Electro-pop singer Riit from Pangnirtung is among the Nunavut nominees for this year’s Juno Awards for her album, ataataga. (Facebook photo)

Juno nominations highlight Nunavut talent

Tanya Tagaq, Northern Haze, Riit, and Silla and Rise all nominated for music awards

By Emma Tranter

Several Nunavut artists got some good news Tuesday, Jan. 28 when nominations for the 49th annual Juno awards were announced.

Igloolik rockers Northern Haze are nominated for Best Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year for their album, Siqinnaarut.

And Pangnirtung electro-pop singer Riit is also nominated in the same category for her album, ataataga.

The award-winning vocal artist Tanya Tagaq, raised in Cambridge Bay, is also up for a Juno for Instrumental Album of the Year for her album, Toothsayer. Tagaq won a Juno award in 2014 for her album, Animism.

Also nominated is Silla and Rise in the World Music Album of the Year category for their album, Galactic Gala.

The throat-singing duo consists of Cynthia Pitsiulak from Kimmirut and Charlotte Qamaniq from Igloolik.

Their debut album was also nominated for Indigenous Music Album of the Year at the Juno Awards in 2017.

Visit the Juno Awards website for a full list of nominees.

The Juno winners will be announced at a March 15 gala in Saskatoon, Sask.

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(8) Comments:

  1. Posted by is it necessary? on

    To me it seems the more important question, given that there is already an indigenous music awards show, should there really be an indigenous category at the Junos?

    • Posted by Why so sore? on

      I am curious if you are Indigenous or an artist?

      First, Indigenous artists haven’t had the benefit of performing on the same platform as many other performers- no matter what genre. Second, even though their talent rivals (or, in many cases exceeds) other artists, the landscape for Indigenous artists isn’t a fair playing field. Third, recognizing their talent in any award ceremony is absolutely necessary and if you can’t understand the importance, I wish you positivity and a more open, understanding worldview.

      • Posted by Why assume sore? on

        To, why so sore;
        If the talents and music of indigenous artists are as good or exceeding that of non-indigenous artists then this only reinforces the question, what’s the point of having a separate award for indigenous people only? To me it reinforces a narrative that indigenous people are not as good. It may even work to prevent an indigenous person from being recognized as truly good artist by categorizing them among a smaller, truncated range of artists that are perceived as having a lower bar for recognition simply because they are competing in a much smaller pool. Add to that that this smaller range also opens the door to lesser talented work being elevated to a place that reinforces this perception.
        As for your reasoning about a fair playing field, i don’t find that compelling. No one is on an equal playing field to everyone else, if an indigenous artist creates great work it should get noticed. We see this in the US where artists from poor disadvantaged backgrounds often rise to great fame, because they are talented. In fact the greatest artists I can think of often came from disadvantaged backgrounds.
        If you can’t see all that then I wish you positivity and light and waves of understanding from the universe! Oh, and a more open mind! (Just kidding, obviously a very silly statement).

        • Posted by bear on

          Good points here and great questions.

          I have always wondered why to have a separate category for indigenous when everyone is so good!

          Maybe it was necessary for a time and maybe no longer. Its a thought. I’ve often wondered if it was to the detriment of Indigenous.

          I feel that for the most part then artists can get kinda stuck in a side category.

          One of the ones who broke through that is Tanya Tagaq with her Polaris prize. I think it’s best to just do your best to represent your art and let it speak for itself.

          Awards are a great way to celebrate our artists and give exposure regardless of all this other stuff.

          Great conversation.

      • Posted by Troubador on

        Keep the Juno’s the way they are. But if some First Nation and
        Inuit artists want to set up their system, on their own dime,
        go for it guys.

        • Posted by oh ima on

          what an assumption that your making that First Nations and Inuit get everything paid for by some other group or tax payers as yourself! As if Juno doesn’t get government support. How ignorant and racist your comment is.

          • Posted by Troubador on

            There are many First Nations & Inuit performers who have
            accomplished good work on their own, and very proud to do
            so. Very good accomplishment.
            You, oh ima, are the one who is racist, At least give credit to
            Native entertainers.

    • Posted by Great Question on

      I thougbt the same question.
      And why can’t they just compete with all the other nations in tne catagories.
      Now it is becoming more and more like ‘why male and female?’

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