Submissions For the Indigenous Music Awards is Now Open!

“According to the coordinators of the Indigenous Music Awards and presented by the Casinos of Winnipeg, submissions are now being accepted for the Indigenous Music Awards presented by Casinos of Winnipeg. The submission deadline for the Indigenous Music Awards is February 14th, 2018.  ” V. Schilling, ICTMN

Excerpt: Submission deadline for the Indigenous Music Awards is February 14th, 2018–Vincent Schilling, ICTMN

The IMA’s will be held at the Club Regent Event Centre in Winnipeg, MB, on May 18, 2018. Entries from Indigenous recording artists and music industry professionals from around the world can be submitted online for over 20 award categories which are listed  [on  the website The  First  Nations Canada]

Canadian artist Drezus is the first First Nation hip-hop artist up for a MTV Video Music Award. Photo-

Jessica Mauboy Wins Big at Indigenous Music Awards – 2017. Pedestrian tv

All submissions must have been released between February 15, 2016 and February 14, 2018, to be eligible for nomination in this year’s IMA award categories.

Northern Cree Singers attend The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017. Photo- zimbio

Gawurra feels the love with four wins at National Indigenous Music Awards 2016.

Twenty-two Indigenous Music Awards–including the IMA Lifetime Achievement Award–will be presented on Friday, May 18, 2018, at the Club Regent Event Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.”

About the Indigenous Music Awards:


Presented annually by Manito Ahbee Festival, the Indigenous Music Awards (formerly the Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards) is the world’s premiere awards show recognizing the accomplishments of Indigenous recording artists and music industry professionals from around the globe.

Learn More and Apply online at:

Category: Native Music

“The People of the Whale”

“Kiliii Yuyan is an indigenous Nanai photographer who documents native cultures and wilderness conservation issues. He spent time with the Inupiat, an indigenous community from North Slope Alaska, whose lifestyle and culture is dependent on subsistence harvest of marine mammals.” K. Yuyan, BBC

Flora Aiken gives a blessing to the first bowhead whale of the spring season. Photo- K. Yuyantiff

Excerpt: The people of the whale-By Kiliii Yuyan, BBC

“Members of the community are allowed to catch limited number of bowhead whales a year from stable populations. The first boats to harpoon the whale receive shares. The lead whaling crew divide the head between them.

This camp, erected miles out on the sea ice, is an Inupiat home away from home during hunting season. K. Yuyan

The Inupiat have a rich spiritual life that centres around the gift of the whale to the community. The cure for feeling cold while out on the ice is to eat quok, the Inupiat word for frozen raw meat and fish.

Misigaq, or seal oil

Seal is also a source of food for the Inupiaq. Misigaq, or seal oil, is a liquid made from the blubber of the bearded seal. It is left to ferment for a few days at refrigerator temperatures before eating.

Beluga whales are seen trapped by sea ice as shifting winds create unstable conditions. K. Yuyan

Sigvaun Kaleak and his father, Raleigh, are lifelong whalers. Although commercial whaling has taken a massive toll on the global whale population, the Inupiat have maintained a sustainable harvest.

Six-year-old Steven Reich examines his father’s umiaq, or skin boat used for whaling.

Tad, captain of Yugu crew, expresses excitement about taking Steven out whaling on the ice for the first time. I am proud of my son – he’s here to learn to be a hunter, he says.

Bernadette Adams was the first Inupiat woman to harpoon a whale. “I happen to have no brothers, so I had to find some way to help the family out,” says Bernadette.

Here, successful crewmembers do the blanket toss. They are thrown up to 30ft (9m) in the air, and depend on everyone’s help to land safely.

Inupiat elder Foster Simmonds has been a whaler since he was a child.”


Category: Alaskan Natives

2018: Native Nations Will Have Stronger Voting Power!

“[San Juan County, Utah] In this county of desert and sagebrush, Wilfred Jones has spent a lifetime angered by what his people are missing. Running water, for one. Electricity, for another. But worst of all, in his view, is that the Navajo people here lack adequate political representation. So Mr. Jones sued, and in late December, after a federal judge ruled that San Juan County’s longtime practice of packing Navajo voters into one voting district violated the United States Constitution, the county was ordered to draw new district lines for local elections.” J. Turkewitz, The New York Times

BMH and UNHS Board member Wilfred Jones in front of Hogan at Blue Mountain Hospital.

Excerpt: For Native Americans, a ‘Historic Moment’ on the Path to Power at the Ballot Box, By Julie Turkewitz, The New York Times

“The move could allow Navajo people to win two of three county commission seats for the first time, overturning more than a century of political domination by white residents. And the shift here is part of an escalating battle over Native American enfranchisement, one that comes amid a larger wave of voting rights movements spreading across the country. ‘It’s a historic moment for us,’ said Mr. Jones, during a drive on the county’s roller coaster dirt roads… The county is challenging the decision, arguing that the maps ordered by Judge Robert J. Shelby unconstitutionally consider race, and so discriminate against white voters.

Top, San Juan County commissioners at a meeting in the north; below, a Navajo meeting in the south.Credit B. Rasmussen for The New York Times

‘In one of the poorest counties in the nation, the last thing we need is to be constantly sued by these predatory attorneys,’ said Phil Lyman, a county commissioner. ‘Outside people try to put this into a racial divide that simply doesn’t exist in San Juan County.’

Top, the San Juan County Wellness Center in the northern part of the county; below, the closed swimming pool in the south. Credit Benjamin Rasmussen for NYT.

Fights over indigenous voting rights are playing out in the West and the Midwest, a trend that has the potential to tip tight races in states with large native populations, like Alaska and Arizona, and to influence matters of national importance, like the future of Bears Ears National Monument, a conservation area in this county that is at the center of a fierce debate over public lands.

Today, Native Americans are suing over a new voter identification law in North Dakota, where lawyers say there is not a single driver’s license site on a reservation in a state that requires identification to vote. The outcome of the lawsuit could influence this year’s congressional election, helping to secure or flip the seat of Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat with wide Native American support.

In the battleground state of Nevada, the Pyramid Lake and Walker River Paiutes won a lawsuit in late 2016 that charged that tribal citizens had to travel as many as 100 miles to vote. The suit forced officials to open new polling stations in tribal areas and spurred nine other tribes to request their own election sites.

First voting on Paiute reservation. USA Today

And in Alaska, where native people make up a fifth of the population, officials recently rolled out election materials in the Yup’ik, Inupiaq and Gwich’in languages, following federal rulings that found the state had failed to provide materials equivalent to those used by English speakers.

Yup’ik Voters Give Ballot Translation

Voters receive stickers in Yup’ik and English. (Lisa Demer : Alaska)

After those changes, turnout in villages rose by as much as 20 percent, increasing the political power of the state’s native residents.

Other native voting cases are proceeding or have been recently settled in Arizona, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming.

‘I think there is retribution,’ Mr. Adams said. ‘We’re tired of being the scapegoat, saying we’re doing everything wrong, when we try to abide by the law.”

Category: Politics

Native New Year Wishes for 2018

From  Talking Feather To All of Our Readers:

Wishing Everyone A Very Happy and Blessed New Year!

Category: Holidays | Tags:

Native Winter Solstice and Christmas Celebration

“There often arises the question among non-Native Americans as to whether or not Indians celebrate Christmas. Well, the simple answer is yes, many of us do celebrate Christmas. But, to understand the complete answer, one must look at the question through the lens of history.” M. Lee

Excerpt: Do Natives Celebrate Christmas?  By Murray Lee

“For centuries before any European contact, Native Americans held in high regard the winter solstice, which occurs on December 21-22, and they held celebrations around that time of year.

After European contact, many Native American tribes blended Christian beliefs with their traditional cultures and began celebrating a hybrid of Christian and Native beliefs. In fact, about three quarters of the Indian population identifies with a secular faith, the most common being Native American Catholics. So, their celebration of Christmas should not be a surprise.

Both the Winter Solstice and Christmas are a time to look forward to what is coming in the new year, a time when hope abounds.”

Category: Uncategorized

Five Native Tribes Challenge Trump’s Decision for Bears Ears

“Hours after Trump announced his scaled-back vision for Bears Ears National Monument on Monday, a coalition of five American Indian tribes filed the first lawsuit of many that were promised to challenge the executive action”. By C. Tanner,The Salt Lake Tribune

Harold Cuthair, Chairman of Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, speaks at press conference at the Salt Lake Marriott City Center Monday, December 4, 2017. Photo- (Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune).

Excerpt: Five American Indian tribes, furious over Trump shrinking Bears Ears on his trip to Utah, sue the president-By C. Tanner,The Salt Lake Tribune

“Their argument: Trump does not have the legal authority to shrink the designation…The courts have not weighed in on the matter since the Antiquities Act’s passage 111 years ago. That law authorizes presidents to unilaterally set aside public lands to protect ‘objects of historic and scientific interest,’ which President Barack Obama used to designate the 1.35 million acres in San Juan County last year.

The five tribes — Hopi, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni and Ute Indian — pushed for the monument status and are suing Trump and members of his administration for splitting the designation into two areas that comprise less than 202,000 acres. In a brief visit to Utah, the president also trimmed Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly 900,000 acres.

In their lawsuit, posted late Monday, the tribes argue to the U.S. District Court in Washington that the Antiquities Act does not allow a president to revoke or modify a monument — only to designate one…At a news conference after Trump’s announcement, tribal leaders condemned the president and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for allegedly snubbing their input, criticized the ‘tremendous affront to tribal sovereignty’ and vowed to fight the revised designations…The tribes are asking for injunctive relief ‘requiring Trump to rescind his proclamation, or prohibiting him from enforcing or implementing it in any way.’ That would stop the orders signed Monday from taking effect so that no permits are issued for oil and gas drilling or uranium and potash mining.

Jonathan Nez, vice president of the Navajo Nation, blasted Trump’s announcement-‘What transpired today, it’s just hard for me to understand,’ Nez said. ‘It’s just another slap in the face for our Native American brothers and sisters.’

Jonathan Nez, Vice President, Navajo Nation, speaks during a press conference at the Salt Lake Marriott City Center Monday, December 4, 2017. (Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune)


U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said in an interview earlier Monday that the president’s action is lawful. ‘It’s been done in the past. It can happen again,’ he said.

Zinke, too, said the administration is on firm legal footing, noting that ‘we didn’t do this in an arbitrary fashion.’ Other monuments, he noted, have been changed 10 times in the past.

Ten environmental and wilderness groups are suing Trump, as well as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, in federal district court in Washington. They are specifically targeting the cuts to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which is to be split into three smaller designations and stripped of nearly 900,000 acres.

‘[Trump wants to] turn the key to these lands over to extractive industries and local interests who really want to see them destroyed,’ said Steve Bloch, legal director for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, one of the plaintiffs in the case. ‘No one will look back on this decision in 15, 25 or 50 years and say Trump did the right thing by protecting less of this magnificent place,’ Bloch said.

Puebloan Laguna tribe member Renie Medina weeps during a press conference at the Salt Lake Marriott City Center Monday, December 4, 2017. Photo- (Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune).

Outdoor retailer Patagonia intends to make its case that Trump is ‘taking away recreation areas [from] our customers’ that would financially hurt the company, said its environmental activism manager Ron Hunter.

The Sierra Club called monument reductions a ‘pathetic’ example of Trump’s continued abuse of power.”

Category: Culture