Indigenizing the Mainstream: Music Festivals and Indigenous Popular Music
Keywords:music festivals, Indigenous music, sonic sovereignty, online performance
AbstractFirst Nations, Métis, and Inuit music and dance practices have enacted Indigenous survivance since colonization began. Contemporary Indigenous performers within and beyond present-day Canadian borders continue this performative intervention through popular music, building what I call sonic sovereignty. In response to music industry barriers, Indigenous media professionals created performance spaces for First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and international Indigenous musicians. Facing ongoing political changes, Indigenous music professionals navigated multilayered challenges for the 2020 festival season. As uncertainty continues around music festivals in the future, the article addresses how decolonial possibilities are shifting around cultural and political change through music festival performance.
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), 2019. National Indigenous Music Impact Study. NVision Insight Group.
Akee, R. 2020. COVID-19 Impact on Indigenous Peoples in the U.S. Econofact 12 May. https://econofact.org/covid-19-impact-on-indigenous-peoples-in-the-u-s. Accessed 10 July 2020.
Arvin, M., E Tuck, and A Morrill. 2013. Decolonizing Feminism: Challenging Connections between Settler Colonialism and Heteropatriarchy. Feminist Formations 25 (1): 8-34.
Barker, J., ed. 2017. Critically Sovereign: Indigenous Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. Durham: Duke University Press.
Bartlett, J., et. al. 2014. Misogyny on Twitter London: Demos. https://demos.co.uk/project/misogyny-on-twitter.
Bannerji, H. 2000. The Dark Side of the Nation: Essays on Multiculturalism, Nationalism and Gender. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.
Borgo, D. 2013. Beyond Performance: Transmusicking in Cyberspace. In Taking it to the Bridge: Music as Performance, Nicholas Cook and Richard Pettengill Eds. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press: 319-357.
Cheng, W. 2012. Role-Playing toward a Virtual Musical Democracy in The Lord of the Rings Online Ethnomusicology 56 (1): 31–62.
Church, S. 2020. This Is How Much YouTube Paid Me for My 1,000,000 Viewed Video. Medium 3 April. https://onezero.medium.com/this-is-how-much-youtube-paid-me-for-my-1-000-000-viewed-video-1453cad73847. Accessed 2 June 2020.
Coletto, D. 2020. Crowded Out: What Canada’s professional musicians say the impact of the pandemic has been on their lives, art, and, work. Abacus Data. https://abacusdata.ca/crowded-out-musicians-live-performances-covid19-pandemic. Accessed 3 July 2020.
Cusicanqui, S. R. 2012. Ch'ixinakax utxiwa: A Reflection on the Practices and Discourses of Decolonization. South Atlantic Quarterly 111 (1): 95-109.
Cunningham, J. 2007. The Nammys Versus the Grammys: Celebrity, Technology, and the Creation of an Indigenous Music Recording Industry in North America. The World of Music 49 (1): 155-170.
Day, R. 2000. Multiculturalism and the History of Canadian Diversity. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Deventer, K. 2015. The Public Festival: Inspiration and interconnectivity at the heart of festivals. In Focus on Festivals: Contemporary European Case Studies and Perspectives, Chris Newbold et. al. Ed. Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers: 255-264.
Doerfler J. et al., ed. 2013. Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World through Stories. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press.
Duarte, M. E. 2017. Network Sovereignty: Building the Internet Across Indian Country. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Goeman, M. 2011. Introduction to Indigenous Performances: Upsetting the Terrains of Settler Colonialism. American Indian Culture and Research Journal 35 (4): 1-18.
Grant, C. 2019. Climate justice and cultural sustainability: the case of Etetung (Vanuatu Women’s Water Music). Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 20: 42-56.
Giroux, M. 2018. ‘From Identity to Alliance’: Challenging Métis ‘Inauthenticity’ through Alliance Studies. Yearbook for Traditional Music 50: 91–118.
Hall, S. 1996. Cultural Identity and Diaspora In Contemporary Postcolonial Theory Padmini Mongia Ed. New York: St Martin’s Press: 110-121.
Harjo, L. 2019. Spiral to the Stars: Mvskoke Tools of Futurity. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Hissong, S, E. Milliman, and A. Wang. 2020. In March, COVID-19 wiped concerts and festivals off the calendar. Rolling Stone 15 April. https://www.rollingstone.com/pro/features/music-crisis-concerts-tours-980968/ Accessed 30 April 2020.
Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, B. 1995. Theorizing Heritage. Ethnomusicology 39 (3): 367-80.
Krueger, A. 2019. Rockonomics. New York: Currency Press.
Largo, M. 2018. Reimagining Filipina Visibility through “Black Mirror”: The Queer Decolonial Diasporic Aesthetic of Marigold Santos. In Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos and Canadian Imaginaries, R. Diaz, M. Largo, & F. Pino Eds. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press: 99-118.
Lena, J. 2012. Banding Together: How Communities Create Genres in Popular Music. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Mahon, M. 2020. Black Diamond Queens: African American Women and Rock and Roll. Durham: Duke University Press.
Mecija, C. 2018. Good-bye Ohbijou: Notes on Music, Queer Affect, and the Impossibilities of Satisfying Multicultural Ideals in Canada. In Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos and Canadian Imaginaries, R. Diaz, M. Largo, & F. Pino Eds. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press: 119-133.
McKay, G. 2015. The Pop Festival: History, Music, Media, Culture. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
Noble, S. 2018. Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. New York: NYU Press.
Przybylski, L. —
Bilingual Hip Hop from Community to Classroom and Back: A Study in Decolonial Applied Ethnomusicology. Ethnomusicology 62 (3): 375-402.
Rapping to and for a multivocal Canada: Je m’y oppose au nom de toute la nation. In We Still Here: Hip Hop North of the 49th Parallel, C. Marsh and M. Campbell, Eds. Montréal: McGill-Queens Press: 65-96.
Quinn, E. 2020. COVID-19 amplifying economic stress on First Nations, Inuit and Métis in urban Canada. Eye on the Arctic 18 May. https://www.rcinet.ca/eye-on-the-arctic/2020/05/28/covid-19-amplifying-economic-stress-on-first-nations-inuit-and-metis-in-urban-canada/ Accessed 3 July 2020.
Rodriguez-Lonebear, D., et. al. 2020. American Indian Reservations and COVID-19: Correlates of Early Infection Rates in the Pandemic. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice 26 (4): 371-377.
Scales, C. 1999. First Nations Popular Music in Canada: Musical Meaning and the Politics of Identity. Canadian University Music Review 19 (2): 94-101.
Simpson, L. B. 2016. Indigenous Resurgence and Co-resistance. Critical Ethnic Studies 2 (2): 19-34.
Stobart, H., et al. 2016. Music, Indigeneity, Digital Media. Rochester: University of Rochester Press.
Sutherland, R. 2018. Music within Bounds: Distribution, Borders, and the Canadian Recording Industry. In Gillian Roberts Ed. Reading between the Borderlines: Cultural Production and Consumption across the 49th Parallel. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press: 91-112.
Teves, S. 2011. ’Bloodline Is All I Need’: Defiant Indigeneity and Hawaiian Hip-Hop. American Indian Culture and Research Journal 35 (4): 73-101.
Tucker, J. 2011. Permitted Indians and Popular Music in Contemporary Peru: The Poetics and Politics of Indigenous Performative. Ethnomusicology 55 (3): 387-413.
United Nations. 2020. COVID-19 and Indigenous peoples. https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/covid-19.html. Accessed 10 July 2020.
Vizenor, G. 1999. Manifest Manners: Narratives on Postindian Survivance. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Walcott, R. Black Like Who? Writing Black Canada. London, ON: Insomniac, 2003.
Wright, T. 2020. “First Nations chiefs raise alarm over mental health impacts of COVID-19.” Global News 3 May. https://globalnews.ca/news/6898998/first-nations-chiefs-coronavirus-mental-health/ Accessed 10 July 2020.
sākihiwē festival —
a. “About us.” https://www.sakihiwe.ca/about-us. Accessed 2 April 2020.
b. “August dates announced for the sākihiwē festival 2020.” 26 March. https://www.sakihiwe.ca/news/read,article/221/august-dates-announced-for-the-sakihiwe-festival-2020
Tkaronto Music Festival. —
a. “Contact.” http://www.tkmf.ca/ Accessed 17 May 2020.
b. “Home.” http://www.tkmf.ca/ Accessed 17 May 2020.
Watts, C. 2020. “Caley Watts.” https://www.sakihiwe.ca/artist-directory/complete-directory/display,artist/219/caley-watts. Accessed 29 August 2020.
a. Interviewed by Liz Przybylski, Remote Interview, 12 June.
b. Interviewed by Liz Przybylski, Remote Interview, 14 November.
Kuzina, Vanessa. 2020. Interviewed by Liz Przybylski, Remote Interview, 14 April.
Turenne, Andrina. 2020. Interviewed by Liz Przybylski, Remote Interview, 9 July.
Authors retain copyright, while licensing their work under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.