Nfld. & Labrador·FIRST LISTEN

Eastern Owl's Qama'si: A call to action

The members of Eastern Owl say their second album, Qama’si, which in the Mi’kmaq language means 'stand up,' is a call to action.  

Have a First Listen to Qama'si by Eastern Owl

Eastern Owl is L-R: Jenelle Duval, Jaime O'Leary, Joanna Barker, Stacey Howse, Natasha Blackwood, Rebecca Sharr, and Danielle Benoit. They are sitting in front of a mural by Indigenous artist Jordan Bennett, entitled 'Ktaqmkuk-Msit No'kmaq.' (Jennie Williams )

The members of Eastern Owl say their second album, Qama'si, which in the Mi'kmaq language means "stand up," is a call to action.  

"It's a command verb, it's action-oriented," said Eastern Owl member Jenelle Duval.

"The album covers a lot of different subject matters that we feel important — and we would like to see people stand up for."

Emotional songs

Eastern Owl is a drumming and musical group made of Duval, and six other Indigenous women living in the St. John's area

With songs such as Highway of Tears, Textbook Description, and Alcohol, the songs on Qama'si are upfront with their content.

"We've heard that we're a bit of an emotional roller coaster sometimes," said Danielle Benoit, another member of Eastern Owl.

"We are mothers, we are Indigenous women, we hear about stories like this all the time."

Listen here to Eastern Owl's Danielle Benoit and Jenelle Duval as they talk about their new album, Qama'si

Eastern Owl, the seven woman indigenous music group, has a lot to say on the band's second album, Qama'si, which means "Stand Up." 16:26

Laugh, cry, listen

Despite the intensity of their new album, Benoit and Duval are quick to reassure fans that Eastern Owl concerts are welcoming and enjoyable for everyone of all ages and backgrounds.

"It's very interactive," said Benoit.  

The women tell stories, invite their audiences to sing and clap along, and even invite people on stage to drum with the group.

"People are really open to learning and they connect with us," said Benoit.

The album covers a lot of different subject matters that we feel important — and we would like to see people stand up for.- Jenelle Duval

"We invite you to laugh, we invite you to cry, we invite you to listen," added Duval.

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You can hear First Listen Sundays on Weekend AM from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. (5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in most of Labrador) on CBC Radio One.  

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About the Author

Heather Barrett is the host and producer of Weekend AM on CBC Radio One in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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