iskwē | ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ (short for waseskwan iskwew, meaning “blue sky woman”) is, among many other things, an artist – a creator and communicator of music and of movement, of pictures, poetry and prose. And through it all, she’s a teller of stories that have impacted our past and will inform our future.
iskwē’s message is arguably most impactful when delivered from the stage, where it’s not uncommon for people to leave in entranced contemplation or even in tears. Music merges with dance, multimedia, and more in a completely engulfing and cathartic experience – one meant to bring people together and celebrate that which unites over that which divides. Having received critical praise on her 2019 release, iskwē’s video for “Little Star” garnered a JUNO Award for Music Video of the Year in 2020, her album “acākosīk” was nominated for a JUNO Award for Adult Alternative Album of the Year, and her single “Breaking Down” was nominated for a Prism Prize and the SOCAN Songwriting Prize.
iskwē is Cree Métis from Treaty One Territory. She was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She is an urban Indigenous two-spirited woman from the Red River Valley, the birthplace of the Métis Nation.
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Speak Up! is curated by David McLeod (member of the Pine Creek First Nation, MB), Indigenous programming consultant.