The first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada is being observed on September 30, 2021. One action Indigenous people have asked allies to take for reconciliation is to amplify Indigenous voices, so we are choosing to celebrate and share the work of some our favourite Indigenous artists. Taking inspiration from the #Next150 challenge from a few years ago, we put together our own #IndigenousMixtape. The range of perspectives and work that we’ve included is tiny fraction of what is available. We encourage everyone to seek out art by Indigenous people and share it widely using the #IndigenousMixtape hashtag.
The full playlist is here, and we’ve expanded on some of our recommendations in the descriptions below.
John Burns, Story Director:
“You Got To Run (Spirit Of The Wind)” by Buffy Sainte-Marie & Tanya Tagaq – I love this song and its message. Watching Buffy Sainte-Marie sing is always a joy, but Tanya Tagaq there in the back doing her wilderness vocalizations makes it even more powerful. And I love that it was commissioned by the feds and between two Polaris winners for a collaboration to see what they could come up with. It’s so great!
Lauren Cheal, Senior Content Strategist:
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, a film by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn, is the story of two Indigenous women who meet because one of them is in crisis. It’s beautifully filmed and acted, and the story of a brief but powerful bond between two people has really stuck with me since I watched it last year.
Shahla Sayeed, Graphic Designer & Social Media Manager:
I recently ordered the paperback version of This Place: 150 Years Retold from Amazon and I’m really looking forward to reading it. It’s a beautifully illustrated graphic-novel and anthology chronicling several indigenous stories across Canada in a really unique way.
Andrea Fraser-Winsby, Studio Manager:
I can’t say enough about Reservation Dogs. Created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi, with an almost completely Indigenous cast and crew, and shot entirely in the Muscogee Nation, it is a watershed moment for Indigenous representation in Hollywood. It’s fresh and funny and touching. Seriously, just go watch it. (It’s on Hulu in the U.S. and Disney+ in Canada.) And I get such a kick from seeing Indigenous representation in mainstream spaces where traditionally there hasn’t been much, so seeing the cast present at the Emmys made me stand up from the couch and pump my fist.
Stephanie Toth, Production Coordinator:
Noompiming, the latest book from Michi Saagig Nishnaabeg writer, scholar, and artist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, is a novel grounded in Anishnaabe storytelling that weaves narrative structure with poetic form, producing something that is wholly new and alive. The result is an exercise in decolonization via a radical reimagining of what it means to live in—and be of—the world.