Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards Announces Winners of 27 Awards

Toronto, Canada – The 7th annual Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards gala held
November 25th was a star-studded celebrity event where 27 awards were presented
to honor the work and achievements of outstanding Aboriginal musicians and
industry members in Canada.

The big winner of the evening was
Tagaq’s CD, Sinaa, with three awards.
Two awards each went to Winnipeg’s

Little Hawk
, also from
Manitoba, and Cape Breton’s Forever.Manitoba artists shone in the spotlight, with a total of eight awards going to
six Manitoba artists, including

Little Hawk
Burnt, Kimberly Dawn,
Lisa Meeches & Kyle Irving, and Hank Horton. Following Manitoba, four awards
went home with Alberta artists, four awards were presented to winners from
Canada’s north (NWT and Nunavut), Saskatchewan artists earned three awards, and
three awards were presented to winners from Ontario.

Tagaq‘s CD Sinaa received three awards: Best Female Artist for Tanya
Tagaq’ Gillis, Best Producer/Engineer for producer Juan Hernández and engineer
José “Triki” Trincado, and Best Album Design for Oscar Poza & Montse. Members of
this outstanding team are from Nunavut.

Best Album of the Year and Best Folk Album honors went to

Little Hawk
for his CD

. Little Hawk, a.k.a. Troy Westwood, is from
Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia’s

also took home two awards: Best Rock Album
and Best Music Video for the recording Something to Dream Of and the
video of the same name.

, a 16-year-old left-handed fiddler from Norway House, Manitoba
received the Best Fiddle Album Award for his CD Southside of the Strings,
and the Galaxie Rising Stars Award, granted by Galaxie, CBC’s Continuous Music
Network, to a promising newcomer in Aboriginal Music.

The Best Female Traditional/Cultural Roots Album award went to
Asani for

Rattle & Drum
Asani is a contemporary a cappella Aboriginal
women’s trio hailing from Alberta.

Diga, a Tlicho (Dogrib) musician from Fort Rae, NWT, was named Best Male Artist.
His CD is called Earth is Crying.

The honors for Best Group or Duo went to
Burnt, the eleven-member ensemble based
in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Burnt’s CD Hometown blends blues, jazz, rock, funk
and traditional First Nations sounds.

& the Rhythm received the Best Instrumental Album Award for
. Burnstick lives in Vancouver, B.C., where he blends the sounds and
rhythms of Latin music and his Cree roots.

was named Best Songwriter for the title song on his CD
Ni Ototem
, whose goal is to promote, preserve and share the Cree language.

Kimberly Dawn’s song “Spirit of Our People” won the Best Song/Single honors.
Dawn is from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Lisa Meeches & Kyle Irving took the Best Television Program Award home to
Winnipeg, for the program “First Nation Invasion”. This is the first year
that the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards celebrate the producers with the Best
Television Program Award.

Northern Quebec’s

Beatrice Deer
received the Best Inuit Cultural Album Award for
Just Bea. This the first year of the Best Inuit Cultural Album Award.

The Best Blues Album went to
for their CD, Family Thang.
is a family of siblings, aged 23-30, from Six Nations, Ontario.

Blackstone Singers
, from the Sweetgrass First Nation in Saskatchewan, was honored with
Best Pow Wow Album -Contemporary Award for

Back In The Day

The Best Rap or Hip Hop Album Award was handed to

for her CD

Apprentice to the Mystery
. Eekwol is from the Muskoday First Nation
in Saskatchewan.

Honky Tonk Heartache Blues earned
the Best Country Album
Award. Abie Parenteau a.k.a. “Hank
” is from Duck Bay, Manitoba.

Painted Horse
received the Best Pow Wow Album – Traditional Award for
Blackfoot Songs
. The Painted Horse singers hail from the Cree, Blood,
Blackfoot, Peigan and Tsuii Tina Nations in Saskatchewan.

The Best Hand Drum Album Award was presented to

Northern Cree Singers
from Saddle Lake,
Alberta, for the CD

Sweethearts’ Shuffle

was awarded with the Best International Album Award for her


is a Wolf Clan member of the Iroquois Confederacy – Oneida
Nation, and calls Oneida, New York, USA home.

Willie Dunn was honored with 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. Willie Dunn is singer,
songwriter, musician, playwright, artist, director, award-winning filmmaker, and
First Nations ambassador, who lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Allan Beaver was awarded the Keeper of Traditions in Aboriginal Music Award,
presented to an individual dedicated to teaching Aboriginal culture through
music. Allan Beaver is an accomplished athlete, public speaker, well-known for
his heartwarming gospel music and an excellent role model. He is a member of the
Bigstone Cree Nation, and lives in Alberta.

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. The launch of Brian Wright-McLeod’s book,

The Encyclopedia Of Native Music
(The University of Arizona
Press/University of British Columbia Press) and its musical companion

Soundtrack of a People
, took place at the Canadian Aboriginal Music
Awards. Brian is Dakota/Anishnabe and lives in Toronto, Ontario.

The Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards acknowledge and honor the keepers,
teachers, promoters, creators and performers of Aboriginal music. The Awards
promote the diversity in, and celebrate the excellence of, Aboriginal music;
they recognize the unique vision of Aboriginal musicians, and they encourage
this rich cultural voice.

The Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards gala event took place Friday, November 25,
in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s John Bassett Theatre, in downtown
Toronto. The Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards are a highlight of the Canadian
Aboriginal Festival Week, North America’s largest multi-disciplinary Aboriginal
arts event, taking place November 21-27, 2005.

The 2006 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards will see some exciting changes. Amos
Key Jr., who has been involved in the Awards since its inception, will join
Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards Co-Founder Catherine Cornelius as Co-Executive
Producer. Also next year, the 8th annual Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards gala
event will take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on November 3, 2006.

The Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards are generously supported by Newcap
Broadcasting, Scotiabank, FACTOR, Casino Rama, Galaxie, the Canada Council for
the Arts and EMI Music Canada.


Best Female Artist

Best Male Artist

Best Group or Duo

Best Album of the Year
“1492 – 1975” – Little Hawk

Best Female Traditional/Cultural Roots Album
“Rattle & Drum” – Asani

Best Producer/Engineer
Producer: Juan Hernandez, Engineer: Jose (Triki) Trincado
For “Sinaa” – Tagaq

Best Instrumental Album
“Burn” – Jason Burnstick & the Rhythm

Best Folk Album
“1492–1975” – Little Hawk

Best Album Design
Oscar Poza & Montse
For “Sinaa” – Tagaq

Best Songwriter
Carl Quinn
For Ni Ototem, “Ni Ototem”

Best Rock Album
“Something to Dream Of” – Forever

Best Song/Single
“Spirit of Our People” – Kimberly Dawn

Best Television Program
“First Nation Invasion” – Lisa Meeches & Kyle Irving

Best Inuit Cultural Album
“Just Bea” – Beatrice Deer

Best Fiddle Album
“Southside of the Strings” – Ryan D’Aoust

Best Blues Album
“Family Thang” – The Wolf Pack

Best Pow Wow Album – Contemporary
“Back in the Day” – Blackstone

Best Music Video
“Something to Dream Of” – Forever

Best Rap or Hip Hop Album
“Apprentice to the Mystery” – Eekwol

Best Country Album
“Honky Tonk Heartache Blues” – Hank Horton

Best Pow Wow Album – Traditional
“Blackfoot Songs” – Painted Horse

Best Hand Drum Album
“Sweethearts Shuffle” – Northern Cree

Best International Album
“Skywoman” – Joanne Shenandoah

The Keeper of Traditions
Allan Beaver

The Lifetime Contribution to Aboriginal Music
Willie Dunn

Music Industry Award
Brian Wright-McLeod

Galaxie Rising Stars Award
Ryan D’Aoust

[Photo 1: Tagaq, 2: Asani, 3: Joanne

Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central