Anyone who knows me knows how much I love and represent for Aboriginal DJ group, A Tribe Called Red. Here’s a video that might give you a glimpse into why that is.
As an urban Indian with what is best described as a “pan-Indian” identity, these talented artists produce music that bridges the gap between traditional and modern; Native and mainstream. I connect with their musical movement so deeply, that each piece feels like another song in the soundtrack of my life.
I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do and it cures any lingering Monday blues. Have a great week, y’all!
And, remember: It’s [always] a great day to be Indigenous!
The panelists were: Nils Johan Heatta, Chairman of the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network; J. Kehaulani Kauanui, a professor at Wesleyan University and radio producer; and Angel Tibán Guala, Director of the television of Movimiento Indígena Campesino de Cotopaxi (TV MICC).
Our expert discussants were: Monika Ille – Director of Programming, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Canada; Keoni Lee – General Manager, ‘Ōiwi TV, Hawai’i; Emil Her Many Horses (Ogala Lakota, United States), National Museum of the American Indian, “Our voices on the Air : Reaching new audiences through indigenous radio”
And, we screened videos from: Komi Television (Russian Federation); TV MICC (Ecuador); Indigenous Information Network (Kenya); DJ Atama Katama (Malaysia)
I was thrilled that there was tons of buzz on Twitter and Facebook about the day and the panel itself, especially given the significance social media has in enabling every day people to share news that is important to them without the costs required for a broadcast TV studio or radio station.
I really thought I’d be nervous moderating the panel (which lasted nearly 4 1/2hours!), but I wasn’t. I felt really comfortable sitting on stage, leading the conversation and soliciting questions from the audience.
The highlight of the day was getting to meet U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon! Aside from providing a poignant address, he took a great photo!
Another fun moment was the interview I did before the panel with a Slovenian radio station:
Just when you thought A Tribe Called Red couldn’t get any better, they come out with a fierce new music video with incredible Monterrey-based DJ Javier Estrada!
Not only did this collaboration produce “Sopranos Azteca” – a visual/musical feast for the eyes and ears, but they are promising that this is just the first video of a three-part series! (I think I’ve died and gone to heaven!)
As Isabela Raygoza of Remezcla.com explains, this piece (like the majority of the group’s music videos) leverages more than just classic Hollywood fodder about Native people and intoxicating, hard-hitting, “pow wow stepping” beats:
“…it goes further into history highlighting today’s most common misconceptions about colonization. Dubbing the popular TV series The Sopranos, the characters discuss the meanings behind Columbus Day and the indigenous populations, bringing both sides of the debate to light: whether Columbus was a slave trader who inspired the genocide of indigenous people or a grand conquistador and hero to America. “
What I love most about ATCR (and other young, Indigenous artists I’ve come across in recent years) is their desire to both celebrate and honor Native traditions (be they music, visual imagery, stories, etc.) and push the conversation forward – carefully carving out a unique, creative presence into the foreseeable future. We are just as relevant as ever thanks to musical pioneers like A Tribe Called Red.
If you’re in the Tri-State Area and are dying to experience an Electric Pow Wow, you should definitely be at SOB’s in New York City next Saturday (May 31st)! A Tribe Called Red will be holding it down, representing Ottawa and Canadian Aboriginals (whether they know it or not!), so be sure to find a way to get there!
But, if you can’t make it to NYC, ATCR will be Pow Wow’ing in these other fine cities this summer:
May 26 Montreal – Eastern Bloc
June 01 Boston – Good Life
June 19 Winnipeg – Winnipeg Jazz Festival
June 20 Regina – TBD
June 21 Edmonton – The Works Festival
June 22 Ottawa – Special Event
June 23 Peterborough – Ode’min Giizis Festival
July 08 Ottawa – RBC Ottawa Bluesfest
Aug 03 Montreal – Presence Autochtone
If you love Indigenous arts + culture stories like this one and are interested in news featuring rising creative Native minds from the US, Canada, and beyond, please consider signing up for updates on the launch of my newest project NativeRemix.com! You will be notified via e-mail as soon as the site goes live!
We are still looking for more bloggers, videographers, and photographers, as well as artists to feature! If you, or someone you know, would like their work published or promoted on NativeRemix, please e-mail email@example.com.
Below is a video about our “pitch day” – when I won a seed grant to fund the project!
The mission of the site is to provide creative, culturally relevant content to Native youth, highlighting the growing international Indigenous artistic movement. (So, instead of focusing on sad, depressing news – you know, those stereotypical stories EVERYONE has heard over and over again – we’ll focus on the inspiring, uplifting stuff.) And, I’m lucky to have an amazing team of Native content producers on board to help me get this project off the ground!
Those are just some of our ideas…We want your ideas, too!
The purpose of the site is to expand the platform Native artists currently have and be the “go to” place for creative Native content from all corners of Turtle Island! We’re taking a for us/by us approach to reporting on the Native art world.
With that said, we’re still looking for writers, content producers, and advertisers. If you want to share your take on the latest Native fashion trend or artistic movement in your community, send your thoughts to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome content submissions from any and all Native writers, bloggers, journalists, artists, and fans alike! This is your opportunity to add your voice to the conversation and have people take note.
If you have a product or business (say, an Etsy store or t-shirt company) that you would like to advertise to Native youth (age 14-34) and the young at heart!, consider being one of our founding advertisers and e-mail email@example.com for more information about incentives and our ad rates.
Please sign up for updates on the site and our scheduled launch date, by signing up at NativeRemix.com! (You will be rewarded with a free A Tribe Called Red album download for doing so.)
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I would LOVE for a Native designer to win, so please tell all of your friends to take a shot!
Have a great weekend…and good luck to anyone who enters!