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National Indigenous Programming Advisory Committee

NMC's National 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 – Pine Creek First Nation

CEO, Native Communications Incorporated
Winnipeg, Manitoba

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 – Cree

Grammy nominated leader & founder of Northern Cree
Hobbema, Alberta

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 – Inuit

Musician, television journalist
Iqaluit, Nunavut

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 Greyeyes - Anishinaabe

Director, sākihiwē Festival
Winnipeg, Manitoba

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).

Natoowohkomiina (Eldon Weasel Child) – Siksika Nation

Knowledge keeper of Blackfoot culture, musician, cross-cultural educator
Siksika Nation, Alberta

Born and raised at Siksika Nation in Alberta, Blackfoot was Eldon Weasel Child’s first language, and he is actively involved with the Blackfoot cultural way of life.

Music is also a big part of his life. He began singing powwow music at the age of six and became lead singer of his first drum group at eight years old. He won a world-class singing championship with drum group Blackfoot Crossing in 1987 at the Gathering of Nations, in Albuquerque, NM.

Eldon has served on several boards, commissions, and tribunals at Siksika for over 30 years. As well, he has served as an elected member of Siksika Council for over 20 years. As a recognition of his service and leadership, Eldon received the Alberta Aboriginal Role Model Award for Leadership in 2003.

Eldon is a renowned country musician, having been a runner up in the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame talent contest in 1999, which included a prize of a five-song recording in Nashville, Tennessee. He also received an award for Music Artist of the Year from the Blackfoot Canadian Cultural Society in 2013.

Eldon is currently a knowledge keeper/instructor of Blackfoot culture and language with several institutions, including Old Sun Community College and Blackfeet Community College. He is also a consultant and cross-cultural educator at Siipisto Consulting.

Leela Gilday – Denendeh

Musician, songwriter, artistic director
Northwest Territories

Leela Gilday is a celebrated musician- songwriter, singer, guitarist, composer and creator from Denendeh. If you’re from the North, her music is home. If you’ve never been, it will take you there. Born and raised in the Northwest Territories, she writes about the people and the land that created her- of love and life and a rugged environment and vibrant culture. She believes music has an inexplicable effect on people –a place where she can share light and dark and the most vulnerable moments. Her music has been recognized with many awards including two Junos, and she has toured nationally and internationally for the better part of 25 years. She recently formed a duo project with her brother Jay Gilday called “Sechile Sedare.” She is also in the process of language reclamation, and her forthcoming record is all in Dene languages.

Leela’s career as an Artistic Director has included projects such as the Circumpolar Soundscape, Muskoskwew Quartet, Tsekwi Huya Gala celebration, finale of Indspire awards gala 2017 and 2020, Gho-Bah/Gombaa collective concert and recording, six years as Musical Director for the national Arctic Inspiration Prize Ceremony (2018-2023, and work as Music Supervisor for a number of film projects in health and wellness. She has also worked extensively throughout her career with various communities across Turtle Island to inspire and educate youth about the power of the voice. Her volunteer work includes years on the board of the NWT Arts Council, founding member and Executive board member of Music NWT. She is also a current board member of Music Managers Forum Canada, a key collective member of Atti! Indigenous Artists Collective (NWT) and Chair of the Board of the new national Indigenous Music Office(IMO). She lives in and works from Treaty 8 Chief Drygeese Territory in Yellowknife, NT (Denendeh).

Past NMC Indigenous Programming Advisory Committee Members

  • Lowa Beebe (2019-2022)

  • Amanda Rheaume (2019-2023)