NMC's Indigenous Programming Advisory Committee plays an important role at the National Music Centre (NMC), providing critical feedback on NMC programs and content. Its members share their vision and experience, identify programming opportunities as they relate to Indigenous content, and help NMC collaborate with and create space for Indigenous voices. The committee has First Nation, Metis and Inuit representation in order to connect NMC with the true diversity within the Indigenous community, and acts as a guiding voice for exhibitions and programs at Studio Bell.
David McLeod is the committee co-chair and the Curator of NMC’s Speak Up! exhibition, which recognizes powerful Indigenous voice in music. Based in Winnipeg, he is the CEO of Native Communications Incorporated (NCI), which operates a provincial radio network. He is also the Executive Producer of the Indigenous Music Countdown (IMC), a weekly Top 40 program syndicated across Canada on 15 radio stations, including SiriusXM. In addition to radio, David is a board member of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, an organization that celebrates and fosters music both in Canada and internationally.
David has over 25 years of experience working in media, from writing and directing children’s programs appearing on CBC Manitoba North, hosting talk radio and television, to working as a reporter, covering Northern Manitoban stories for several years. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, sits on the board of the Manitoba Audio Recording Industry Association, and is a member of the Winnipeg Indigenous Writers Collective. His writing has been published in several anthologies, including Let the Drum Be My Heartbeat, Prairie Fire, and CV2.
He has advocated for Indigenous media and access to it throughout his career, whether it be in parliament or in the community. In 2002, David received an Indigenous Music Award for his contributions in promoting Indigenous music. A self-professed ‘music fanatic’, David and NCI continue to produce the longest running Indigenous music chart program in Canada.
Steve Wood is widely respected for his knowledge, leadership and belief that honouring the drum has the power to greatly enrich the lives of Indigenous people, particularly youth. In 1982 the Northern Cree Singers were founded by Steve Wood and his brothers, Randy and Earl Wood. The group originates from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation but is made up of members from across the Treaty 6 area, including the Frog Lake Cree Nation, Onion Lake Cree Nation, Samson Cree Nation, Louis Bull Cree Nation, and the Poundmaker Cree Nation.
Northern Cree currently have 40 albums that are distributed world-wide by their Phoenix, AZ based record label, Canyon Records. They have garnered 9 Grammy nominations, multi-Juno nominations with a win in 2019, and have been awarded multiple Native American Music Awards and Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. Northern Cree have also won numerous powwow singing competitions. They have created music for, and appeared in, the major motion picture “Grey Owl,” which was produced and directed by the Lord Richard Attenborough. Northern Cree also performed on stage during the 2017 Grammy pre-show.
Northern Cree are role models for all First Nations people and live by Steve’s motto: “If you believe in yourself, who you are, where you come from, your culture and more importantly your language, it will take you to places you have never even dreamed of.”
Steve Wood also works as an educator and mentor at the Junior/Senior High School on the Ermineskin First Nation, Alberta.
Madeleine Allakariallak is the host of Canada's only Inuktitut news program on CBC North in Iqaluit, Nunavut. She also hosted a national news program on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. She is a journalist and traditional Inuk throat singer, who was born and raised in Resolute Bay, Nunavut.
Madeleine is a respected advocate for Inuit culture and language, she learned to throat sing as she was growing up by watching and listening to her grandmother. This very unique way of sharing vocal, guttural music is only done by Inuit, and it imitates the sounds of the arctic: birds, rivers, and hunter’s tools.
Madeleine and her cousin Phoebe Atagotaaluk, another throat singer, helped revive the almost lost form of traditional Inuit throat singing, which was banned by missionaries until the late 1970's. This duo recorded an album as Tudjaat, incorporating other musical instruments in hopes to reach a younger audience. Fast forward to today, throat singing is performed in many Inuit communities, in multiple forms and genres.
She has performed all over the world, including for royalty in Japan and for royalty who have come to Canada. Madeleine was also a member of the Indigenous committee that helped narrow the selection of musicians vying to win a Juno.
As a journalist, Madeleine has interviewed many artists during her nine years as a CBC morning show host in both English and Inuktitut, including Susan Aglukark and the late Stompin' Tom Connors. She has also met numerous talented Indigenous artists during her time as a host and producer at the Aboriginal Peoples TV Network.
Madeleine Allakariallak is a passionate advocate for northern voices to be heard and represented, she is also a mom of 5 and grandmother to baby Saili.
Alan is a prominent community leader, actively championing the music of Indigenous people across Canada. Alan’s love of music is evident in his work, which includes previous positions such as the Aboriginal Music Development Manager for Manitoba Music, which helps First Nation peoples, Metis peoples, and Inuit develop sustainable careers in Manitoba’s music industry.
He is currently the Director of the sākihiwē festival, an Indigenous music festival that believes “every stage gives us a chance to challenge stereotypes and reaffirm the humanity of Indigenous people.” He helped launch the Manito Ahbee Festival and the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards in 2005, now called the Indigenous Music Awards.
As a manager for acts such as nêhiyawak, Alan has said that here's a need to recognize the diverse music Indigenous people create, and to create more space for Indigenous people on the industry side.
Alan has volunteered his time to many music-focused organizations, including positions on the board of directors for the Polaris Music Prize, the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s Indigenous advisory committee, and the Rap and Indigenous category committees for the JUNO Awards.
Beyond music, Alan has served as a member of the Mayor’s Indigenous Advisory Circle for the City of Winnipeg and has volunteered as a coach for his son's hockey and soccer teams. In 2013, he was honoured with the Future Leaders of Manitoba award for his contributions to the arts.
Alan Greyeyes is a member of the Peguis First Nation, Treaty One Territory (in Manitoba).
Lowa Beebe is a proud member of the Piikani Nation of the Treaty 7 Tribes. She is well recognized across the country, particularly within the Indigenous community for her work in Public Relations, Advocacy, Media, Social Media and Communications.
Lowa is a graduate from the Administrative Admin program at the Lethbridge College and went on to study in the Business Administration Degree program at Athabasca University. She is often called upon a public speaker, facilitator, consultant, and writer. She has a vast amount of Board of Director and Volunteer experience.
She has worked in Public Affairs & Governance for Eagle Law Group, also as the Public Relations, Media & Communications for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and as the CEO & President of Naato’si Design & Consulting Ltd. Over the years she has also worked with the Piikani Nation, Tsuut’ina Education and the Aboriginal Standing Committee on Housing and Homelessness.
Lowa has also done community consultation and engagement with First Nations and Metis communities and organizations in Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan; and in the non-profit sector. She has experience working directly with First Nations in policy, custom election codes, governance, consultation and more; and has worked with Chief and Council Members, consultation offices, land, and administrations.
Lowa has volunteered for several years as a board member for The Calgary Stampede, and contributed many efforts of their fundraising committee.
In 2014 she received the Community Champion Award from the Women in Leadership Foundation for her volunteer work in the city of Calgary. In 2016 she received a First Nation Builders Series Award. In 2018 she was the recipient of the Esquao Award from the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women.
She currently hosts a weekly radio program “The Lowa Beebe Show” that is heard throughout Alberta on CJWE. The guests include many community leaders and headline makers across the country.
Amanda Rheaume is a Metis singer songwriter and advocate for Indigenous music. She has won a 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year and has been nominated for a Juno. She is currently the co-chair for the CARAS Juno category: Indigenous Album of the Year.
Amanda has earned a reputation in Ottawa as a generous community-oriented artist and leader. She is also the Operations Director of the annual International Indigenous Music Summit that brings musicians, knowledge keepers, and industry builders from across the world to experience a cultural gathering, designed to build opportunities and share knowledge. The last two gatherings were held in New Orleans and Montreal.
She also co-organized the Babes4Breasts concerts and recording projects, spearheaded Ottawa’s Bluebird North songwriter showcases, performed for troops in Afghanistan three times, raised money for the families of military personnel, and sold 6500 copies of a Christmas EP in Ottawa to raise money for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Ottawa.
With the release of Holding Patterns (2016) and its single “Red Dress,” which addresses the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Girls, she again demonstrated her passion of fund raising and advocating change through her work as an artist.
Amanda’s music is a soulful blend of Americana, roots and pop tracks to audiences around the world, including Canada (coast to coast), the USA, Europe, The United Kingdom, the Faroe Islands, Central America and more. She has opened for artists such as Emmylou Harris, K'Naan, Lucinda Williams, and Ani Difranco.
She has released a total of five albums: In 2020, she released a single and video for ‘The Best’ a song co-written and performed with Kinnie Starr (Mohawk/European), it is a powerful anthem of empowerment.
Amanda Rheaume’s connection to the Indigenous music community and advocacy for artists to succeed in reaching their individual goals, inspire much of the work she does.