Interview Series: First Peoples Creating
nistam athisthiniwak osihchikīwiniwāwa
August 10, 2022 in SaskMusic News
nistam athisthiniwak osihchikīwiniwāwa
First Peoples Creating
National Indigenous History Month recognizes the rich history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples across Canada. Through June, we filmed interviews with Indigenous creatives led by series coordinator and host, LJ Tyson. New pieces are being shared on this page as they're released, or subscribe to us on YouTube as we post these new pieces throughout July-August.
Jennifer Lenny Brockman is a 2Spirit Metis of Woodland Cree and settler heritage of Scottish, English and Italian ancestry, currently living on Treaty Six Territory and Homelands of the Metis in Prince Albert SK. Jennifer walks a traditional path and this has helped in their healing journey and they are passionate about supporting others in their journeys. Jennifer loves drumming and sharing songs and is always honoured to share their drum bundle with others, to help create vibrations of healing through drumming and song. They hold weekly drum circles with women and 2Spirit people called “Spirit Strong Singers” and also help to facilitate bi-weekly drum circles for children and youth. Spirit Strong Singers are a group of women and 2Spirit drummers from Treaty Six Territory and Homelands of the Metis in Prince Albert SK. https://www.facebook.com/Spirit-Strong-Singers-101230539168897/
Deborah Charles is the Chief Executive Officer of Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation, Saskatchewan’s fast-rising and premier Indigenous Language Radio and Television Broadcasting network, and is the longest serving staff member of 33 years. Deborah is also the Chair of Governance and a Board member with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network of Canada who has been appointed on the APTN Board of Directors since April 2002. What does it take to be a successful woman in today’s high-tech and versatile workplace? Well for one thing, just as it does for being successful elsewhere, successful women find that it most often takes the reality of good work and consistency in character.
Deborah is a member of the Lac La Ronge Indian band and is a splendid example of a woman with the consistency of character required for leadership and accomplishment. She has shown that effort and dedication can take a person to new and challenging heights as over the past 20 years she has ascended a corporate ladder that gave her a versatile career while rising in the ranks of communications media. Deborah heads Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation, a media corporation headquartered in La Ronge SK that operates twenty-four hours a day year-round and employs over two dozen professionals.
As the political administrator of such a technologically centred business, Deborah has as a matter of necessity become a person with an open mind who realizes that nothing can remain stagnant if it is to grow and prosper, so she focuses her energy on the expansion of Indigenous Radio services to all of the province. Her involvement on the national stage occupying the Chair of the Governance Committee with APTN has presented both challenges and growth opportunities. Deborah has undertaken her work on the APTN Board with a dedication and a resolve to use work, dignity and ethics in helping that fledgling national communications organization to grow. Her co-workers know that Deborah has the human values that make her approachable and has the capabilities to plan and develop for the future, making her a dynamic and accomplished woman. It is her very real and caring attitude that her friends and co-workers have long respected and admired as she has always taken time to help others while she moved forward. Deborah has served on many organizations as elected and/or appointed to boards of directors such as Access Communications and Northlands College, INCA Program -FNUC.
An endorsing artist with Michigan-manufactured and family-owned GHS Strings, and Canadian-owned Carparelli Guitars and Mack Amps, Val Halla continues to make strong riffs and rhythmic melodies a priority in her guitar playing and songwriting. She has been featured in Guitar World and Guitar Player magazines, and has collaborated with other artists and songwriters like Matt King, Daniel Cohen, Mariel Buckley, Murray Pulver, Dane Hartsell, Micah Erenberg, Jay Semko, Sheena Rattai, Kyle Wieters, Grant Davidson and many more. When not out tearing up the highways for live shows, Val Halla works as a songwriter, session musician, recording engineer, mix engineer, and producer, as well as running a newly formed label imprint, small publishing company, live events promotions company, and often working as a mentor and coach with the Girls Rock Regina program.
Mercy Glover is a 19-year-old singer/songwriter born and raised in Prince Albert SK. Mercy has performed a variety of shows in Prince Albert and area and is currently focused on her own music in hopes of releasing an EP in the upcoming future. Mercy, alongside Joshua Stumpf and Taya Lebel, have a self-produced show coming up August 19/22.
Daussen was born in Regina SK and at the tender age of 6, began his journey through music by playing Metis fiddle music. Throughout his days playing the violin, he won numerous awards including first place at Batoche. At around the age of 12, Daussen began diving into rap music. “Growing up, I listened to all genres, but rap stuck with me the most. I was in awe of the rappers I grew up listening to, and I was moved by the creativity they carried with their words, as well as being able to relate to a lot of the things they struggled with and discussed in their songs.” In 2020, Daussen began releasing music to the world, and hopes to bring light to various issues people face every day. “I just want to be able to show everyone that if you follow your dreams and work hard enough, anything is possible.” The sky is the limit for this Indigenous rap artist and he hopes to gain more attention with his debut album set to come out near the end of summer.
Dale Mac is from White Bear First Nations, Saskatchewan. His storytelling and blues/roots genre music are backed by his trio. Dale’s influences include Pearl Jam, Clapton, Gord Downie, and Springsteen. Dale’s songs and lyrics have been based around Canadian landscapes and settings. Dale’s second EP “American Horse” was nominated for Indigenous Artist Of The Year at the 2018 Saskatchewan Music Awards. He was nominated for the 2021 Industry Achievement Award at the Saskatchewan Music Awards for his work with Indigenous Arts boards and bridging communities. Dale also works towards creating opportunities for the next generation of Indigenous youth and emerging artist entrepreneurs. With gratitude for the kind support from Canada Council for the Arts, Dale’s upcoming album in production, titled "Pežúda Road" (Medicine Road), is based on his positive stories and preserving his Nakota language through recording elders and storytellers and blending the impact of language preservation with music.
Raven Reid is a singer/songwriter, musician, DJ, public speaker, poet, artist and budding author. She currently resides in Saskatoon SK but is originally from Mikisew Cree First Nations, Northern Alberta, born in Yellowknife, NTW. Her musical influences include Johnny Cash, Buffy Sainte Marie, Robbie Robertson, Leonard Cohen, Tracy Chapman, Neil Young plus many more. Raven’s music falls under the folk/coffeehouse/indie singer songwriter genre. Her original music comes from the experiences she has had in life, very real and sometimes with very raw emotion. She grew up in the 60’s Scoop, away from her biological family and some of her music reflects that.
She recorded an EP a few years back, with 4 of her original songs. Now she is in the studio with producer and fellow musician, Micheal Gamble to finish a brand new single, titled A Johnny Cash Night. They will be touring the music festivals in Saskatchewan and touring Jasper in August of 2022. Raven is also recording a short album with Ray Elliott, produced by Ross Nykiforuk at Cosmic Pad Studios. They’ve become a great duo called Raven and Ray. Their new short album will be released sometime this fall.
Raven is also the owner of a small business that embodies all of her talent and skills as a public speaker, singer/songwriter, artist and includes DJ/Karaoke host services and audio engineering. https://ravenreid.wixsite.com/ravenreid
mistik collective is an Indigenous & queer-owned wilderness retreat situated near Chitek Lake, neighboring with Pelican Lake First Nation. They will be equipped with a full-service remote wilderness recording studio that will provide opportunities to Indigenous youth, as well as accommodations & retreats for artists. mistik collective is owned and operated by Marentin and Kay-Lynne Fehr. Marentin is Cree, and is from Waterhen Lake First Nation. Kay-Lynne is Metis. Marentin is an electronic pop artist and producer.
Born and raised in Northern Saskatchewan, Samantha Burnouf (Sammi) sang on numerous stages around the area growing up; including the Voices of The North and Country North Showcases. She is a self-taught vocalist and guitarist, as well as taking up the piano in more recent years. She’s had a passion for performing since the age of 8 years old. Sammi has travelled all around Saskatchewan and has performed in other provinces such as Manitoba many times for opportunities to sing and share the stage with other talented musicians. Her role models included Crystal Shawanda, Taylor Swift, and Loretta Lynn. A songwriter and phenomenal vocalist, Sammi blends country and classic rock together in a beautiful, unique way that incorporates small elements of modern pop and funk. Based in Saskatoon, she is working on her debut album, set for release in October 2022.
Darryl Anderson shares his music through all social media platforms, which are continuing to grow in popularity. His authentic and energetic character are what make his performances something genuinely unique. It’s easy to spot Darryl’s down-to-earth musical influence anywhere. Alongside his solo career, Darryl is the lead vocalist/rhythm guitar player for the band Rivers Edge. Being a high-energy vocalist, with a love for singing the classics and always being ready to perform any country favourite, it is a guarantee that you will be singing and dancing alongside Rivers Edge at any show. Originally from the small community of Big River, Darryl now calls Saskatoon home.
Teagan Littlechief is from the White Bear First Nations in Saskatchewan. She has been performing for well over 20 years. Teagan promotes a sober and drug-free healthy lifestyle while raising her son and working full-time when not performing. Among her many accomplishments/highlights are:
- Performing during Canadian Country Music Week in Ontario 2016
- Performing the Canadian National Anthem regularly for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Regina Pats
- Performing at The Happy Nun in Forget SK
- Recording numerous singles with recent releases such as Heartbreak Song (duet with Nathan Cunningham) and Angeline
- Teagan received the 2022 Saskatchewan Country Music - Indigenous Artist of the Year Award
- She will be performing at the 2022 Bow Valley Jamboree Festival and the 2022 Montmartre All Folk'd Up Festival
- She will also be performing the National Anthem for Professional Bull Riding in Regina
- Teagan also recently won the Pure 927 "Next Big Thing" contest and will be performing at Country Thunder 2022 (Craven) on Saturday July 16
Learn more at https://www.teaganlittlechief.com/
Jarrid Lee is an Indigenous Canadian country music artist, award-winning singer/songwriter, and entrepreneur. All it took was a spark and love for music that would inevitably catch fire when Jarrid decided to pursue music for a living, blazing a trail in 6 years to open up shows for some of the biggest names in music. Jarrid's debut 5 song EP "Up on Stage" received 6 SCMA nominations, and one final ballot appearance for Album of the Year up against Female Artist of the Year Tenille Arts; while no awards were won for the 2021 awards season, single "Up on Stage" went on to take the #1 spot on the Canadian Indie Country Countdown as well as reaching #1 on Sirius XM channel 165. Current singles are "Let’s Get Gone" with regular rotation on CBC Radio channel 171 on Sirius XM, and the release of "It’s Time" on college radio. Follow Jarrid Lee at www.jarridlee.com and all social networking sites for current updates, and new music is available everywhere.
Travis Beatty is a musician, singer, songwriter and producer based out of Saskatoon SK. Over the past 8 years, he’s played in bands and written songs with some amazing local musicians. In 2020, when the world locked down, Travis started learning the art of music production to remedy the boredom. In his first two years of learning and working, he was able to make music with a lot of amazing musicians that he is lucky to call friends and family. Now it’s 2022, going on to year 3 of his production career, and he’s finishing 2 records, booking up for the summer and fall with full album projects, and playing with some amazing bands and groups.
Berk Jodoin is an Indigenous singer/songwriter from the small Northern community of Pierceland SK. Berk broke into the recording artist scene with his self-titled debut release in December 2020, with single “Sisters” reaching the top ten of the Indigenous Music Countdown and securing Berk the SCMA’s Indigenous Artist Bursary award. Coining his new record “Half Breed”, Berk chose the title partly based on his own ethnic background, but also because of the way he writes and records. Berk tends to colour outside the lines and not follow the “industry recipe” for writing songs. His brand-new album includes one of his personal favourite songs, “Cowboys & Indians;” it’s Berk's view on the many divisions in the world right now, and how we need to turn a corner to make the world a better place for everyone. Now residing in Leader SK with his wife Jenny and his three children, Berk tells his stories through song. These stories are often based on topics that most people would choose to ignore, but Berk’s carefully crafted songs will captivate the listener emotionally. He fuses his influences like Steve Earle and Waylon Jennings together to create soulful storytelling with just the right amount of gravel. “I write what I know, and I write what I see, not many fairy tales go into my songs.”
Donny Parenteau is a proud Métis country music artist born and raised in Prince Albert SK. Donny spent twelve years touring the world with U.S. singer Neal McCoy; recording on multi-platinum selling albums & playing on numerous shows, including performances on The Grand Ole Opry & The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Alongside McCoy, Donny has shared the stage with country music icons such as; Charlie Daniels, Merle Haggard, Tim McGraw, Shania Twain, and Reba McEntire to name a few. Since starting his solo career, Donny has garnered over one hundred award nominations, including three JUNO nominations. Donny continues to perform, teach at his Donny Parenteau School of Music, and speak his message of inspiration and “Bully Free Zone” tours at schools across Western Canada. http://www.donnyparenteaumusic.com
LJ Tyson is a Folk-Pop artist from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. LJ is of Cree/Metis heritage and identifies as bisexual. Identity has become a major part of his artistry and sound. LJ uses his music to connect with diverse audiences and bridge the gaps that disconnect us. The raspy uniqueness of LJ’s voice and the blend of folk-pop he produces make him a must-hear for music lovers.
We are grateful to Knowledge-Keeper and educator Eleanor Hegland from Lac La Ronge for suggesting words from the Cree language with which to describe our artistic focus this month. nistam athisthiniwak osihchikīwiniwāwa (First Peoples Creating) will showcase creators from many styles of music.
We recognize there are many distinct and beautiful Indigenous languages spoken in Canada, many of which are endangered. "The Cree language has the largest speaker population of all of Canada’s First Nations languages with an estimated 75,000 speakers, including dialect groups ranging from Quebec to northeastern British Columbia and into the Northwest Territories. Approximately 20,000 of these speakers live in Saskatchewan, where Cree ranks second only to English as the most commonly spoken language of the home - Cree bands making up over half of the province’s seventy-four First Nations." - Indigenous Saskatchewan Encyclopedia
Our nistam athisthiniwak osihchikīwiniwāwa graphics have been created by Gabrielle Giroux, Encore Graphics.
Our National Indigenous History Month programming is made possible in part through the financial support of FACTOR Canada (the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings), the Government of Canada, and Canada's private radio broadcasters.
Questions? Contact SaskMusic by email or call toll-free in Sask, 1-800-347-0676.