National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21) is a day observed in Canada that commemorates and honors the cultures, contributions, and resilience of Indigenous peoples. It serves as a reminder of the rich heritage and ongoing presence of Indigenous communities across the country, and highlights the strength of Indigenous cultures, despite the historical and ongoing challenges they have faced.
We’re celebrating at Folk Alley by showcasing some of our favorite Indigenous artists from Canada.
Amanda Rheaume, “Do About Her” from The Spaces In Between
Winner of the 2023 Canadian Folk Music Awards for Indigenous Songwriter of the Year. Amanda Rheaume is a Métis folk singer-songwriter from Canada. Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Rheaume is a Citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario with Objiwe/Anishinaabe ancestors from Lac Seul, Ontario. She is the granddaughter of Eugène Rhéaume, one of Canada’s first Métis Members of Parliament.
Aysanabee , “We Were Here” from Watin
Aysanabee is an Oji-Cree singer-songwriter from Canada, whose debut album Watin’ was released in 2022.
Beatrice Deer, “Mother” from Shifting
Beatrice Deer is a Canadian Inuk singer born in Quaqtaq, Nunavik, Quebec
Buffy Sainte-Marie, “Circling” from Power In the Blood
Singer-songwriter, musician, composer, visual artist, educator, pacifist, and social activist, Buffy Sainte-Marie was born on the Piapot 75 reserve in the Qu’Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, Canada, to Cree parents.
Leela Gilday, “K’eintah Natse Ju” from North Star Calling
2021 Juno Award Winner for Indigenous Music Album of the Year, Leela Gilday is a Dene-Canadian singer songwriter, born and raised in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
Morgan Toney, “Ko’jua” from First Flight
Morgan Toney is a Mi’kmaq folk singer-songwriter and fiddler from Nova Scotia, Canada, whose music blends Celtic folk and traditional Mi’kmaq music. Read our review of his album First Flight HERE.
Piqsiq, “Ascend” from Live from Christ Church Cathedral
Sisters Tiffany Kuliktana Ayalik and Kayley Inuksuk Mackay perform as Piqsiq. They come together to create a unique Inuit style throat singing duo, performing ancient traditional songs along with new compositions. The two grew up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, with roots in Nunavut.
Tanya Tagaq, “Teeth Agape” from Tongues
Tanya Tagaq is a Canadian Inuk throat singer, songwriter, novelist, and visual artist from Cambridge Bay (Iqaluktuuttiaq), Nunavut, Canada, on the south coast of Victoria Island.
William Prince, “Easier & Harder” from Stand In the Joy
William Prince is an Oji-Cree musician from Peguis First Nation in Manitoba. Read our review of his latest album, Stand in the Joy, HERE.