Our playlist today is in celebration of the newly named National Indigenous Peoples Day which was formerly called National Aboriginal Day. It may have been a couple days ago but I think we can still celebrate the great music from our Indigenous people of Canada.
National Aboriginal Day (French: Journée nationale des Autochtones) is a day recognizing and celebrating the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples in Canada. The day was first celebrated in 1996, after it was proclaimed that year by then Governor General of Canada Roméo LeBlanc, to be celebrated on 21 June annually.
21 June was chosen as the statutory holiday for many reasons-including its cultural significance as the Summer solstice, and the fact that it is a day on which many Aboriginal groups traditionally celebrate their heritage.
On 21 June 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement pledging to rename the event National Indigenous Peoples Day. Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde supported the proposed change, called it an “important step,” citing the terminology used in the landmark United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
Aboriginal people (First Nations, Inuit, Métis) who reside in what is now Canada have diverse cultural traditions that are reflected in the variety of their musical genres and styles. Music is generally seen as an integral part of the daily life and spiritual beliefs of Indigenous people in Canada. The diversity of Aboriginal life and music in Canada has been recognized by scholars who attempted to classify people according to “culture areas,” which were also applied to music made by people in each area. Aboriginal people have their own distinct musical traditions, repertoire, and meanings. As well, genres of music have emerged that traverse boundaries and are performed by Indigenous musicians across North America. Some generalizations are that traditional Aboriginal music is predominantly vocal, with drums, rattles and flutes serving as common instruments. As well, Aboriginal musicians have been influenced by non-Aboriginal music-making, often adopting other musical styles (such as country music and pop) and instruments (guitars, fiddles). (Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia)
With Canada 150 celebrations coming up and many feeling colonialism and indigenous genocide aren’t really anything to celebrate, I felt it important to hear their voices this week and to keep it in mind. Many of the songs on the playlist have messages from the indigenous perspective reminding us of the truth of Canada’s history and the reality of the long lasting effects. These artists certainly have me thinking about it but I will let their lyrics do the talking. So listen and hear what these indigenous musicians have to say.
Not every song on the playlist has a political message. There are some traditional songs and modern songs and a mix of them too. Mostly it is just 2 1/2 hours of great music for you to enjoy and I hope you do.