Willie Dunn

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For other people named William Dunn, see William Dunn (disambiguation).
Willie Dunn
Willie Dunn HandPrint Edmonton.jpg
Hand print, Aboriginal Walk of Honour, Edmonton AB
Born William Dunn
(1942-08-14)August 14, 1942
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died August 5, 2013(2013-08-05) (aged 71)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Film director, producer, screenwriter, musician

William "Willie" Dunn (August 14, 1942 – August 5, 2013) was a Canadian singer-songwriter and producer. Born in Montreal, he is 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.[1] Dunn also composed the song, "Son of the Sun", which Kashtin recorded on their second album Innu.[2] In 2004 Dunn released the album Son of the Sun with sixteen songs (including three live versions).[3]

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.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6] One of the first NFB films directed by an Aboriginal filmmaker, the film received several awards including a Gold Hugo for best short film at the 1969 Chicago International Film Festival.[7][8] His other films include The Eagle Project, The Voice of the Land and Self-Government,[9] and his music was used for the films Incident at Restigouche, about a 1981 police raid on the Listuguj Mi'gmaq First Nation,[10] 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.[11] He participated in the Culturally Diverse First Peoples Arts Showcase tour in 1998,[12] and the Nations in a Circle spotlight of 2002.[13] He was inducted into the Aboriginal Walk of Honour in 2005.[14] Dunn died in Ottawa on August 5, 2013, aged 71.[15][16][17]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album
1972 Willie Dunn
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. ^ "Willie Dunn". Auraltrad.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  2. ^ Windsor Star, 20 July 1992.
  3. ^ Data from German album by Trikont)
  4. ^ "Light in the Attic Unearths the Forgotten History of First Nations Music with 'Native North America' Compilation". Exclaim!, October 8, 2014.
  5. ^ Montreal Gazette, October 21, 1990.
  6. ^ Ottawa Citizen, 30 July 1992
  7. ^ "The Ballad of Crowfoot". Collections page. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  8. ^ "The Ballad of Willie Dunn". Curator's comments by Gil Cardinal. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  9. ^ "Willie Dunn infosite". Auraltrad.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  10. ^ Armitage, Kay; Kass Banning; Brenda Longfellow; Janine Marchessault (July 1999). "The Documentary Practice of Alanis Obomsawin". Gendering the Nation: Canadian Women's Cinema. University of Toronto Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-8020-7964-0. 
  11. ^ Ottawa Citizen, October 7, 1993.
  12. ^ Montreal Gazette, 14 November 1998
  13. ^ Halifax Daily News, July 25, 2002.
  14. ^ Edmonton Journal, June 25, 2005.
  15. ^ Doc Rock. "July to December". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  16. ^ "William Dunn obituary". Legacy.com. 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  17. ^ "Aboriginal singer, activist Willie Dunn dies at 71". Cbc.ca. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 

External links[edit]