In October of this year, the small community of Pic River lost four members in a tragic accident. Pic River resident Bonnie Couchie wrote this beautiful and stirring song for those four and her community.

The video also features Bonnie’s daughter Binaeshee-Quae. Of the song’s creation Bonnie wrote “in the week following the accident I sat by one of the sacred fires and wrote a song that I found some comfort in. This song is about the many ways that these young men were here for us as family and friends. It is also about all the ways that they as spirits, and we as physical beings continue to be here for one another in good times and in bad. The phrase “Niin dia maade” was taught to Binaeshee by her late grandpa Lambert Nabigon” and it means I am here.

Nov 8-11: Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival at W2


Don’t miss the second annual showcase/celebration of #NDN digital arts and culture: the Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival starts Wednesday at W2 Media Cafe! 

Bonus: When you buy your festival pass to VIMAF you get a free ticket to A TRIBE CALLED RED, FALCONS GOING AWAY PARTY at Fortune Sound Club on Friday night!

Find the schedule here and the press release below:

COAST SALISH TERRITORIES (Vancouver) - The Second Annual Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival (VIMAF) will be showcasing the best of cutting-edge Indigitized artists and their works November 8-11 at a handful of venues on Coast Salish Territories.

VIMAF brings together special guests from across Turtle Island, including Alanis Obomsawin, who will be presented with VIMAF’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She will be joined by directors and producers from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and BC.  Their works will be shown at the West Coast’s only Native media arts festival, including a variety of mediums such as short films, music videos, documentaries, video art, animation, feature length films, interactive media, video projection, and broadcasting.

Programming at the weekend festival will celebrate a number of trailblazing artists from around Turtle Island with Gala and Conference events, interactive installations, National Film Board (NFB) feature film premieres, and evening musical programs, all meshing traditional and contemporary experiences of Indigenous Peoples.  A number of prominent featured installations and films will be making their west coast debut at VIMAF, including NFB/imagineNATIVE partnership De Nort, an online interactive journey and onsite installation from the Winnipeg/Montreal ITWĒ Collective exploring life and experiences on a northern Manitoba reserve and how through forced reservation traditional memories and knowledge are being replaced. 

“Presenting web-based work alongside radio, television,and cinema really show the multi-platform storytelling strategies being used to tell our stories,” said Ronnie Harris, member, VIMAF Coordinating Committee. “Using digital tools is a popular strategies for Indigenous storytellers on the West Coast.” 
NFB Film premieres include Director Alanis Obomsawin’s The People of the Kattawapiskak River, returning Residential School lens We Were Children, West Coast Smokin’FishEvery Emotion Costs, and others. VIMAF and W2 Community Media Arts Society resident media artist, Bracken Hanuse Corlett (Wuikinuxv-Klahoose), will also be projecting, Wuulhu – To Fuse Together, a series of digital installations throughout Festival home venue, W2, for the weekend. Musical offerings fuse traditional sounds with cutting edge electronic-influenced sets provided by the East Coasts’ A Tribe Called Red, and locals Skookum Sound System, as well as DJ’s Annashay, Vancouver DMC Finalist DJ Krisp, and others. 
The 2012 Festival will be headquartered at W2, with other events taking place at SFU Woodward’s Cinema, National Film Board – Pacific Region, and Fortune Sound Club. “Anchoring the Festival in Vancouver’s original settlement is fitting,” says Harris, “we are using the Woodward’s media hub which is made up of W2, SFU and the NFB, to bring a focal  point for understanding what is Indigenous culture today in the centre of the city.”  
VIMAF is a media arts organization and non-profit society founded in 2011 to re-affirm the presence of Indigenous film and media artists and productions in Coast Salish Territory. VIMAF holds space for Indigenous media artists to show their works in an environment that fosters cultural discourse, critical awareness and interactivity through the independent production, stimulation, examination and illumination of Indigenous socio-political histories and current realities. 
VIMAF gratefully acknowledges the support of W2 Community Media Arts Society, First People’s Cultural Council, Hastings Crossing BIA, National Film Board - Interactive Studio, and a dozen Indigenous organizations.

For more information and the full schedule of events visit
Oh yeah, neechies.

Bubble Gum is the new irresistibly joyful video from Pamyua.

Bubble Gum is a drumsong off of Pamyua's double album SideA/SideB. The album is a collection of Inuit drumsongs primarily sung in the Yup’ik and Cup’ik language from Southwestern Alaska. Interestingly disc 1 of SideA/SideB features drumsongs performed traditionally with only vocals and drumming where as disc 2features the same songs but with different world music arrangements, offering a new way to enjoy and approach Inuit music.

This playful and infectious video was filmed in Unalakleet by the Anchorage-based film collected Electric Igloo Creative, Bumble Gum was made thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Congrats to everyone involved!

A Tribe Called Red Calls the Shots

by Eugene Boulanger

These days, it’s hard to keep track of one of Indian Country’s favorite contemporary electronic music producers A Tribe Called Red as they take leaps forward into renown and reputation. They’ve just released a new video, announced summer tour dates, and are celebrating one of their member’sThre3Style win.

Yes, Cayuga DJ Shub has recently earned the reputation of Canada’s top party rocker, according to Redbull Thre3Style – a title won in Halifax late last month. DJ Shub also won the top spot at the DMC DJ Battle in 2008, becoming the first Aboriginal DJ to win the DMC Battle. I think the author speaks for Indian Country when he says, bigups Shub – keep killing it! To quote a Justice vs. Simian track, “We, are, your friends! You’ll never be alone again!”

Aside from pioneering the Aboriginal Canadian electronic music scene and establishing the presence of Indigenous players as a serious force in the game, A Tribe Called Red has been busy. Bear Witness has been creating a series of videos set to Tribe’s music which acts as a commentary on myths and misconceptions regarding today’s Canadian, “post-colonial” identity, unveiling both truths and untruths through visual art. Media artists like Bear Witness are an emerging breed and hold a unique talent to be watched closely in the near future. As this exciting field evolves, its people motivated to push like Bear that are evolving it.

Busy is good, because busy means you’ll have a chance to see A Tribe Called Red on tour with electronic music favorite Javier Estrada in a town near you. Check these dates including the Winnipeg Jazz Festival below, and don’t forget to watch Bear Witness’s latest video, part 1 of the Javier Estrada Trilogy, Soprano Azteca.

June 19 Winnipeg – Winnipeg Jazz Festival
June 20 Regina – TBD
June 21 Edmonton – The Works Festival
June 22 Ottawa – Special Event
June 23 Peterborough – Ode’min Giizis Festival
July 08 Ottawa – RBC Ottawa Bluesfest
Aug 03 Montreal – Presence Autochtone

Kudos to these guys for staying in touch with, and contributing to contemporary narratives about #decolonization and Indigenous rights while pushing the electronic music scene through thoughtful fusions and modern dance floor remix revelations – but mostly for still managing to have fun while they do it:


Watch live streaming video from broadcastliveca at

VIDEO: Hobiyee 2012 Ts’amiks Edition
by Ron Harris aka Ostwelve

Nisga’a New Year, known as “Hobiyee,” was celebrated in Vancouver at the Agrodome last week and we have some video.

Hobiyee is the new year celebration of the Nisga’a First Nation that celebrates the first crescent moon that is shaped like “hoobix,” which is the the shape of the Nisga’a spoon. This special crescent shaped moon with its bowl facing upwards indicated that the following season would be a bountiful harvest of oolichan, salmon, berries and other resources. From Hobiyee 2012 Ts’amiks Edition, here’s an explanation on the meaning of “Hobiyee”:

The Simgigat-Nisga’a Chieftains in past centuries studied the celestial heavens. They were knowledgeable in the behaviours of the stars in proximity to the moon which forecasted the weather patterns. They studied the astrology not from text books but by years of observing the heavens. The Halayt-Simgigat (Spiritual Leader- Chief) studied the “Buxw-laks” moon, The Moon of February. Over time, they observed that whenever the first crescent moon is in the shape of a “Hoobix”- the bowl of a Nisga’a wooden spoon, thin shaped and the ends pointing upward- that in the following seasons the resources of our lands would be plentiful, the oolichan, salmon, berries and various other resources, bountiful. Hobiyee is about the point in time when our “Gal-ha’ink” Cedar Bent Boxes of the Nisga’a are near empty of their winter provisions and they have begun to ration the last of their provisions. The Nisga’a are hoping and praying for a bountiful season of oolichans (saviour fish) and a fruitful year. So the Nisga’a say, “Hobiyee” meaning “the spoon is full”.

Hobiyee is celebrated with a potlatch filled with traditional song and dance. This year in Vancouver, the Hobiyee celebration was taken to a new level when it was hosted by the Nisga’a Ts’amiks Organization at the PNE Agrodome and streamed live onto the internet. The event included hundreds of drummers, singers and dancers from around British Columbia and lasted 2 nights. Although this event has already passed here in Vancouver, there is an even more traditional event happening in the traditional territory of the Nisga’a in Gitlaxt’aamiks, which is the capital of the Nisga’a Nation 97 kilometers of Terrace, British Columbia. For more info on that event, visit: The archived live stream of the Vancouver Hobiyee celebration is some of the best footage capture of the event.

Here is the grand entry.