Indigenous Music Awards show returns to Winnipeg
Awards in 18 categories handed out at gala in Winnipeg
From country music to instrumental to powwow and rock, Indigenous artists from across North America were honoured at the Indigenous Music Awards Friday night.
The hardware was handed out at a gala held during the Manito Ahbee festival, an international Indigenous celebration underway in Winnipeg this weekend.
"I think it's important because it gives us a voice," said Jade Turner, a musician fom the Misapawistik Cree Nation in northern Manitoba who took home best country album for North Country.
"[These] awards shows the world who we are as people, and that, for me, is really important."
Rock, pop, powwow musicians take prizes
Best instrumental album went to DJ Shub, formerly of A Tribe Called Red, for his solo debut, PowWowStep, while Haida musician Carsen Gray from Haida Gwaii, B.C., won best new artist for her self-titled album.
"I feel blessed to be here tonight," Gray said.
This year's winners were selected by a jury of their peers, a departure from years gone by that incorporated fan voting.
"I thought it was going to be a voting process of, like, your friends and stuff," Gray said. "To find out that it was a panel of just, like, industry professionals at the top of what they do — that really felt good."
Also among the other winners were Haida/Cree singer-songwriter Kristi Lane Sinclair, awarded best rock album for Dark Matter and Mariame, who won best pop album for her Bloom.
Veteran drum group Blackstone, hailing from the Sweetgrass First Nation in Saskatchewan, won best contemporary powwow album for Celebration of Life.
CBC's Unreserved took home the prize for best radio station program.
Full list of winners
This year, winners were selected by a jury of their peers. Previously, when the awards were called the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards, fans had the power to vote and select the winners.
A total of 18 awards were handed out at the 2017 gala.
Best blues album
Cradle to the Grave, Cary Morin
Best country album (presented by Casinos of Winnipeg)
North Country, Jade Turner
Best folk album (presented by Winnipeg Folk Festival)
Goodbye Goldia, Logan Staats
Best Indigenous language, or francophone album (presented by APTN)
Kisakihitan, Rhonda Head
Best instrumental album
PowWowStep, DJ Shub
Best pop album (presented by CBC Manitoba )
Best rap/hip hop
#GreyMagic, Joey Stylez
Dark Matter, Kristi Lane Sinclair
Best new artist (presented by SiriusXM)
Carsen Gray, Carsen Gray
Best radio single (presented by Indigenous Music Countdown)
Pretty Little Nightmare, Black & Grey
Best music video (presented by Exclaim!)
Revival, District Avenue
Thru The Red Door– Logan Staats/Goodbye Goldia, Derek Miller
Best international Indigenous release
Imbaya Full Flavour, The Imbayakunas
Best radio station program
The Lifetime Achievement Award was also handed out to powwow group Northern Cree.