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Northern Haze

Northern Haze

Founders of Inuktitut rock, Northern Haze trace their beginnings to the mid-seventies,  when  bandmates  Kolitalik  Inukshuk,  Naisana  Qamaniq, James  Ungalaq, Elijah  Kunnuk  and  John  Inooya  bonded over gritty rock music in their small Arctic village,  Igloolik, Nunavut.  Never letting their  remote circumstances deter them, they, with latest members Derek  Aqqiaruq and Allan Kangok, forged a  new sound  and showcased the resilience of their people, language and culture in the process. 

All self-taught musicians, the band’s humble start included jamming on homemade guitars  and  a  toy drum set. By 1984 Northern Haze was formed, and in 1985 they released their  groundbreaking  self-titled record through the CBC Northern Service,  widely praised as  the first Indigenous-language rock album in North America.

Northern Haze’s riff-heavy sound nods to Thin  Lizzy, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and has  gained  them invitations to perform at major festivals across Canada, touring Northern communities  and receiving constant requests for radio play.

Through challenging times, including the passing of Elijah and  Kolitalik, the band and its  globa l buzz continues, putting out a compilation record,  Sinaaktuq, in 2012, JUNO-nominated  album,  Siqinnaarut, in 2018, and being signed to  Aakuluk  Music, Nunavut’s first record  label.

Curator's Comments

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Speak Up! is curated by David McLeod (member of the Pine Creek First Nation, MB), Indigenous programming consultant.