He's released three albums, recorded with Bruce Cockburn, established an Aboriginal category at the Junos and produced television programs, which featured native talent. He is well deserving to be inducted.
—David McLeod, CEO of NCI FM
The Manitoba Aboriginal Music Hall of Fame inducted Curtis "Shingoose" Jonnie into its ranks on Sept. 22.
Established seven years ago, the Manitoba Aboriginal Music Hall of Fame honours musical pioneers in the community. It was no accident that it was created the same year the Juno Awards took place in Winnipeg.
Since then, 13 artists have been inducted into the hall of fame, which is housed at NCI FM, a provincial radio network in Manitoba. Some of the artists include Ray St. Germain, Ernest Monias, Errol Ranville and Tom Jackson.
"[Jonnie] has been at the forefront of Aboriginal music through the late '60s to the early '90s," says David McLeod, CEO of NCI FM.
"He's released three albums, recorded with Bruce Cockburn, established an Aboriginal category at the Junos and produced television programs, which featured native talent. He is well deserving to be inducted."
Last January, Jonnie suffered a stroke, and a fundraiser saw the Aboriginal entertainment community pull together to raise funds to help support the singer on his road to recovery.
Born on Oct. 26, 1946, Jonnie is a member of the Roseau River First Nation. He was just four years old when he was put in a missionary home in Steinbach, a Mennonite community in Manitoba.
Music played a big part of Jonnie's formative years, and in 1969 he signed a record deal with ABC Records in Washington, D.C. His producer was Eddie Kramer of Jimi Hendrix fame and, for the next three years, Jonnie's bio says he "got a front row seat and education of the rock 'n' roll industry meeting all the greats like John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and many others associated with Eddie Kramer."
Jonnie has worked tirelessly to bring native talent to the public eye and ear by serving on numerous arts boards, and producing the series Indian Time that aired on CTV, Global, Bravo and PBS.