Inuk singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark (left) will be curating Spotify’s Indigenous music playlist each week in June to mark Indigenous History Month. This week, some of the Inuit artists featured are (from top right down) Riit, duo PIQSIQ, and Tanya Tagaq. (File photos)

Inuit music spotlighted in Susan Aglukark’s Spotify playlist

Famed Inuk singer-songwriter curating playlist for Indigenous History Month

By Madalyn Howitt

To mark Indigenous History Month, Inuk singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark will be taking over Spotify’s Indigenous playlist for the month of June.

On the music streaming service, she will share 25 of her favourite songs by Indigenous artists, and songs that focus on Indigenous issues.

Originally from Arviat, Aglukark is among the best-known Inuk singers in the world.

An officer of the Order of Canada, she was the first Inuk artist to win a Juno award and was recently presented the distinguished Juno Humanitarian Award for her work supporting Indigenous youth through the Arctic Rose Foundation.

Her playlist highlights several tracks from Inuit artists:

  • Tanya Tagaq makes an appearance with the ethereal, experimental Snowblind off her 2019 album Toothsayer, inspired by the extreme elements of Nunavut’s winter;
  • Electro-pop artist Riit, who next month will perform at Ottawa’s official Canada Day celebrations, nets a spot with a dreamy, piano-driven acoustic version of her song ataataga (Inuktitut for “father”) off her 2019 debut album of the same;
  • Folk-rock duo Twin Flames, who sing in Inuktitut, English and French, take a spot with Pisuppunga off their 2020 album Omen;
  • Ovddos/Hivumuuniq, a song by throat-singing duo PIQSIQ and Sámi artist VILDÁ, came from a Folk Music Canada project in 2021 that paired Canadian artists with international acts to collaborate on original music;
  • Deantha Edmunds, an opera singer with roots in Nunatsiavut, is on the list singing Nutarâsuk, a collaboration with Tom Gordon and the classical music of composer Friedrich Reichardt;
  • Also, four songs by Aglukark herself round out the Inuit highlights of the list (Be Set Free, O Siem, Walk with Me and Diamond Sun with Glass Tiger and David R. Maracle).

Other notable artists on Aglukark’s playlist include Buffy Sainte-Marie, Leela Gilday of the Northwest Territories, William Prince, and the classic rock band Redbone.

“I hope you enjoy this music and these artists as much as they have inspired me,” Aglukark said in a video message posted to the playlist.

Correction: This story has been updated to note Aglukark’s playlist will not be updated weekly but will remain online throughout the month

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Nomadicalism on

    Susan Aglukark hasn’t aged a day since the 90’s. She has class and is worthy of a fresh batch of bannock.
    Thanks for your playlist, Susan Aglukark!

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  2. Posted by David R. Maracle on

    What a pleasure it was to work with you on this song with Glass Tiger. Thanks for including me in your playlist!!

    Nia:wen’kowa

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  3. Posted by Nanauq on

    I admire, Deantha Edmunds, an opera singer with roots in Nunatsiavut. I ordered her cd, Pillorikput Inuit.

  4. Posted by Name Withheld on

    I admire Susan. As the start of her career she has never change her image or her music.

  5. Posted by Wendy Bens on

    Just stumbled upon a new version of a song I used to love when I was young (diamond sun by glass tiger) and to my delight Susan Aglukark was their guest vocalist on the track. We are lucky these days to have access to music in collaboration that celebrates language and culture, and this song does just that. Just one Inuk’s opinion, but when it comes to singing in Inuktitut, she is simply the greatest of all time and a true ambassador.

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