An annual festival of traditional and contemporary Indigenous music, featuring hunters and musicians from Québec.
An annual festival of traditional and contemporary Indigenous music, featuring hunters and musicians from Québec. Inaugurated in 1985, the four-day event takes place in Maliotenam, near Sept-Îles, QB, and draws together upwards of 6,000 attendees from the 11 different First Nations in Québec, from other Aboriginal communities in Labrador, Ontario, the Maritimes, and the West, and a small number of non-Indigenous visitors. Organizers emphasize the power of music as a means of survival, both a vehicle for creative expression in Indigenous languages, and a facilitator of inter-community exchange, celebration, and the expression of solidarity. Traditional hunting songs, traditional songs from the inter-tribal powwow repertoire, contemporary 'folk-Innu,' various genres and styles of popular music, Aboriginal theatre, show performances of traditional dance, and Inuit vocal games have been featured at the festival. Many recording artists, the most famous of whom has been Kashtin, got their start at this festival.
The host community of Maliotenam is the home of Philip Mackenzie, who initiated the contemporary song movement, creating folk-style pieces to texts in his language - Innu aimun. His earliest songs were accompanied by guitar and the traditional Montagnais teueikan (frame drum with snares) and were given the generic label of 'folk Innu'. Subsequently younger artists began to add or substitute other acoustic and electronic instruments.