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How Jeremy Dutcher's debut album preserves his language and reimagines ancestral songs

Dutcher's debut album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, is as much about saving the Indigenous Wolostoq language from extinction as it is about reimagining the songs of his ancestors.
Jeremy Dutcher is one of the 2018 Polaris Music Prize shortlist nominees. (CBC)

Originally published on April 4, 2018

Jeremy Dutcher is an operatic tenor and composer of Indigenous Wolostoq heritage. His debut album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, is a reimagining of wax cylinder recordings performed by members of the Wolostoq community in the early 1900s — a time when the Canadian government had essentially banned Indigenous people from passing on their traditions.

Dutcher joined Tom Power for a performance and chat about the album. He explained why making Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa was as much about saving the Wolostoq language from extinction as it was about reimagining the songs of his ancestors.

Jeremy Dutcher, Mehcinut

— Produced by Tyrone Callender

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