Monday, August 3, 2015

Album aims to give indigenous trailblazers overdue recognition (Globe and Mail re-post)

Laura Beeston
The success of Native North America (Vol. 1), a seminal compilation of nearly lost aboriginal folk, rock and country music from 1966-85, is being celebrated Aug. 5 at Winnipeg’s Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art. Album curator Kevin Howes, a Vancouver-based record archeologist, curator and DJ renowned for uncovering undocumented Canadian music history, is taking part in a discussion alongside indigenous singer-songwriter Shingoose. The event will also feature screenings of the documentaries The Paradox of Norval Morrisseau and The Other Side of the Ledger, the latter a critical examination of Hudson’s Bay Co.’s treatment of aboriginal peoples. “I think it will symbolically be an interesting and dynamic evening,” Howes says, noting that it’s taking place on the roof of the gallery, which has a direct view of HBC’s flagship store on Portage Avenue. “The relevancy of the messages in these songs, with their substance, depth, culture and soul [are] still very timely today,” he continues. “It’s resonating with people because so little has changed … and because there is a desire to appreciate, preserve and share this culture.” The compilation, issued by Seattle’s Light in the Attic Records, was long-listed for the 2015 Polaris Prize and aims to give Canada’s indigenous trailblazers some long-overdue recognition. It has proved popular – the album is going through its second print run.

*Re-post from

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