Thursday February 09, 2017

Northern Cree prepare for their return to the Grammy Awards

Alberta-based Indigenous music group Northern Cree is nominated for a Grammy in the category of regional roots.

Alberta-based Indigenous music group Northern Cree is nominated for a Grammy in the category of regional roots. (Canyon Ho/The Canadian Press)

Listen 19:20

Alberta's Northern Cree is nominated for a Juno Award this year, for their collaboration with Tanya Tagaq and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. But before they go to that ceremony in April, they're heading off to Los Angeles.

The Indigenous music group's album, It's a Cree Thing, is also nominated for a Grammy Award in the best regional roots category. And while this is the group's seventh nomination, member Steve Wood really didn't expect to get recognized this year. With the Native American music category was eliminated in 2011, Wood didn't think his group would find space in another category but, alas, they did.

On top of their nomination, Northern Cree will also perform during the Grammys' pre-televised awards. Woods notes that, after attending in previous years, they know exactly what to do this time around. 

"The first time we were nominated, we were going as what we'd seen on television," Wood says, of the formal wear they all decided to wear. But now, they know that authenticity is the best look to sport. "When we go onstage to perform, we're going to be ourselves. We're not emulating anyone else — this is our music and we're sharing it with the rest of the world."

— Produced by Ben Jamieson