Willie Dunn

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Willie Dunn
Willie Dunn HandPrint Edmonton.jpg
Hand print, Aboriginal Walk of Honour, Edmonton AB
Born
William Dunn

(1941-08-14)August 14, 1941
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
DiedAugust 5, 2013(2013-08-05) (aged 71)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
OccupationFilm director, producer, screenwriter, musician

William "Willie" Dunn (August 14, 1941 – August 5, 2013)[1] was a Canadian singer-songwriter, film director and politician. Born in Montreal, he was of mixed Mi'kmaq and Scottish/Irish background. Dunn often highlighted aboriginal issues in his work.

Music career[edit]

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Dunn was a singer and acoustic guitarist. He released several full-length albums of recorded music including Willie Dunn (1971), The Pacific (1980) and Metallic (1999). Metallic, reprises material from both earlier releases.[2] Dunn also composed the song, "Son of the Sun", which Kashtin recorded on their second album Innu.[3] In 2004 Dunn released the album Son of the Sun with sixteen songs (including three live versions).[4]

His songs "I Pity the Country", "Son of the Sun" and "Peruvian Dream" are featured on the 2014 compilation album Native North America, Vol. 1.[5]

Film[edit]

He wrote a song entitled "The Ballad of Crowfoot" and directed a ten-minute National Film Board of Canada (NFB) film of the same name in 1968.[6] Both the song and video are about inhumane and unjust colonial treatment of aboriginal Canadians, as well as their taking charge of their destiny and becoming politically active.[7] The first NFB film directed by an Aboriginal filmmaker,[8] the film received several awards including a Gold Hugo for best short film at the 1969 Chicago International Film Festival.[9][10] His other films include The Eagle Project, The Voice of the Land and Self-Government,[11] and his music was used for the films Incident at Restigouche, about a 1981 police raid on the Listuguj Mi'gmaq First Nation,[12] and Okanada, about the 1990 standoff in Oka, Quebec between police and native protesters.

Politics[edit]

A longtime member of the New Democratic Party, Dunn defeated Mohamed Bassuny to win the party's federal nomination for Ottawa—Vanier in the 1993 federal election. He received 3,155 votes (6.50%), finishing fourth against Liberal incumbent Jean-Robert Gauthier.[13] He participated in the Culturally Diverse First Peoples Arts Showcase tour in 1998,[14] and the Nations in a Circle spotlight of 2002.[15] He was inducted into the Aboriginal Walk of Honour in 2005.[16] Dunn died in Ottawa on August 5, 2013, aged 71.[17][18][19]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album
1972 Willie Dunn
1978 Akwesasne Notes
1980 The Pacific
1983 The Vanity of Human Wishes
1999 Metallic
2004 Son of the Sun

Singles[edit]

Year Single CAN Country Album
1971 "Schooldays" 35 Willie Dunn
1973 "I Pity the Country" 79

References[edit]

  1. ^ "First Nations troubadour Willie Dunn sang truth to power". The Globe and Mail. 23 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Willie Dunn". Auraltrad.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
  3. ^ Windsor Star, 20 July 1992.
  4. ^ Data from German album by Trikont)
  5. ^ "Light in the Attic Unearths the Forgotten History of First Nations Music with 'Native North America' Compilation". Exclaim!, October 8, 2014.
  6. ^ Montreal Gazette, October 21, 1990.
  7. ^ Ottawa Citizen, 30 July 1992
  8. ^ "Fixing the Gaze: New Indigenous Work at the NFB". NFB/blog. National Film Board of Canada. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  9. ^ "The Ballad of Crowfoot". Collections page. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
  10. ^ "The Ballad of Willie Dunn". Curator's comments by Gil Cardinal. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
  11. ^ "Willie Dunn infosite". Auraltrad.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
  12. ^ Armitage, Kay; Kass Banning; Brenda Longfellow; Janine Marchessault (July 1999). "The Documentary Practice of Alanis Obomsawin". "Incident+at+Restigouche" Gendering the Nation: Canadian Women's Cinema. University of Toronto Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-8020-7964-0.
  13. ^ Ottawa Citizen, October 7, 1993.
  14. ^ Montreal Gazette, 14 November 1998
  15. ^ Halifax Daily News, July 25, 2002.
  16. ^ Edmonton Journal, June 25, 2005.
  17. ^ Doc Rock. "July to December". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
  18. ^ "William Dunn obituary". Legacy.com. 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
  19. ^ "Aboriginal singer, activist Willie Dunn dies at 71". Cbc.ca. Retrieved 2013-08-10.

External links[edit]