Tanya Tagaq releases new song ahead of truth and reconciliation day

Tongues is being called her most explicit yet

Tanya Tagaq’s newest single dropped two days before Canada’s first-ever day for truth and reconciliation. (Screenshot from music video animated by Omar Rivero/YouTube)

By Nunatsiaq News

“They tried to take our tongues.”

“You can’t take that from us.”

“I don’t want your god.”

“I don’t want your shame, it doesn’t belong to me.”

These are lyrics sung by Cambridge Bay’s Tanya Tagaq in her newest single Tongues.

The song, released on Tuesday, ahead of the first national day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, is being called her most explicit yet by her record label, Six Shooter Records.

Instead of alluding to horrors and crisis, like in her past releases, Tagaq is direct and specific in Tongues, according to a news release from the label.

The music video for Tongues, animated by Omar Rivero — or Driftnote — dropped at the same time.

The video opens with drone-like views, panning across the tundra, as Tagaq’s throat singing leads into the song.

Throughout, a tongue moves abstractedly, coming from a face embedded in the landscape.

With visuals including crosses, which could be viewed as swords or graves at different points in the video, Rivero depicts the tongue fighting these symbols of colonialism.

The song and video end on the lyric Inuuvunga — or “I am an Inuk.”

Tongues is the first single to be released from Tagaq’s upcoming album, which goes by the same name and is slated to come out in March 2022.

“I forgive me” and “Colonizer” are some of the upcoming tracks.

Tagaq is an internationally known singer songwriter, as well as a bestselling author.

She is a member of the Order of Canada and has won a Juno award.

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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by Sing along on

    Sounds super happy and uplifting. Yay, reconciliation! Nothing fosters getting along like nurturing grudges and amplifying grievances.

    • Posted by Honestly though on

      Being angry is Tanya’s MO. She would be lost with out it.

      • Posted by Really? on

        I think she is an outstanding and really interesting artist. And we have freedom of expression in Canada. Looking forward to see and hear her new album.

        • Posted by Honestly though on

          No comment made about her artistry, only an observation that she is filling a niche in the ‘performative outrage’ space.

  2. Posted by articrick on


  3. Posted by Weird song on

    Gave it a listen. Powerful message but weird video and even weirder music(?) Err.. noise

  4. Posted by Cheryl on

    Tanya’s artful expression cannot be understood unless you even begin to understand colonization. Thank you Tanya.

  5. Posted by Pain In The Groen on

    What a powerful piece of music. The video was also excellent. Thank you Tanya.

  6. Posted by Iqalummiut on

    Tanya reminds me of Billy Idol’s “White wedding”. Such an inspiration.


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