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Buffy Sainte-Marie was a big winner this year at the Juno’s with wins in the Aboriginal Album of the Year and Contemporary Roots Album of the Year| Image source: Rachel Maclean

There is no shortage of Indigenous musical talent here in Canada. Many Indigenous musicians are blending traditional and contemporary music to create genre breaking albums, while others excel in rock and old-style country. Even though the Juno’s have an Aboriginal Album of the Year category, Indigenous musicians are at the top of a variety of categories. This year alone Buffy Sainte-Marie won two Juno’s in the Contemporary Roots and Aboriginal Album categories. Here are six outstanding Indigenous musicians honoured at the 2016 Juno’s:

1. Buffy Sainte-Marie

Power in the Blood is Buffy’s latest release, garnering three Juno nominees and two wins this year, making it a total of five Juno awards for the legendary artist. This year she won for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year and Aboriginal Album of the Year. In 1995 she was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame for a career that spanned over four decades at the time.

2. Don Amero

Five years ago, Don Amero set out to follow his dreams and left his job as a hardwood floor installer to become a singer-songwriter. Since then he has recorded four studio albums, has been nominated for three Junos including Aboriginal Album of the Year (2013/16) and Adult Contemporary Album of the Year (2016), toured coast-to-coast, and headlined concerts and festivals. Don’s musical style has been compared to John-Mayer-meets-Keith-Urban.

3. Armond Duck Chief

While growing up on the Siksika First Nation in Southern Alberta, Armond Duck Chief found inspiration in listening to country legends like George Jones, Hank Williams, and Waylon Jennings. It was while singing karaoke that Armond learned he could carry a tune. Since then learned how to play the guitar from his cousin/college roommate and carried on as an independent artist. This is his first Juno nomination.

4. Derek Miller

Derek Miller, began his career while touring with Buffy St-Marie. So far he has released three albums, and won two Juno Awards in 2003 and 2008 for Aboriginal Record of the Year. This year he was nominated, along with St-Marie, for Aboriginal Album of the year with his latest album, Rumble. His sound is reminiscent of blues and roots inflected rock.

5. Black Bear

Black Bear is a contemporary pow wow drum group, who are very proud of their culture, heritage and language. The drum group started performing together in the year 2000 in Manawan, Québec on the Atikamekw First Nation. So far, they have released four albums. This is their first time being nominated for Aboriginal Album of the year for their album Come and Get Your Love: The Tribe Session.

6. Cris Derksen

Derksen studied to become a cellist at the University of British Columbia where she was also a Principal Cellist with the UBC Symphony Orchestra. This year she celebrates her first Juno nomination for Instrumental Album of the Year for the album Orchestral Pow Wow. She is known for creating genre defying music by combining her classical training with traditional Aboriginal music.

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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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