Juno Award for Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year

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Singer Tanya Tagaq was the 2015 recipient of the award for her album Animism.

The Juno Award for Indigenous Music Album of the Year is an annual award presented by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for the best album by an Indigenous Canadian artist or band. It was formerly known as Best Music of Aboriginal Canada Recording (1994–2002), Aboriginal Recording of the Year (2003–2009), and Aboriginal Album of the Year (2010–2016).[1] Indigenous artists are not excluded from consideration in other genre or general interest categories; in fact, some indigenous musicians, most notably The Halluci Nation, have actively chosen not to submit their music in the indigenous category at all, instead pursuing nomination only in the more general categories.

The award faced controversy in its inaugural year, after nominee Sazacha Red Sky was accused of cultural appropriation.[2] According to the surviving children of Chief Dan George, the writer of the song she had been nominated for, she was not personally a member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation and according to the George family did not have the right to record it under their cultural traditions.[2] George's son Leonard sought a legal injunction to prevent the award from being presented at the Juno Awards ceremony at all,[3] and a final compromise revising Red Sky's nomination to reflect the album instead of the song was announced on the morning of the ceremony.[4]

More recently, some indigenous artists have called for the category to be discontinued, on the grounds that a dedicated indigenous category "ghettoizes" their music as a niche interest not relevant to non-indigenous music fans, while others have defended it as a platform for increasing the visibility of indigenous music, arguing that even though indigenous artists are eligible in all Juno award categories, relatively few indigenous artists actually receive such nominations due to their lack of mainstream prominence and the much wider range of competition for nomination slots.[5]

In late 2019, the Junos announced plans to rename the category as Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year for the 2020 ceremony. While the category would still honour particular albums, the organization said the decision was made to address questions they received from Indigenous artists "who believe they're submitting to a category meant to shine a spotlight on the accomplishments of Indigenous people." The Junos suggested the change would likely "eliminate a lot of the confusion and put us in a better position to explain the need for the category, when challenged."[6]

At the Juno Awards of 2021, it was announced further changes were being made for the Juno Awards of 2022, splitting the category into two new categories for Contemporary Indigenous Artist of the Year and Traditional Indigenous Artist of the Year.[7]

Winners[edit]

Best Music of Aboriginal Canada Recording (1994–2002)[edit]

Year Winner(s) Album Nominees Ref.
1994 Wapistan Wapistan Is Lawrence Martin [8]
1995 Susan Aglukark Arctic Rose [9]
1996 Jerry Alfred and the Medicine Beat ETSI Shon "Grandfather Song" [10]
1997 Buffy Sainte-Marie Up Where We Belong [11]
1998 Mishi Donovan The Spirit Within
  • Little Island Cree - World Hand Drum Champions – Little Island Cree with Clayton Chief
  • Necessary – No Reservations
  • That Side of the WindowTom Jackson
  • Walk Away – Fara Palmer
[12]
1999 Robbie Robertson Contact from the Underworld of Redboy [13]
2000 Chester Knight and the Wind Falling Down
  • Love that Strong – Elizabeth Hill
  • To Bring Back Yesterday – Fara Palmer
  • Touch the Earth and Sky – Vern Cheechoo
  • World Hand Drum Champions '98 – Red Bull
[14]
2001 Florent Vollant Nipaiamianan [15]
2002 Eagle & Hawk On and On
  • Crazy MakerMarcel Gagnon
  • Dark Realm – Nakoda Lodge
  • My Ojibway Experience: Strength & HopeBilly Joe Green
  • Riel's Road – Sandy Scofield
[16]

Aboriginal Recording of the Year (2003–2009)[edit]

Year Winner(s) Album Nominees Ref.
2003 Derek Miller Lovesick Blues [17]
2004 Susan Aglukark Big Feeling [18]
2005 Taima Taima [19]
2006 Burnt Project 1 Hometown [20]
2007 Leela Gilday Sedzé [21]
2008 Derek Miller The Dirty Looks [22]
2009 Buffy Sainte-Marie Running for the Drum [23]

Aboriginal Album of the Year (2010–2016)[edit]

Year Winner(s) Album Nominees Ref.
2010 Digging Roots We Are... [24]
2011 CerAmony CerAmony [25]
2012 Murray Porter Songs Lived and Life Played [26]
2013 Crystal Shawanda Just Like You [27]
2014 George Leach Surrender
  • Keep a Fire – Amanda Rheaume
  • Small Town Stories – Desiree Dorion
  • Burn Me DownInez Jasper
  • Road Renditions – Nathan Cunningham
[28]
2015 Tanya Tagaq Animism [29]
2016 Buffy Sainte-Marie Power in the Blood

Indigenous Music Album of the Year (2017–present)[edit]

Year Winner(s) Album Nominees Ref.
2017 Quantum Tangle Tiny Hands [30]
2018 Buffy Sainte-Marie Medicine Songs [31]
2019 Jeremy Dutcher Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
2020 Celeigh Cardinal Stories from a Downtown Apartment [32]
2021 Leela Gilday North Star Calling [33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Junos rename aboriginal album category to indigenous music album of the year". Toronto Star, January 11, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Controversy surrounds aboriginal category". Montreal Gazette, March 20, 1994.
  3. ^ "Dispute threatens aboriginal Juno award". Toronto Star, March 19, 1994.
  4. ^ a b "Juno compromise reached in native song controversy". Toronto Star, March 20, 1994.
  5. ^ Brad Wheeler, "Should there be an Indigenous Juno Awards category?". The Globe and Mail, March 20, 2020.
  6. ^ Friend, David (2 October 2019). "Juno Awards rejig Indigenous category to focus on artists instead of albums". CTV News/The Canadian Press. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  7. ^ Friend, David (June 4, 2021). "Juno Awards announce new category for underground dance single of the year". Toronto Star via The Canadian Press. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  8. ^ "Nominees: 1994". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  9. ^ "Nominees: 1995". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  10. ^ "Nominees: 1996". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  11. ^ "Nominees: 1997". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  12. ^ "Nominees: 1998". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  13. ^ "Nominees: 1999". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  14. ^ "Nominees: 2000". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  15. ^ "Nominees: 2001". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  16. ^ "Nominees: 2002". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  17. ^ "Nominees: 2003". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  18. ^ "Nominees: 2004". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  19. ^ "Nominees: 2005". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  20. ^ "Nominees: 2006". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  21. ^ "Nominees: 2007". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  22. ^ "Nominees: 2008". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  23. ^ "Nominees: 2009". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  24. ^ "Nominees: 2010". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  25. ^ "Nominees: 2011". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  26. ^ "Nominees: 2012". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  27. ^ "Nominees: 2013". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  28. ^ "Nominees: 2014". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  29. ^ "Nominees: 2015". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  30. ^ "Nominees: 2017". JunoAwards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  31. ^ "Arcade Fire and Daniel Caesar lead 2018 Juno Award nominations". CBC Music, February 6, 2018.
  32. ^ Melody Lau, "Alessia Cara and Tory Lanez lead the 2020 Juno nominations". CBC Music, January 28, 2019.
  33. ^ Holly Gordon and Andrea Warner, "Here are the 2021 Juno Award winners". CBC Music, June 4, 2021.