A Tribe Called Red pulls out of Mìwàte sound and light show

Ottawa-based A Tribe Called Red has pulled out of a sound and light show to mark Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations amid concerns the event disrespects Indigenous culture.

'We respect their decision,' says Ottawa 2017 spokesperson

Mìwàte premiered Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, on Albert Island. (@2017Ottawa/Twitter)

Ottawa-based A Tribe Called Red has pulled out of a sound and light show to mark Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations amid concerns the event disrespects Indigenous culture. 

In an email to CBC News, Ottawa 2017 confirmed the electronic music trio's music will no longer be part of Mìwàte, which premiered on Albert Island last Friday. Two of their songs, Indian City and Suplex, were part of the 10-minute soundtrack of the show. 

"A Tribe Called Red has requested to have their music withdrawn from the project," said Ottawa 2017 spokesperson Denise Leblanc. 

The group's management said they would prefer not to be involved in Canada's sesquicentennial, she said. The group did not respond to a request for comment from Radio-Canada Friday. 

"We respect their decision and are honouring their request to make a change to the soundtrack. In collaboration with Moment Factory, we are in the process of adapting content that will be equally extraordinary and fitting for the Mìwàte experience," Leblanc said. 

Leblanc said she expects there to be "a seamless transition" over the next two weeks. 

Elder Albert Dumont, a spiritual adviser from the Kitigan Zibi First Nation, criticized the entire production for taking place on sacred land.

Elder Albert Dumont says the sound and light show is a 'mockery" of Indigenous culture. (CBC)

"It's mockery that Canadians — some people at least ... mock our spiritual beliefs with glitz and lights and that kind of thing," Dumont said.

"They would never do that with anybody else's spiritual beliefs. Nobody would ever allow that, whether it's the holy people of a synagogue, mosque, or church. They would never allow that to occur at a sacred place of theirs."

Ottawa 2017 executive director Guy LaFlamme said in an interview with CBC Radio last week Mìwàte talks about the "dark side" of Canada's history, and that organizers consulted with members of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation, as well as local Métis and Inuit communities.