Indigenous rock band Eagle & Hawk still rocking nearly 30 years later
History of band is explored in new documentary Eagle & Hawk Take the Stage
Eagle & Hawk Take the Stage
7 p.m. on CBC Manitoba
With 10 albums and nearly 30 years together as a band, Eagle & Hawk is a Canadian institution.
Founded in 1994 by Vince Fontaine and Troy Westwood, an active CFL football player for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at the time, the Indigenous band based in Winnipeg toured the world, branding themselves as "Indian rock music from Canada."
Eagle & Hawk followed on the heels of other successful Indigenous acts from Canada, like singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie and actor-singer Tom Jackson, as well as the U.S. group Redbone — known as the first Indigenous group to have a No. 1 single internationally.
But they are widely regarded as trailblazers for bringing Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together — both on the stage and in their crowds — with the universal language of music.
Eagle & Hawk's unique perspective infused contemporary sounds with traditional elements.
"Maybe not pioneering, but there weren't very many people at that point in time fusing the sounds and the elements, so it was almost like we were on the cusp of introducing a new genre, of sorts," Westwood said.
The history of the band is explored in a new documentary, co-directed by Fontaine and released by CBC as part of the Absolutely Manitoba series, titled Eagle & Hawk Take the Stage.
Fontaine, Westwood and their fellow band members are featured, along with prominent Canadian figures like Sen. Murray Sinclair and Jim Cuddy, lead singer for Blue Rodeo, who speak about the impact the band had on the Indigenous community and the Canadian music scene.
Watch Eagle & Hawk Take the Stage on Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. on CBC television.