The Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards is pleased to announce the recipients of three special awards. The Lifetime Contribution to Aboriginal Music Award, presented to an individual who dedicates a large part of their life and career to promoting and developing Aboriginal music, will be awarded to Willie Dunn. The Keeper of Traditions in Aboriginal Music Award, presented to an individual dedicated to teaching Aboriginal culture through music, will be awarded to Allan Beaver. The Music Industry Award, presented to an individual, Aboriginal of non-Aboriginal who is making or has made a significant positive impact on Canadian Aboriginal music, will be presented to music journalist and author Brian Wright-McLeod.
Willie Dunn is a singer, songwriter, musician, playwright, artist, director, award-winning filmmaker, and First Nations ambassador. Dunn’s songs focus on the lives and history of First Nations people. He wrote the only English song heard on Kashtin’s second album Innu. Dunn wrote and recorded a song encouraging native students to “Stay in School” with other First Nations and lnuit singers including Susan Aglukark, Don Ross, Shingoose, Fara Palmer and Sylvie Bernard. In 1971, Dunn produced Canada’s first music video for “Ballad of Crowfoot”, which won seven international awards. Of Micmac and Scottish descent, he has been given the name Roha’tiio, meaning “his voice is beautiful”. Willie Dunn was nominated for The Lifetime Contribution to Aboriginal Music Award by Raven Kanatakta and ShoShona Kish of Digging Roots.
Allan Beaver, a member of the Bigstone Cree Nation, left his community after high school graduation to pursue higher education and his running career at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, AB. In 1996 Beaver was in a tragic vehicle accident which almost took his life. He now travels to many communities in North America to share his story. Besides being an accomplished athlete and excellent role model, Beaver is well-known for his heartwarming gospel music. He started singing at an early age and has been teaching guitar for 15 years. He has touched many lives throughout Canada with his music and sharing some of his powerful stories of overcoming resiliency and being awesome inspiration to the many people he has come to meet. Allan Beaver was nominated for the Keeper of Traditions in Aboriginal Music Award by Jack Sauve.
Brian Wright-McLeod is a Dakota/Anishnabe music journalist, syndicated radio host at CKLN 88.1 FM in Toronto, and the celebrated author of the Encyclopedia of Native Music, the first and only resource of Aboriginal musicians throughout North America, released earlier in 2005. Brian began writing professionally in 1979, interviewing musicians such as Lighthouse, Gordon Lightfoot, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Lisa Del Bello, The Stampeders, Little Steven, Robbie Robertson, Bruce Cockburn and many more. He is the current chair for the Best Music of Aboriginal Canada Juno Awards (CARAS), advisory board member for the Native American music Grammy committee, Native American Music Awards and board member for the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA). His two hour radio program can be streamed live at www.ckln.fm Mondays 8-10 PM EST. Brian Wright-McLeod was nominated for the Music Industry Award by David McLeod.
Each year, the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards celebrate the musical contributions of Aboriginal people by honouring the premier musicians, groups and industry members across Canada. To qualify for a Canadian Aboriginal Music Award, nominees must be Canadian Aboriginal—status, non-status, Metis or Inuit—by birth, adoption or community acceptance.
The winners will be announced at the 2005 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards on Friday, November 25 in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s John Bassett Theatre (255 Front Street West). Tickets for the awards are $35 in advance and $40 at the door and are available at T