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Shawnee | Image source: AMPLIFY

Top ‘Gender-Bending’ singer/ songwriter Shawnee (Mohawk) shares her story on APTN’ S Amplify about awakening her two-spirit identity while building a two-spirit sweat lodge in her community led by Ojibwe-Cree Elder and author Ma-Nee Chacaby. Before the airing, she shared some of her experiences with MUSKRAT.

MM: What do you hope audiences take away from your story?

S: I hope to use my story, my journey, and my path to encourage two-spirit people to honor and reclaim their voice as a two-spirit person.

MM: What was the experience like while working on the episode of Amplify that you were featured in?

S: I was terrified the entire time. Sharing this very personal and intimate journey felt extremely vulnerable, but this is why we did it. It was important for me to take on this challenge of stepping out of my comfort level and take on this healing path to learn more about my history and culture while sharing that.
MM: What can we expect from you next?

S: I am releasing an EP- Born Again – this November 2020. I am overwhelmed with excitement. This is a new place for me in my career and this EP showcases this with a different sound of soul, blues, and modern music. Taking a look at my struggles and embracing them at the same time.

Each week AMPLIFY delves into an Indigenous songwriter’s creative process while they weigh in on the political landscape of today. Audiences can watch AMPLIFY on APTN every Friday at 8 pm, with their Anishinaabe language version Thursdays.

Twitter: @shawneemusic
Instagram: @shawneekish

Shawnee | Image source: AMPLIFY
SHAWNEE BIO: A big soul voice lead by passion, an ambition of empowerment, being inspired through music the same way it has been her medicine. Billboard names Shawnee as one of their “Artists You Should Know” while MTV puts her on their list of their “Top Gender Bending Artists” as a two-spirit person in music. Shawnee’s songs like ‘Mirror Me’ and ‘Warrior Heart’ have become anthems of hope and strength. They were performed during the 50th NYC Stonewall Anniversary and the Prime Minister’s Canada Day celebration. The singer/songwriter’s powerful voice is dynamic and overwhelmingly captivating all while holding a level of depth and undeniable soul. “Shawnee carries a unique charm,” explains Exclaim Magazine. As an outspoken advocate for her communities Shawnee leads her passion for music to help heal, and worked alongside We Matter and Kids Help Phone.

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About The Author

Erica Commanda

Born in Toronto, Erica Commanda (Algonquin/Ojibwe) grew up in the small community of Pikwakanagan. From there she moved across Canada living in Ottawa, Vancouver and now Toronto, working in the bar/hospitality industry, mastering the art of listening to stories from her regulars while slinging and spilling drinks (at them or to them). And now through a series of random decisions and events in life she is on a journey discovering and mastering her own knack for storytelling as Associate Editor for MUSKRAT Magazine.

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