Why the Native North America compilation is even more relevant today

Released in 2014, the Native North America compilation collected recordings from overlooked Indigenous artists from the '60s to the '80s. Jarrett Martineau talks about the importance of the music across generations.
Jarrett Martineau is the co-founder of the new record label RPM and the presenter of CBC Radio's Reclaimed. (Melody Lau/CBC)

Jarrett Martineau believes the musicians featured on the Native North America Vol. 1 collection are important because they're a reminder that Indigenous acts of today aren't starting from nothing, and the issues they were singing about back then are still being faced by Indigenous people today.

The Native North America collection, compiled by music journalist Kevin Howes, showcases 25 Indigenous acts from across North America on songs originally released between 1966 and 1985. The collection received wide acclaim and was nominated for a Grammy in 2016, but it was also a poignant reminder of the struggle Indigenous musicians faced to be heard back then, and still do, to this day.

Later this evening, artists featured on the compilation will come together for a rare event in Toronto to celebrate their music and legacies. q speaks with Jarrett Martineau, an Indigenous music critic of Plains Cree and Dene Suline heritage and host of CBC Radio's Reclaimed, a new Indigenous music show airing on CBC Radio One and 2.

Look for more details on the rebroadcast of the concert on CBC Radio in the coming weeks. Reclaimed will continue on the air until the end of August and a new season of the show will begin on Nov 1. Tickets for the Native North American Gathering in Toronto tonight are available on Ticketfly. For more information about the project, head over to their website.

— Produced by Ty Callender