 18, 2015 | 12pm Artists: Oogimah Ikwewok, Jacob Pratt Free | All Ages Supporting Partner: Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Click here for details

Aboriginal Music Week at Lunch presented by Digital Drum.ca (details Air Canada Park, Portage Avenue & Carlton Street August 19, 2015 | 12pm Artists: Logan Staats, Ila Barker Free | All Ages Supporting Partner: Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Click here for details

Spence Neighbourhood Block Party presented by Manitoba Public Insurance (details Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre, 430 Langside Street August 19, 2015 | 4pm-8pm Artists: Winston Wuttunee, Nikki Komaksiutiksak, Joe Maxim Band, Dustyn Cochrane, Kelly Fraser, Jacob Pratt BBQ, Community Crafters Free | All Ages Community Partner: Spence Neighbourhood Association Click here for details

Networking Dinner presented by The National Music Centre  Venue to be confirmed August 19, 2015 | 8pm-11pm Festival Pass holders only

Aboriginal Music Week at Lunch presented by Digital Drum.ca (details Air Canada Park, Portage Avenue & Carlton Street August 20, 2015 | 12pm Artists: Leanne Goose Free | All Ages Supporting Partner: Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Click here for details

The Turtle Island Block Party (details) Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre, 510 King Street August 20, 2015 | 12:30pm-5pm Artists: Billy Joe Green, Spirit Sands Singers, Junior Jiggers, Katie McKenzie, Chloe & Friends, and Michael, Jacob, & Cieanna Harris Community BBQ sponsored by Amiskusees: Semaganis-Worme Family Foundation BBQ, music workshops, activity stations Free | All Ages Community Partner: Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Inc. Click here for details

Networking Dinner presented by The National Music Centre  Venue to be confirmed August 20, 2015 | 7pm-10pm Festival Pass holders only

Aboriginal Music Week at Lunch presented by Digital Drum.ca (details Air Canada Park, Portage Avenue & Carlton Street August 21, 2015 | 12pm Artists: T-Rhyme, Exquisite Ghost Free | All Ages Supporting Partner: Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Click here for details

AMW Stage presented by Rhythm 104.7FM at Austin Street Festival (details) Austin Street, between Euclid Street & Selkirk Avenue August 21, 2015 | 1pm-6pm Artists: Ali Fontaine, Mariame, Black Rain, Mic Jordan, Jessica Bro-Z, Studio 393 Hip Hop Posses, Studio 393 B-Boy Crew, Turtle Island Dance Troupe BBQ, music workshops, activity stations Free | All Ages Community Partner: North Point Douglas Women's Centre Click here for details

Open Mic presented by NCI FM (details The Good Will, 625 Portage Avenue August 21, 2015 | 9pm-2am Artists: William Prince, Chuck Copenace $5 | 18+ I.D. Required Click here for details

AMW Stage presented by TD at Picnic in the Park (details) St. John’s Park, Mountain Avenue & Main Street August 22, 2015 | 12pm-5pm Artists: C-Weed Band, Leanne Goose, Clint Dutiaume w/ Norman Chief Memorial Dancers, Mic Jordan, Steven Leveque BBQ, music workshops, activity stations Free | All Ages Community Partner: Picnic in the Park organizing committee Click here for details

Closing Night Party presented by RPM.FM  The Good Will, 625 Portage Avenue August 22, 2015 | 9pm-2am Artists: Tall Paul, Mariame, Hellnback, T-Rhyme, Boogey The Beat Tickets $10 | 18+ I.D. Required Click here for details

DOWNLOAD: The Aboriginal Music Week Mixtape by Boogey the Beat


RPM and Aboriginal Music Week are joining forces for an epic closing night party this year. Check our exclusive AMW Mixtape to get a taste of what's to come. 

We enlisted the talent of rising Anishinaabe hip-hop producer and DJ Boogey the Beat to compile sounds from this year's AMW artists and it's the perfect soundtrack for #MixtapeMonday.

Bringing together hip-hop and R&B tracks from all of our closing night party performers including—HellnbackMariame, T-Rhyme, and Tall Paul—as well as the eclectic electronics of Exquisite Ghost, the rap stylings of Mic Jordan, a guest appearance by Lightning Cloud, and some of Boogey's own killer productions, this is a party rocking, beat-based excursion into the contemporary sounds of #IndigenousExcellence.

Let's go!

And don't forget to join us for the Aboriginal Music Week Closing Night Concert on Saturday, August 22nd at The Good Will in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Tickets and info here.



  1. Boogey The Beat - The Beginning
  2. Exquisite Ghost - Bringing Dawn
  3. Exquisite Ghost - Hands To The Sky
  4. Hellnback - B.T.B.B. Ft. Lightning Cloud
  5. Hellnback - Spaceship
  6. Mariame - Electric
  7. Mariame - Native Ft. Supaman
  8. Boogey The Beat - Sidestep
  9. Boogey The Beat - Uja (Tanya Tagaq Remix)
  10. Mic Jordan - It Feels Good
  11. Mic Jordan - Miigwetch (Thank You)
  12. T-Rhyme - Apollo Red
  13. T-Rhyme - Tha Truth
  14. Tall Paul - I Don't Need Glove
  15. Tall Paul - Orange Juice In My Cereal


Briggs, Thelma Plum, Dan Sultan Lead Nominations for 2015 National Indigenous Music Awards


Nominations for Australia's 2015 National Indigenous Music Awards have been announced. 

Leading the pack is acclaimed Yorta Yorta hip-hop artist Briggs who is nominated in five categories, including Artist of the Year, Best Song and Best Music Video (for "Bad Apples"), Best Album and Best Cover Art (for Sheplife). Briggs took home the award for Best New Talent at last year's NIMAs.

Following closely behind are singer Thelma Plum and "country soul rock 'n roll" artist Dan Sultan, who are each nominated for three awards.

Plum, who's latest EP, Monsters, was one of our favourite releases of last year, is nominated for Artist of the Year, and has two songs up for Song of the Year: "How Much Does Your Love Cost?" and the soaring anthem "Young in Love".

Sultan is also up for Artist of the Year, and his single "Dirty Ground" is nominated for Song of the Year and Best Music Video.

We're also pleased to see the NIMAs continue their Indigenous community focus by honouring several local musical initiatives produced by Desert Pea Media and Indigenous Hip Hop Projects in collaboration with local partners and Indigenous youth.

The National Indigenous Music Awards, which celebrate excellence in contemporary Indigenous music from across Australia, will be held in Darwin on July 25, 2015.

Here is the Full List of Nominees for the 2015 National Indigenous Music Awards:

Artist of the Year

  • Jessica Mauboy
  • Thelma Plum
  • Dan Sultan
  • Briggs

Song of the Year

  • "How Much Does Your Love Cost?" – Thelma Plum
  • "Young In Love" – Thelma Plum
  • "Bad Apples" – Briggs
  • "Dirty Ground" – Dan Sultan
  • "Black Woman" – Emma Donovan

Album of the Year

  • Sheplife – Briggs
  • Dawn – Emma Donovan and Putbacks
  • Uncle – Frank Yamma
  • The Genesis Project – East Journey featuring Yothu Yindi National

New Talent of the Year

  • Philly
  • Lucky Luke
  • Tjintu Desert Band

Cover Art of the Year

  • Song of Arnhem Land – East Journey ft Yothu Yindi
  • Cause N Affect – Radical Son
  • Uncle – Frank Yamma
  • Sheplife – Briggs

Film Clip of the Year (aka Best Music Video)

  • "Bad Apples" – Briggs
  • "Song of Arnhem Land (Salas/Moore Mix)" – East Journey
  • "Human Behaviour" – Radical Son
  • "Dirty Ground" – Dan Sultan
  • "Parlingarri" – B2M (Bathurst to Melville)

Community Clip of the Year [now National]

  • Breathe In, Breathe Out  - Produced By: Indigenous Hip Hop Projects was proud to partner with Katherine West Health Board and Bulla Camp
  • Got a lot Going On - Yarn Safe Produced By: Indigenous Hip Hop Projects and Indigenous creative agency Gilimbaa
  • Uncle Alfred’s Mens Group - Spear of Destiny Produced By: Desert Pea Media
  • Cairns Murri Crew - Built To Last Produced By: Desert Pea Media
  • Tagai Buway - Two Worlds Produced By: Desert Pea Media
  • Call On Me - Produced by: Indigenous Hip Hop Projects was proud to partner with Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service and St. Mary's College



For more information visit: National Indigenous Music Awards

Aboriginal Music Week Closing Night Concert to Feature Drezus, Mariame, Hellnback, T-Rhyme, and Boogey the Beat


RPM is proud to present an incredible night of Indigenous hip-hop, R&B, and trap music to conclude Aboriginal Music Week 2015.

The closing night of Aboriginal Music Week is the very definition of #IndigenousExcellence.

This year, RPM is partnering with AMW to bring you a concert featuring some of Indian Country's fastest rising hip-hop stars: Drezus, Mariame, Hellnback, T-Rhyme, and Boogey the Beat.

An accomplished young producer with a gift for booming beats and hypnotic melodies, Anishinaabe artist Boogey the Beat will bless us with his trap-infused rhythms. N'we Jinan artist and rising Cree R&B singer, Mariame, will be joining us from Quebec to perform songs from her recently released debut EP, Bloom. And, hailing from Saskatoon by way of Edmonton, self-described femcee T-Rhyme will bring her 'ATCQ to Jean Grae'-influenced hip-hop styles to the stage.

Rounding out this already incredible lineup, acclaimed Samson Cree hip-hop heavyweight and 2015 Indigenous Music Awards nominee, Hellnback, will give shine to tracks from his brand new record, F.O.E. (#FamilyOverEverything).

UPDATE: Tall Paul won't be able to make it, but hot off his recent Warpath Tour, we've got Cree hip-hop artist Drezus coming through to rep for the people and give us a dose of his banging beats and Native Pride-filled lyrics.

This is a closing party without compare and a showcase of what's next in native hip-hop and Indigenous music. You don't want to miss it.

Aboriginal Music Week, an annual celebration of "the fact that Indigenous artists around the world are creating music that crosses almost all musical and physical borders, without regret", runs from August 18-22, 2015 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

With a full lineup of Indigenous music events including the Spence Neighbourhood Block Party, the Turtle Island Block Party, an AMW stage at the Austin Street Festival, and a daytime stage at Picnic in the Park, this year's AWM is going to have something for every listener and music fan.


Saturday, August 22, 2015 The Good Will (625 Portage Ave) Winnipeg, Manitoba 9pm - 2am / Tickets: $10 RSVP on Facebook: here


  • Drezus
  • Mariame
  • Hellnback
  • T-Rhyme
  • Boogey The Beat


For more information visit: aboriginalmusicweek.ca

11 Ways to Spend the Summer Solstice and National Aboriginal Day


June 21st is National Aboriginal Day in Canada. What will you be doing to celebrate?

Although we're not totally sold on the idea of the federal government designating one day a year to celebrate Indigenous culture, at least it's an opportunity to check out some amazing performances by Indigenous artists.

And, as June 21st also marks the summer solstice, there are more than enough reasons to get out of the house and show your love for all things NDN, First Nations, Aboriginal, Native, Métis, Inuit, and Indigenous.

There are many different events being planned across the country (here, here, and here, for example), so we were hard pressed to narrow things down.

But here are eleven decidedly great ways to spend the solstice and National Aboriginal Day this year.

11. Learn about Métis culture at the National Aboriginal Day Celebration at Métis Crossing

Metis Crossing

The Métis Nation of Alberta and their affiliate organization, Métis Crossing, will be hosting a celebration for National Aboriginal Day on June 21st. Located at the Métis Crossing Historic Site (south of Smokey Lake, Alberta), between 11:00 AM and 6:00 PM, the day's events will include an open stage jam, cultural interpretation, a genealogy exhibit, games, on-site concession, and an elder’s lounge. For more info click here.

10. See Kinnie Starr, Cris Derksen, and Binaeshee-Quae perform at the Luminato Festival in Toronto

Kinnie Starr

Acclaimed Mohawk singer-songwriter and hip-hop artist Kinnie Starr, Métis cellist and experimenter Cris Derksen, and jazzy alterna-folk artist Binaeshee-Quae will perform on June 20th and 21st respectively, as part of the Luminato Festival's New Canadian Music Series which runs daily at the Festival Garden Stage in Toronto. For more info, check out: https://luminatofestival.com/festival/2015/new-canadian-music-series

9. Watch Kaha:wi Dance Theatre at the Aboriginal Cultural Festival and Competition Powwow in Ottawa

Kaha:wi Dance

Led by founding Artistic Director Tekaronhiáhkhwa Santee Smith, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (pronounced Ga-Ha-Wee) is an artist-based dance company known for their energetic and innovative performances that blend traditional and contemporary styles. KDT will be performing as part of Ottawa's Summer Solstice events at Vincent Massey Park. On Saturday, June 20th at 1pm, KDT will perform the piece Medicine Bear, which weaves a magical narrative of traditional Iroquoian stories: how the Bear Clan came to be known as the “Keeper of the Medicines” and the hunter who discovered the gift of healing. Plus, don't forget about the full traditional powwow going on all weekend too. For more info, visit: http://www.ottawasummersolstice.ca/

8. Bring your family for a pancake breakfast at Trout Lake on Coast Salish Territories in Vancouver


The Annual National Aboriginal Day Celebration on Coast Salish Territories will once again be held at Trout Lake on Sunday, June 21st. It’s a community-based full day of events that celebrates the diversity of Indigenous Peoples from across Canada. First Nations, Métis & Inuit peoples gather to share their experiences, stories, songs, traditional games, dances & spirit with each other & the general community. All events are FREE, all Aboriginal community members & supporters are welcome; and it's a family-friendly event, with no alcohol or drugs permitted. There's a full day of activities, but get there early before the pancakes run out! For more information visit: http://www.vafcs.org/events/aboriginalday/

7. Start implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recommendations in Halifax


Celebrate National Aboriginal Day with justice in Halifax: by joining other like-minded people to support the Mi'kmaq Nation in Nova Scotia, and taking up national calls by Indigenous and allied organizers to implement the 94 recommendations put forth by Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The work of reconciliation belongs to all of us, and Halifax organizers are taking the lead. But no matter where you live, why not start learning more about how you can bring more truth and more justice into this colonial world of ours. Here's more information on how Nova Scotian organizers are gathering and getting started for NAD: http://solidarityhalifax.ca/2015/06/statement-celebrate-national-aboriginal-day-with-justice/

6. Catch Leonard Sumner at the Indigenous Arts Festival in Fort York


Anishinaabe MC/singer/songwriter Leonard Sumner will be one of many performers taking part in the Indigenous Arts Festival at Fort York in Toronto. Fusing elements of hip-hop, country, and rhythm & blues, his music appeal cuts across age lines, allowing his style to be enjoyed by people who typically 'aren't into rap'. Sumner will be rocking the festival mainstage on Saturday, June 20th at 5:30pm. For more information, click here.

5. Join the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations for the Aboriginal Cultural Festival in Victoria

Le-La-La Dancers

Featuring three days of performances on an outdoor stage in the plaza at the Royal BC Museum in the heart of downtown Victoria, BC, the Aboriginal Cultural Festival will run from June 19-21, 2015. Each day will be dedicated to a coastal nation: there's a Coast Salish Nation Day, a Nuu-Chah-Nulth Nation Day, and a Kwakwaka'wakw Nation Day. All weekend the festival will open with performances from the two local Host Nations and follow with shows from Aboriginal performers from across the province as well as a show from 3-time World Hoop Dancing Champion Alex Wells. Full schedule and info at: https://www.aboriginalbc.com/victoria-aboriginal-festival/

4. Go see Ghostkeeper, Derek Miller, and Crystal Shawanda in Edmonton


Second in size only to Winnipeg's #ADL2015 celebration, Edmonton will be putting on a full day's worth of events on June 21st, culminating in a mainstage show that will feature some incredible Indigenous performers—including the idiosyncratic experimentalism of Ghostkeeper, the full-blown, blues rock of Derek Miller, and the powerful contemporary country sounds of Crystal Shawanda. Definitely worth checking out. For more about Edmonton's 9th annual Aboriginal Day celebration, click here.

3. Rock out with Don Amero, Brett Kissel, and Lightning Cloud in Winnipeg


With his new album, Unrefined, recently released to the world, Don Amero is taking to the Aboriginal Day Live mainstage alongside his buddy Brett Kissel, and Los Angeles-based hip-hop duo Lightning Cloud, to rock The Forks in Winnipeg. Look out for a special rendition of a new song that Amero and Kissel wrote a few months back, called "Rebuild This Town". Oh, and RedCloud will be incorporating crowdsourced words and ideas into his freestyles during Lightning Cloud's set. You don't want to miss 'em. For more on #ADL2015 in Winnipeg, check out: http://www.aboriginaldaylive.ca/winnipeg/winnipeg-live-concert/

2. Get your Electric Pow Wow on with A Tribe Called Red in Vancouver


You may have seen ATCR before, but not like this. A Tribe Called Red will be bringing the electric pow-wow out of the nightclubs and into the park—Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park to be precise—for a massive, outdoor Indigenous throwdown on Saturday, June 20th. This one isn't free, but it's definitely worth the price of admission. The Tribe will rock the spot alongside Blondtron & Waspy, the amazing Git Hayetsk Dancers, and local DJ crew Klash Akt. Get down to the bass-heavy sounds of DJ NDN, Bear Witness, and 2oolman rocking a stage surrounded by the sunset, sea, and ancient cedars. An Aboriginal Day meets summer solstice taste of Indigenous dance music perfection? Sounds like it to us. More info and tickets available here: http://malkinbowl.com/a-tribe-called-red/

1. Celebrate the Midnight Sun in Inuvik, NWT


In Canada's Northwest Territories—the only place in the country where National Aboriginal Day is a statutory holiday—you can experience a summer solstice that lasts well into the night. Join other northerners in Inuvik, NWT on June 21st for a day of events celebrating the local Gwich'in, Inuvialuit and Métis people and cultures. From traditional drumming, dancing, and foods, to a Midnight Sun Run in celebration of the summer solstice's warm temperatures, experience what it's like to be out in the sunlit streets long after midnight, above the Arctic Circle. And that photo above? That was taken at 1:30am in late May. Learn more about NAD celebrations in the NWT here: https://www.facebook.com/Inuvik.NWT.Canada


Aboriginal Music Week Announces Lineup for 2015 Spence Neighbourhood Block Party


The 2015 Aboriginal Music Week is shaping up to be quite the celebration. 

This year, AMW and the Spence Neighbourhood Association are joining forces once again for the 3rd annual Spence Neighbourhood Block Party.

The free outdoor concert will be held from 4pm-8pm on Wednesday, August 19th at the Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The lineup will feature some true #IndigenousExcellence from across Indian Country including singer Winston Wuttunee, Inuk throat singer Nikki Komaksiutiksak, and country/rock group Joe Maxim Band. In addition, three youth performers will also be announced in the coming weeks.

Here's more on the Spence Block Party performers:

  • Winston Wuttunee is a household name in the Canadian music industry who has wowed audiences across North America as well as Europe and Australia as a singer, keynote speaker, and comedian since 1973.
  • Nikki Komaksiutiksak is traditional Inuit throat singer from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut who now calls Winnipeg home.
  • Joe Maxim Band is an Aboriginal country/rock band with well over 10,000 of performance experience under their belt.

Aboriginal Music Week produces concerts in neighbourhoods throughout the city in an effort to make it easier for families to walk to the venues, but music lovers from outside the neighbourhood are more than welcome to attend.

Spence Neighbourhood Block Party Winston Wuttunee, Nikki Komaksiutiksak, Joe Maxim Band, and special guests Wednesday, August 19, 2015 4PM - 8PM Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre, 430 Langside Street Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Free Concert | Free BBQ | Free Music Workshops

Aboriginal Music Week 2015 is set for August 18 - 22 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It will include four community celebrations at the Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre, the Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre, the Austin Street Festival, and St. John's Park. Four lunch hour concerts, three days of music workshops, two ticketed concerts, two networking dinners, and mentor meetings with three international artists round out the festival programming this year.

For more information visit: aboriginalmusicweek.ca

Stryk-9 Channels Ancestral Power in New Single and Video, "In The Spirit"


Stryk-9 represents for the people on new single and video, "In The Spirit".

Hochunk-Northern Cheyenne hip-hop artist Kunu Dittmer—aka Stryk-9—has been at the game for years, building and creating throughout the Northwest with his Indigenous crew, the Burial Ground Sound Collective.

Stryk-9's new single, "In The Spirit", is a heartfelt portrait of empowerment and Indigenous struggle that comes drumming through your speakers with the spirit of Crazy Horse. Opening with a throwback soul sample that flips a traditional hand drum song and vocal over a head-knocking hip-hop beat, Stryk-9 spits raw verses about bringing his creativity into action for clan, fam, and all relations.

But as he asks in the track's closing lines, what can we do in the face of "world wars and global warming", when we're "living the story of creation / the destruction of the system that's corrupting the spirit of women and men / is it the beginning or the end?"

Politically charged, but decidedly personal in its ambition to bring truth to the light for the benefit of all Indigenous Peoples, this is a revolutionary warrior's anthem for the conscious, proud, and free.

Catch Stryk-9 and the Burial Ground Sound Collective, alongside Almas Fronterizas and Katrina Benally (Diné), at "Uprising at the Abbey"—an all ages, hip-hop showcase organized as part of the One Flaming Arrow Festival's closing night—Sunday, June 14 in Portland, Oregon. Full event info here.

DOWNLOAD: Stryk-9's - "In The Spirit"

Watch Stryk-9's "In The Spirit"

Raven Chacon, Laura Ortman, and the Discotays Perform at One Flaming Arrow Festival


The One Flaming Arrow Festival of Indigenous art, music, and performance blazes on.

Kicking off last week in Portland, Oregon, the inaugural One Flaming Arrow Festival is bringing an incredible array of contemporary Indigenous art, music, readings, film screenings, panels, performances, and concerts to the Indigenous lands of the Chinook/Multnomah peoples.

The brainchild of Demian DinéYazhi, Kaila Farrell-Smith (both of R.I.S.E.), and Carlee Smith, One Flaming Arrow launched a successful crowdfunding campaign this winter to bring together radical Indigenous voices from across Native america for a 12-day celebration of contemporary Indigenous arts.

The festival features a stellar lineup that includes:

  • Bat Vomit
  • Natalie Ball
  • Dylan Miner
  • Melanie Fey
  • Sky Hopinka
  • Shilo George
  • Jeff Ferguson
  • Laura Ortman
  • The Discotays
  • Brittany Britton
  • Raven Chacon
  • Katrina Benally
  • Amanda Ranth
  • Miranda Crystal
  • Almas Fronterizas
  • "Drunktown's Finest"
  • Burial Ground Sound
  • Grace Rosario Perkins w/Amberlee Cotchay
  • Melissa Bennett w/Elizabeth LaPensée & Allie Vasquez

In between the low-rider bike workshops, storytelling sessions, art installations, poetry performances, and an Indigenous Futurisms film night curated by Grace Dillon, the festival is also showcasing some of the finest in Indigenous music culture.

On Tuesday, June 9th, Diné experimental/noise musician Raven Chacon (of Postcommodity), White Mountain Apache violinist Laura Ortman, and the Diné electro-queerpostpunk duo Discotays will throw down at the Holocene. Event info is below.

The One Flaming Arrow Festival continues through June 14th. Check the festival program for the full schedule of events.

One Flaming Arrow offers stark and powerful evidence of the Indigenous artists at the forefront of the contemporary creative arts. May this year be the first of many to come.

Listen to an OPB radio interview on the One Flaming Arrow Festival


JUNE 9th: Laura Ortman & Raven Chacon Performance and the Discotays at the Holocene!

9:30pm-11:30pm Holocene: 1001 SE Morrison, Portland 97214 Join us on June 9th, 2015 at the Holocene in Portland, Oregon for Raven Chacon & Laura Ortman + Discotays. We have the honor of showcasing two award-winning multi-instrumentalists, Indigenous composers Raven Chacon & Laura Ortman along with the musical styling of Discotrays.

Tickets available here

DISCOTAYS (Diné) are a music duo from Navajo Nation, comprised of artists Hansen Ashley & Brad Charles. Their music has been adored by the likes of Kathleen Hanna and can be described as post-punk electro & queerpostpunk / queerpostsurf / queernowave.

Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) has performed with Stars Like Fleas, the Dust Dive & Silver Summit, & composes music for art installations & films in the form of the Dust Dive Flash. She plays violin, Apache violin, piano, electric guitar, musical saw & samplers. Ortman has created music for films by Martha Colburn & Indigenous filmmakers Blackhorse Lowe, Alan Michelson, & Raquel Chapa, among others.

Raven Chacon (Diné/Chicano) is a chamber music composer & experimental noise artist. Chacon is a member of the Indigenous art collective, Postcommodity, with whom he has developed multi-media installations that have been exhibited internationally. Both his solo work & his work with Postcommodity has been presented at the Sydney Bienale, Kennedy Center, Adelaide International, Vancouver Art Gallery, Musée d’ art Contemporain de Montréal, The San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Chaco Canyon, & Performance Today. Tickets are $8 in advance & $10 at the door. 21 and over.

Watch Raven Chacon, Live at End Tymes in New York City

Check Out This Guide to 2015 Pow Wow Season Events Happening Across Indian Country


It's pow wow season once again—here's your guide to 2015 Pow Wows happening across Turtle Island.

It's almost summertime and you know what that means: it's time to hit the pow wow trail and enjoy visiting, dancing, drumming, and celebrating your way across Indian Country.

Our friends over at Windspeaker have put together a poster-sized calendar of upcoming pow wows for you to choose from. And, of course, PowWows.com continues to hold it down with their real-time, and recently updated calendar of events. RezX Magazine is also getting in on the action, with their own digital 2015 Pow Wow Guide.

The largest pow wow on Turtle Island, Gathering of Nations, may have already happened—but the rest of Indian Country is just getting warmed up.

No matter where you live, there's sure to be a pow wow nearby, so get that regalia ready, throw some gas in the truck, and we'll see you out there. Hoka!

Check the calendar below for an event near you.

2015 POW WOW CALENDAR OF EVENTS (click the image below to enlarge)

2015 Pow Wow Events Calendar

Watch the 2015 Gathering of Nations Pow Wow Grand Entry