Jeremy Dutcher and Why Indigenous Music Matters / by Chris Foley

Congratulations go out to Jeremy Dutcher, whose Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (iTunes link) won the Juno award for Best Indigenous Album last weekend. Jeremy’s process for creating the album involved transcribing and arranging songs in the Wolastoqiyik language from wax cylinders in the Canadian Museum of History.

Here’s Jeremy singing and playing Pomok Naka Poktoinskwes on CBC’s First Play Live:

A few words about Jeremy’s process from his National Music Centre residency a few years ago:

In his acceptance speech, Jeremy asked all the other nominees in the Best Indigenous Album category to stand up and be acknowledged. His words on the importance of the Indigenous genre:

All of your work changes this place, and it deserves to be considered outside of this category. Because our music is not niche. Our music is saying something.

I don’t know how many more times they’re going to let me do this, so Justin - Mr. Trudeau - a nation-to-nation relationships does not look like pipelines. A nation-to-nation relationship does not look like sending militarized police forces to unceded territory. And a nation-to-nation relationship doesn’t look like - in 2019 - our communities still on boiled water advisory. 

So, this means so much to me. I hope to continue to share and use this platform to tell truth. We can all do better…