Indigenous Is Not a Genre: Indigenous Perspectives on the Music Industry

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 at 7pm
Alethea Beetson, BIGSOUND
Chelsey June + Jaaji, Twin Flames
Curtis Running Rabbit-Lefthand, Indigenous Resilience in Music (IRIM)
David McLeod, NCI FM
Elaine Bomberry, Artist Manager
The Forks South Aisle
1 Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB
Manitoba Music


Presented by Indigenous Music West

This will be a conversation, for a broad audience, about the music industry, from an Indigenous perspective with the direction of conversation moving towards Indigenous identity and labels within music, marketing, and presentation. We’ll discuss the role of ceremony, Elders, youth, children, family, community, and how the music industry can learn from this. We’ll also cover cultural appropriation, reconciliation, and the autonomy and identity among artists and industry professionals who identify as Indigenous and how this contributes to their music career.

This is even is part of January Music Meeting


The Forks' South Aisle is located at street level. There are gendered washrooms, some with wheelchair access. There will be seating available for approximately 50 people including cafe chairs, sofas, high top stools, and some larger padded chairs. If you have specific seating needs, please contact or speak to Manitoba Music staff at the event.


Alethea Beetson (kabi kabi + wiradjuri) is an artist and producer who has worked extensively with Indigenous communities across multiple art forms to inspire new works responding to societal issues, cultural heritage and colonisation. More recently she worked as the Indigenous Engagement Coordinator at the Queensland Museum and was the Curator of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program for Festival 2018 Brisbane. Her research explores the function of ritual, resistance and resurgence in the creative development and production of Indigenous performance. Alethea is currently the First Nations Producer of BIGSOUND, Artistic Director of Digi Youth Arts and First Nations Producer of Horizon Festival.

Building bridges across cultures, continents, and styles, Twin Flames brings together a richness of personal history and musical experience. Multi-Award-Winning Artists; 2x CFMA’s Aboriginal Songwriters of the year and 3x NAMA Winners their songs tell stories of courage and survival. Honoring their ancestor’s history and representing all three of their Indigenous Backgrounds, they sing songs in English, Inuttitut, and French. Pushing the boundaries of “Contemporary Folk”, their songs incorporate both Western and traditional instruments. Prepare to dive into the hearts and minds of the beloved powerhouse couple Chelsey and Jaaji, you are guaranteed to be transported on a journey like no other.

Curtis Running Rabbit-Lefthand is an Indigenous multimedia creative producer, musician, spoken word artist, and scholar. He is the founder and Executive Artistic Director of Indigenous Resilience in Music - an Indigenous-led organization creating insight into the lives of Indigenous musicians and empowering Indigenous youth in reclaiming their identity in music and the arts. As an artist and musician, he performs as the front person in the aggressive hardcore punk band Signatory and performs as a solo musician outside of his band. Curtis is a proud member of the Blackfoot Confederacy and comes from the Amskaapipikuni, Siksika and Stoney Nakoda nations.

David McLeod is a member of the Pine Creek First Nation, MB. He is the CEO of Native Communications Incorporated (NCI-FM), which owns and operates a Manitoba wide radio network with 57 transmitters. NCI also runs another station that serves Winnipeg, NOW Country 104.7 FM. David is also the Executive Producer of the multiple-award winning Indigenous Music Countdown (IMC) a weekly two-hour top #40 program heard on 13 stations across Canada including SiriusXM (three-times a week). David studied media at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary and television at Ryerson University in Toronto. He co-chairs the Indigenous Music Programming Advisory Committee for the National Music Centre based in Calgary. David has given music presentations at the Canada Council of the Arts in Ottawa, the University of Manitoba, the Vancouver Academy of Music and the National Music Centre in Calgary. In 2019 he curated the SPEAK-UP! Exhibition that highlights the voices of ten Indigenous trailblazers from across Canada at the NMC, expected to be seen by over 50,000 people. David also sits on the board of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and the Winnipeg Folk Festival. He has appeared in music documentaries and hosted an Indigenous music series entitled “Our Music” on APTN. He is also an avid collector of Indigenous vinyl recordings and has met hundreds upon hundreds of Indigenous artists over a twenty-year period.

Elaine Bomberry is Anishinabe and Cayuga, from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, in southern Ontario Ontario.  She has worked as a freelance Indigenous Performing Arts activist/promoter/manager/TV and radio producer over her 34 year career.  She now makes her home on the Capilano Reserve, Squamish Nation territory in North Vancouver, British Columbia, for the last 14 years. She is Manager for JUNO winner, Mohawk blues piano man Murray Porter, also from Six Nations, full-time for the past 14 years, but has worked with him throughout the years since 1990.  She was also Associate Producer on his JUNO award-winning CD, `Songs Lived & Life Played’, and has emerged as a lyricist on his recordings, with a couple of songwriting credits on this release and his new album release, and is now a member of SOCAN. She’s Associate Producer on his new album, ‘STAND UP!’, and co-wrote with him two new songs, which was released in February 2019. She helped create the `Best Music of Aboriginal Canada’ recording category for the JUNO Awards in 1994, with Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Curtis ‘Shingoose’ Jonnie, and was the first Chairperson. Elaine is also an award-winning radio and television producer who was also a producer, writer/host for both ‘Rez Bluez’ on APTN, and ‘The Aboriginal Music Experience, her radio documentary series.


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