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Classically trained vocalist and musician Jeremy Dutcher creates music that stretches across a century of history. His Polaris Prize-winning debut album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (2018) was inspired by his Wolastoq heritage and language, spoken in the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick.
At the suggestion of an Elder in 2012, Jeremy discovered 100 years old wax-cylinder recordings of traditional Wolastoqiyik songs in the archives of the Canadian Museum of History in Québec. An anthropology student at Dalhousie University, he was particularly moved by the recordings made between 1907-1914 by anthropologist William Mechling, which captured Jeremy’s ancestors singing, drumming, dancing and laughing.
In his groundbreaking 2018 album, sung entirely in Wolastoqey, Jeremy uses these ancestral recordings to weave past and present, and draw attention to the Wolastoq identity and language which he is working to revitalize. In addition to the prestigious Polaris Music Prize, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa also won Indigenous Album of The Year at the 2019 JUNO Awards.
As both an Indigenous and Two-Spirited person, Jeremy advocates for the Indigenization of queer spaces, and has worked in the development of Indigenous outreach at Egale Canada, a national LGBTQI2S organization.
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Speak Up! is curated by David McLeod (member of the Pine Creek First Nation, MB), Indigenous programming consultant.