Sask Nominees for APCMAs

by SaskMusic

August 16, 2012 in SaskMusic News

The Aboriginal Peoples’ Choice Music Awards are a celebration of Aboriginal music, arts, culture and heritage that showcase the talents, gifts and abilities of Aboriginal artists from all nations. The impact of the Festival reaches beyond and communicates the importance of Aboriginal culture. This year, industry professionals shortlisted the submissions down to the final nominees. Now, the public is asked to vote on the winners! Go to to register and vote for your favourite artists, with access to biographical information and samples from the nominees. 

SaskMusic is pleased to congratulate the Saskatchewan nominees for the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples’ Choice Music Awards:

Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year – Donny Parenteau (“Play On”)
Aboriginal Male Entertainer of the Year – Dallas Boyer
Best Gospel CD – Yvonne St. Germaine (“Tennessee Sky”) and Dean Powder (“Living Proof”)
Best Fiddle CD – Dallas Boyer (“Metis Music”)
Best Duo or Group – Northern Cree
Best Hand Drum CD – Big River Cree (“The Old Way”) and Nakoa Heavyrunner & Rocky Morin (“Medicine Line”)
Best Instrumental CD – Curt Young (“Northern Equinox”)
Best Powwow CD Contemporary – Northern Cree (“Drum boy- Mistikwaskink Napesis”)
Best Music Video - Donny Parenteau (“Fiddleback”)
Best Producer/Engineer - Donny Parenteau
Best Rap / Hip Hop CD - Blu (“No Way No How”)

The RBC Ohshkii Awards Night will be held on Thursday, November 1, 2012 at Fort Garry Place in Winnipeg MB. The night will showcase nominees for the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards, and also present awards in several categories. Then, the 2012 APCMAs will take place on Friday, November 2 at the MTS Centre in downtown Winnipeg. The awards will be broadcast on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and will feature the best in Aboriginal music from across North America. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.

The Aboriginal Peoples’ Choice Music Awards are part of the annual Manito Ahbee Festival, taking place October 31 to November 4, 2012 in Winnipeg, celebrating music, arts and culture in the heart of Turtle Island.

For more information, and to vote, please visit


Big River Cree is from Big River First Nation, in Northern Saskatchewan. The group consists of extended family members of the "Whitefish" family; they have been singing together since the early nineties. They first started singing in a play their aunt Nora had written, about a group of children inviting their people back to the sacred circle through song and dance. Today they are well known throughout Canada and the United States for their unique style of singing.

Blu was born and raised in Prince Albert, with his home community being the Big River First Nation (Cree Nation also known as Whitefish). As a youth, he made a lot of mistakes but has learned from them, and tries make healthy choices to better life and to give hope to other youth struggling with similar issues. As a youth Blu spent 6 months in rehab for solvent abuse and remembers someone saying, “it’s your choice - only you can save yourself to break free from addiction”.

Curt Young belongs to the Saulteaux Cree, Gordon First Nation. He first picked up a guitar at age ten. Although he usually plays guitar, he is also proficient playing drums, bass and piano. Curt started his creative adventure at an early age by writing out some of his day-to-day experiences. By 2005, some of his stories had been published by New Tribe, AYN and SAY magazines. The support and encouragement he received for sharing his personal experiences triggered the idea to combine his love of playing music with the release of writing.

Dallas Boyer is a 22-year-old Metis man from Saskatoon. His interest in playing fiddle began when he attended a 3-day cultural celebration at “Back to Batoche Days” with his family when he was almost nine years old. Lessons began that fall with Everett Larson. Two years later, Dallas started learning songs from CDs and other fiddle players in Saskatchewan, including John Arcand, Lenny Dumont and Donny Parenteau.

Dean Powder grew up in a small Metis community in northern Saskatchewan called Camsell Portage. He began playing guitar and singing at the age of nine and by the time Dean was 17 years-old, he was performing in a band. Dean went on to play with over a dozen bands across Saskatchewan, Alberta & Manitoba.

Donny Parenteau is one of Canada’s most versatile and dynamic country music singer-songwriters. Born and raised in Prince Albert, his full circle story of success is truly awe-inspiring. Donny knows what it takes to be successful in the Canadian country music industry.

The Northern Cree Singers were founded in 1982 by Steve Wood and his brothers Randy and Earl Wood. The group originates from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation but is made up of members from the Treaty 6 area, most notably the Frog Lake Cree Nation, Onion Lake Cree Nation, Samson Cree Nation, Louis Bull Cree Nation, and the Poundmaker Cree Nation.

Nakoa HeavyRunner, an Assiniboine/Blackfeet comes from Ft. Belknap, Montana, and Rocky Morin (Cree) comes from Whitefish Sask. These two brought together the sound of North & South and collaborated on the album “Medicine Line”. The term Medicine Line was what their ancestors used to call the border between the U.S. and Canada. It was called that due to its seemingly magical powers of stopping the Calvary. The Calvary seemed to respect it as if by magic. HeavyRunner & Morin bring together a style of English lyrics and Cree words.