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

STREAM: Native North America, Revolutionary Recordings by Indigenous Artists from 1966-1985


Light in the Attic Records is preparing to release the "most ambitious and historically significant project" in the label's history: Native North America—a 34-track compilation of music from the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island, recorded between 1966 and 1985.

Native North America is a project that has been more than a decade in the making.

DJ and record collector Kevin "Sipreano" Howes spent 12 years researching, compiling music, travelling, and interviewing Indigenous artists for inclusion on the album, and the results are righteous, revolutionary and historically unprecedented.

Native North America (Vol. 1) features music from the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the northern United States, recorded in the turbulent decades between 1966 to 1985. It represents the fusion of shifting global popular culture and a reawakening of Aboriginal spirituality and expression...You’ll hear Arctic garage rock from the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, melancholy Yup’ik folk from Alaska, and hushed country blues from the Wagmatcook First Nation reserve in Nova Scotia. You’ll hear echoes of Neil Young, Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Cash, and more among the songs, but injected with Native consciousness, storytelling, poetry, history, and ceremony.

Indigenous music, like Indigenous Peoples more generally, occupies both a historical and present blind spot in settler society's consciousness.

But far from being mythic, imaginary figures of some forgotten colonial past, Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985 documents the deep currents of creativity that have been continuously at work throughout Turtle Island and the wide-ranging influences and styles of Indigenous musicians.

Notably, many of these songs haven't been heard outside of local communities since they were first recorded. Howes explains:

“All 34 songs blow my mind in one way or another. They were often made for folks in their regional communities, but like musicians the world over, most were hoping that their songs would be able to reach as many people as possible. [But] much of this music wasn’t heard outside of the greater Aboriginal music community at the time of release…[although] this music was very much embraced on the reserves and in regional communities across the country, as well as gaining some traction in coffeehouses, dance halls, and the folk festival circuit.”

The album reflects a diverse musical and cultural geography: gathering music from Indigenous Peoples across Canada, north to Alaska, and covering everything from folk and psychedelia, to country soul and garage rock.

"When I first heard the original recordings featured on NNA V1"Howes explained to The Stranger, "I had to learn more about these records, how they were made and by who. These artists should take their righteous place in our collective cultural history."

Indigenous musicians, who are rarely recognized (let alone celebrated) for their artistry and collective contribution to the evolution of recorded music, deserve to take up this rightful place—and Native North America captures the continued currents of Indigenous "consciousness, storytelling, poetry, history, and ceremony" that have been encoded in song.

This music is as much about our collective past as it is our collective present: and, to paraphrase Vine Deloria, we need to hear where we have been before we see where we should go, we need to know how to get there, and we need to have a good soundtrack for our journey.


Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985 — FULL TRACK LIST:

1. Willie Dunn – "I Pity the Country" 2. John Angaiak – "I'll Rock You to the Rhythm of the Ocean" 3. Sugluk – "Fall Away" 4. Sikumiut – "Sikumiut" 5. Willie Thrasher – "Spirit Child" 6. Willy Mitchell – "Call of the Moose" 7. Lloyd Cheechoo – "James Bay" 8. Alexis Utatnaq – "Maqaivvigivalauqtavut" 9. Brian Davey – "Dreams of Ways" 10. Morley Loon – "N'Doheeno" 11. Peter Frank – "Little Feather" 12. Ernest Monias – "Tormented Soul" 13. Eric Landry – "Out of the Blue" 14. David Campbell – "Sky-Man and the Moon" 15. Willie Dunn – "Son of the Sun" 16. Shingoose (poetry by Duke Redbird) – "Silver River" 17. Willy Mitchell and Desert River Band – "Kill'n Your Mind" 18. Philippe McKenzie – "Mistashipu" 19. Willie Thrasher – "Old Man Carver" 20. Lloyd Cheechoo – "Winds of Change" 21. The Chieftones (Canada’s All Indian Band) – "I Shouldn't Have Did What I Done" 22. Sugluk – "I Didn't Know" 23. Lawrence Martin – "I Got My Music" 24. Gordon Dick – "Siwash Rock" 25. Willy Mitchell and Desert River Band – "Birchbark Letter" 26. William Tagoona – "Anaanaga" 27. Leland Bell – "Messenger" 28. Saddle Lake Drifting Cowboys – "Modern Rock" 29. Willie Thrasher – "We Got to Take You Higher" 30. Sikumiut – "Utirumavunga" 31. Sugluk – "Ajuinnarasuarsunga" 32. John Angaiak – "Hey, Hey, Hey, Brother" 33. Groupe Folklorique Montagnais – "Tshekuan Mak Tshetutamak" 34. Willie Dunn (featuring Jerry Saddleback) – "Peruvian Dream (Part 2)"


Native North America is currently available for pre-order and will be released November 25, 2014.

Listen to The Outer Reaches Mixtape: Inside the Sounds of Tanya Tagaq


How much do you know about Tanya Tagaq's music? To celebrate #MixtapeMonday, we take you inside the epic and artful career of the acclaimed Inuk artist with The Outer Reaches—an exclusive compilation that explores her ever-evolving auditory experiments and creative collaborations.  

If it wasn't already eminently clear, Tanya Tagaq is at the visceral vanguard of the Indigenous music renaissance.

Reactions to Tagaq’s win of the 2014 Polaris Prize have been overwhelmingly positive and celebratory. Over at Maclean’s, where Michael Barclay celebrates the “wonderfully weird” nature of the Polaris Prize, he argues that Tagaq is heavier than most metal bands:

Tagaq is not for the faint of heart. Tagaq creates great beauty and great destruction all at once, one woman embodying our relationship with the natural world. Of course, this all sounds ridiculous on paper (or pixels). Until you actually experience what it is she does.

We decided to celebrate Tagaq’s groundbreaking win with a retrospective mixtape exploring her work with many artistic collaborators, so that our readers can experience the outer reaches and incredible breadth of Tagaq’s musical universe.

The mixtape begins with a track from the first recording in her discography, the 2003 Iluani release Erren, which features Ugarte Anaiak and Ganesh Anandan on percussion, and the late, great Canadian fiddler Oliver Schroer. Collaborating with string players is an ongoing theme in Tagaq’s catalogue and, in this mix, we also hear from her current bandmate and producer, violinist Jesse Zubot, and her past bandmate (and RPM regular), cellist Cris Derksen.

Longtime Tagaq collaborator, Vancouver-based DJ and producer Michael Red, who often cross-pollinates electronic productions with Indigenous artists, drops a dub remix of Digging Roots’  Rebel, from their 2006 debut release Seeds, which Red re-released in support of Idle No More.

Joining Tagaq on stage at the Polaris Prize gala were bandmate, drummer, and producer Jean Martin, and The Element Choir directed by Christine Duncan. We hear an early release from the Jean Martin Trio’s 1999 recording Get Together Weather, and an excerpt from The Element Choir’s debut 2009 release At Rosedale United.

As evidenced in her incredible live performances, vocal experimentation is a central theme running through all of Tagaq’s work and in her work with artistic peers. She joined legendary and iconoclastic rock singer Mike Patton on “Fire ~ Ikuma” from her 2008 sophomore release AUK/BLOOD.

No Tagaq mixtape would be complete without hearing from the incomparable Björk, who helped launch Tagaq’s career on the world stage. Tagaq’s unique brand of throat singing can be heard throughout the opening track of Björk’s 2004 release Medúlla, “Pleasure is all Mine".

We conclude the mixtape with the closing track of Animism, “Fracking.” Social advocacy is a strong current throughout Tagaq’s work, which she openly addressed on stage at the Polaris gala, by projecting the names of missing and murdered Indigenous women, defending the traditional and sustainable Inuit seal hunt, and in this haunting track, embodying the environmental devastation caused by fracking. There is no separation in her music between aesthetics, politics, cultural practice, and raw experimentation.

As she has said, "what we're making right now is going to be the new tradition".

So open your senses, release your spirit, listen close, and dive deep into this expansive acoustic world.

The Outer Reaches: Tanya Tagaq Mixtape - 


1. Iluani - "Half Way Up the Mountain" (Erren, 2003) 2. Jesse Zubot - "Sundowning Part 2" (Dementia, 2006) 3. Björk - "Pleasure is all Mine" (Medulla, 2004) 4. Digging Roots - Rebel - Mred remix version (Michael Red, 2008) 5. Tagaq - Surge (Sinaa, 2005) 6. Cris Derksen - Dark Dance (The Collapse, 2013) 7. Tagaq - Fire ~ Ikuma (feat. Mike Patton, AUK/BLOOD, 2008) 8. Jean Martin Trio - Get Together Weather (Get Together Weather, 1999) 9. The Element Choir - Cloud Hands (excerpt, fr. The Element Choir at Rosedale United, 2009) 10. Tagaq - Fracking (Animism, 2014)

Tanya Tagaq Wins Polaris Prize 2014, Watch Her Live Performance Dedicated to MMIW


Groundbreaking, devastatingly incredible Inuk artist, Tanya Tagaq, beat out high profile artists like the Arcade Fire, Drake, Chromeo and a long list of others, to win the 2014 Polaris Music Prize for her album, Animism.

She will receive the $30,000 prize and, in her acceptance speech, Tagaq encouraged everyone "to wear and eat seal as much as possible" adding "fuck PETA":

"People should wear and eat seal as much as possible because if you can imagine an indigenous culture thriving and surviving on sustainable resource, wearing seal and eating it, it’s delicious and there’s lots of them.

Her performance included a dedication to missing and murdered Indigenous women, with scrolling projections of the names of #MMIW displayed behind her as she sang, accompanied by an intricate polyvocal choral arrangement.

Hailed for her "jaw-droppingly powerful and astoundingly strange" performance, Tagaq brought the crowd to its feet and proved, definitively, that the Indigenous music renaissance is just getting started.

Watch Tagaq's astonishing live performance of "Uja" and "Umingmak", starting at 3:22:09 below:


STREAM: Tanya Tagaq - "Uja"


The first track from Tanya Tagaq's upcoming release has been unveiled! Her unearthly voice will get into your bones though the beats of Uja. 

Tanya Tagaq's newest album, Animism, is set for release on May 27th on the ever fantastic Six Shooter Records. This new track is the first to be shared with the world and we're stoked to hear the new work.

A few select launch dates have also been announced - mark your calendars if you're in the lucky cities below and otherwise hit play, again and again.

STREAM: Tanya Tagaq - "Uja"


Tanya Tagaq Remixes 'Nanook of the North'


Acclaimed Inuk throat singer, Tanya Tagaq, is currently touring a performance that reclaims and re-imagines the deeply stereotypical 1922 silent film, Nanook of the North, with a new score and live musical accompaniment.

Begun as a commission for the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, Tagaq is currently performing a remixed version of the piece in festivals and concert halls across Turtle Island that channels her frustrations against stereotypes and takes that energy to transform it sonically in order to "reclaim the film".

As the PuSH Festival describes it: "In this concert for film she fuses her voice and musical talents to create a mesmerizing, original soundscape for Nanook of the North, perhaps the most famous (and perhaps most infamous) film ever made about indigenous people. Tagaq’s haunting throat singing combines with Jesse Zubot and Jean Martin’s improvisatory genius and Derek Charke’s original film score to frame film pioneer Robert Flaherty’s 1922 semi-documentary in a new, contemporary light.

Experimenting with and honing her personal style in Inuit throat singing since she was a teenager in Nunavut, innovative vocalist Tanya Tagaq can capture the most ethereal moments of desire, or find the deepest, huskiest, beating pulse, with her voice and breath. She creates soundscapes from inhalation and exhalation, summoning powerful emotion from the smallest movement of lips, throat and lungs."

Here's an excerpt of Tagaq's recent chat with Holly Gordon for CBC Aboriginal:

You were commissioned to do this project for TIFF in 2012. Are you pushing it forward now with this iteration?

It’s the same thing but it’s also different every time because of improvising with my band. We have a beautiful backing track composed by Derek Charke, and he is a brilliant composer and I was really lucky to be able to work with him. And how we did that was, I watched the film four times, and responded vocally and composed my own melodies and stuff like that to the film. And then sent that all off to Derek and he took that and put field recordings over it from Nunavut. And he processed my voice and it’s just a really nice kind of bed that we get to, like a sonic bed we get to lay on while we’re improvising on top of it. It’s fun.

You said you thought the movie was perfect to work with. How so?

There are moments in the movie where … my ancestors, they’re so amazing. They lived on the land and I just still can’t believe that. Growing up in Nunavut and just the harshness of the environment itself, the ability for people to be able to survive with no vegetation, and just the harshest of environments, it’s just incredible to me. I’m very proud of my ancestors.

So that’s one facet of it, but I’m a natural presenter, like I went to arts school, so I watched it and I was just like, "They put a bunch of bullshit happy Eskimo stereotypes," you know what I mean?

So I can respond to that as well, with finding some hardcore punk, kind of that feel, kind of put that sound all over it to make it clear. It’s really nice because I can take my frustrations of stereotypes all over the world and take that energy and put it in sonically. I reclaim the film. Even though I have no doubt in my mind that Robert Flaherty had a definite love for Inuit and the land, it’s through 1922 goggles. It’s just nice to be a modern woman, well modern Inuk woman, taking it back.

You said you first saw the film when you were a kid, was that through school?

I think so, yeah.

Do you remember anything about how you felt when you saw it that first time?

I remember being really, really embarrassed and annoyed when he was biting on the record [there's a scene where Nanook laughs at a phonograph and bites on a record, as if he's never seen one before]. And there were a couple of scenes like that where I’m embarrassed and annoyed. Like I said, that’s why it’s great to sing over it.

I read that the record-biting scene was fake, too.

Yeah, like, “Look at these savage people that have no idea what this is, oh isn’t that funny, they don’t know.” And it’s like yeah, why don’t we take someone living in England and put them on the land and laugh at them for dying in the cold? “Oh, he’s being eaten by a bear.”

Read the rest of the interview here: Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq on reclaiming Nanook of the North

Here's a list of Tagaq's upcoming 2014 performances in Canada and the U.S through the winter and spring.

Tanya Tagaq 2014 Tour Dates

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 Nanook Of The North - Calgary Venue: Festival Hall

Thursday, January 30, 2014 Nanook Of The North - Edmonton Venue: Canoe Theatre Festival - Garneau Theatre

Friday, January 31, 2014 - Saturday, February 1, 2014 Nanook Of The North - Vancouver [SOLD OUT] Venue: PuSH Festival

Saturday, February 1, 2014 Nanook Of The North - Vancouver [SOLD OUT] Venue: PuSH Festival

Free panel discussion presented with Tides Canada: February 1, 3:30pm at The York. A panel discussion on the representation of Inuit life and culture oon film. Moderated by Michell Raheja, associate professor at the Unversity of California, Riverside, with panelist Tany Tagaq and invited guests. Everyone welcome.

Saturday, February 8, 2014 Duo Performance (w/ Michael Red) - Guelph, ON Venue: Hillside Inside

Thursday, May 8, 2014 Tanya Tagaq with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra Performing: Thirteen Inuit Songs by Derek Charke Venue: Carnegie Hall, New York City

Performance information and ticket info available at: tanyatagaq.com

Native America North Takes New York


Three of our favourite Indigenous artists will be traveling from their Canadian homes to New York this weekend to perform a showcase at APAP 2013.

The Big Apple will have the pleasure of hearing Don Amero, Digging Roots and Elisapie at a showcase, Native America North, during the APAP 2013 conference. Between the three acts you'll get roots, folk, and pop interpretations of Anishinabe, Mohawk, Inuit, and Métis culture.

If you're in the city Saturday January 12, head to the National Museam of the American Indian from 2-5pm to take it all in - the event is free to the public!

For more info visit aboriginalmusic.ca and get started with the latest video from Don Amero, Turn These Grey Skies Blue:

VIDEO: Pamyua - "Bubble Gum"


Bubble Gum is the new irresistibly joyful video from Pamyua.

Bubble Gum is a drumsong off of Pamyua's double album SideA/SideB. The album is a collection of Inuit drumsongs primarily sung in the Yup’ik and Cup’ik language from Southwestern Alaska. Interestingly disc 1 of SideA/SideB features drumsongs performed traditionally with only vocals and drumming where as disc 2 features the same songs but with different world music arrangements, offering a new way to enjoy and approach Inuit music.

This playful and infectious video was filmed in Unalakleet by the Anchorage-based film collected Electric Igloo Creative, Bumble Gum was made thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Congrats to everyone involved!

Watch: "Bubble Gum" - Pamyua

VIDEO: Pamyua - "Tundra Chant"


The music of Pamyua showcases the drumsongs from the Inuit cultures of Greenland and Alaska and this song, Tundra Chant, that serenades the northern landscape is as beautiful as the land it sings to.

A handful of Pamyua songs are featured on the new soundtrack for Discovery's Flying Wild Alaska (get the soundtrack here) and this video features stunning footage from the series. Enjoy.

Watch: Pamyua - "Tundra Chant"

DOWNLOAD: Madeskimo - "Alaskan Highkick" & "Somers"


Geronimo Inutiq, aka Madeskimo presents an original take on independent electronic music, synthesizing his Inuit heritage and metropolitan life experience. This is evident in the song Alaskan Highkick where he combines traditional Inuit throat singing with messy break beats. Madeskimo currently resides in Montreal where he still performs and produces tracks for the world, posting regularly on Soundcloud and continuing to push the envelope; working with smooth synthesizer tones, otherworldly sound effects, syncopated rhythms, and ephemeral sound samples. DOWNLOAD: Madeskimo - "Alaskan Highkick" alaskan highkick by umati


DOWNLOAD: Madeskimo – "Somers"

Somers by umati

M.O. Blazes A Hiphop Trail Inuk Style


Inuk Hiphop artist M.O. shares some wisdom with us - from his perspective on music to his experiences working with Kinnie Starr. He also shares with RPM.fm what equipment he works with, who his musical influences were growing up and some cultural knowledge from the land of the Inuk. [soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/21850977" params="auto_play=false&show_artwork=false&color=900" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]