National Indigenous Peoples Day

Header image: “Truth” by KC Adams (2019)

National Indigenous Peoples Day
This year, we are recognizing National Indigenous Peoples Day by highlighting Indigenous artists at the 2022 Festival this summer. We are honoured to have the support from the Indigenous Advisory Circle and Knowledge Keeper Sherry Copenace for the Winnipeg Folk Festival who guide and direct us in our continued Indigenous education. We strive to support and showcase Indigenous artists throughout the year and at the Festival.

We are fortunate to spend the Festival weekend at Birds Hill Provincial Park, on Treaty 1 territory and the homeland of the Red River Métis.


Knowledge Keeper
Sherry Copenace
Born and raised in the Ojibway community of Onigaming in Northwestern Ontario, Knowledge Keeper Sherry Copenace is proud of being Anishinaabe and her experience in social work has led her to teach Anishinaabe traditions and ceremonies, including Indigenous childbirth practices that bring “birth back to the community.” Sherry speaks her original Ojibway language and has a great love for the Land, Waters and Peoples.


Opening Blessing
Join us for the Opening Blessing on Main Stage before the music begins on Thursday, July 7 at 5:30 PM, led by Knowledge Keeper Sherry Copenace.

Welcoming Ceremony
We will gather with Knowledge Keeper, Sherry Copenace, for the traditional Indigenous Welcoming Ceremony to acknowledge and welcome artists to the festival. Join us in the Folk School Tent on Saturday, July 9 at 10:30 AM. Everyone is welcome to attend.


Lineup Artists

FONTINE
FONTINE crafts sanguine lyrics that tell stories of loves past and present, often using themes of nature to ground her songwriting. Her identity as a Nehiyaw Iskwew goes back to early memories of visiting the family farm on Cowessess First Nation reserve.

Jeremy Dutcher
Jeremy Dutcher is a performer, composer, activist, and musicologist. His music transcends boundaries: unapologetically playful in its incorporation of classical influences, full of reverence for the traditional songs of his home.

PIQSIQ
With a style inspired by haunting northern beauty, sisters Inuksuk Mackay and Tiffany Ayalik are Inuit throat singers from Arctic Canada who blend their ancient traditional form with contemporary technology to create haunting soundscapes and improvisational compositions that change with every show.

Sebastian Gaskin
Sebastian Gaskin is a multi-instrumentalist R&B singer-songwriter based in Winnipeg who grew up in Tataskweyak Cree Nation (Split Lake). Sebastian writes and self-produces anything but formulaic music, thanks to eclectic musical tastes in R&B, hip hop, metal, and punk. Gaskin’s debut EP, Contradictions was released in 2019.

Shanley Spence
Shanley Spence has become a prominent, well-known Indigenous community advocate. With roots of Nihithaw/Cree ancestry from her mother’s community of Pukatawagan and Saulteaux/Anishinaabe from her father’s community of Lake St. Martin First Nation. Born and raised in Winnipeg, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Development from the University of Winnipeg.

The Trade-Offs
Arctic soul, The Trade-Offs’ iconic brand, is distinguished by the deep brooding voice of Josh Qaumariaq and soulful background of Jeff Maurice set against blues and rock and roll sound echoing from the depth of the Northern tundra. In a blend of Inuktitut and English lyrics, The Trade-Offs sing the Arctic blues about universal themes of light, darkness, closeness, and isolation.


Hand-Made Village Artisans

Aimée-Mihkokwaniy McGillis
Aimée-Mihkokwaniy McGillis creates unique, modern, handcrafted heirloom jewelry pieces that inspire the wearer’s intrinsic connection to nature and the inter-connectedness of all life.

Anishinaabe Girl
For hundreds of years, Indigenous peoples have used elements from nature as a form of artistic expression and adornment. Anishinaabe Girl, by Shauna Fontaine, continues this tradition of harvesting and accessing natural elements to create unique one-of-a-kind jewelry designs with a touch of boujee glam.


Family Area
Join us in Family Area for Hoop Dancing with Shanley Spence, story time with Métis children’s book author Grant Anderson, and see Summer Bear Dance Troupe share dances such as the Grass Dance, Traditional Dance, Fancy Feather and Shawl Dance, Hoop Dance, and Jingle Dress Dance while acknowledging where the dances originated from.