Open today 10:00 a.m. ‐ 5:00 p.m.
Speak Up!

Since time immemorial, Indigenous people have connected to the land; an inspirational source for music. Traditional songs have come about from dreams, ceremonies, listening to nature, prayer and life experiences.

For many nations music is believed to be sacred, primarily for its purpose; songs  are gifts for celebration, to honour, to ultimately connect to spirit. In spite of failed colonial attempts (i.e. residential schools) to silence Indigenous voices, traditional music is thriving  today. Contemporary artists have also adopted many musical styles to speak up  against injustices, dispossession, and have used music as a form of resistance. Many  artists have also shared unique cultural histories, perspectives and  languages. In doing so, Indigenous artists have fostered dialogues and understanding which have and continue to  radically shift  the Canadian paradigm  of whom First Nation, Métis and Inuit  people are. Speak  Up! will showcase an annual selection of First Nation, Métis and Inuit artists from across Canada who have left their mark on culture through music.

Curator's Introduction

Click here for a text transcription.

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

“Music is connected to the land it originates from. For what would two people be from different lands if not for music? All music speaks the same language to one’s heart.”

— Steve Wood, Northern Cree

Thank You

With great appreciation
Artists and artist management for their contributions to the exhibition
National Music Centre Indigenous Programming Advisory Committee (more info)

Design and Development
Curated by David McLeod
Original Speak Up! design by Tim Neal (The Engagement Party)

Ongoing updates of Speak Up! are proudly supported by