Mariame wins best pop album at Indigenous Music Awards

Share Button

The Indigenous music industry in Canada has upped the ante and decided to add a more professional sheen to its annual awards show.

Previously known as the Aboriginal Peoples’ Choice Music Awards, the event has re-emerged after a year’s hiatus and been re-branded as the Indigenous Music Awards.

Held at the Club Regent Event Centre in Winnipeg May 19 as part of the Manito Ahbee Powwow, the event honoured the achievements of Indigenous artists and industry professionals from Canada and around the world.

Country artists Kimberley Dawn and Jerry Sereda hosted the sold-out gala. Besides handing out awards in 18 categories, the ceremony featured live performances by Fred Penner, Crystal Shawanda, Northern Cree, Christa Couture, Kimberley Dawn and Eeyou Estchee’s own Mariame.


One thing the event underlines is the wide variety of musical genres Indigenous artists perform – ranging from country music to powwow to blues to rock.

Mariame, who was nominated in two categories, walked away a winner when her debut recording, Bloom, was named Best Pop Album. “I was sitting there, and when I heard my name I was stunned,” said the elated singer, who was up against a strong group of contenders.

The other nominees in the pop album category were Awaken Aries (The Extraordinaries Anthology Vol. 1), Carsen Gray (Carsen Gray), Jace Martin (Mighty), Native Roots (Most High) and Tara Williamson (Songs to Keep Us Warm).

Some of the notable winners that evening included Haida/Cree singer-songwriter Kristi Lane Sinclair, who won best rock album for Dark Matter; DJ Shub, formerly of A Tribe Called Red, who picked up best instrumental album for his solo debut, PowWowStep; and Haida musician Carsen Gray, who was named best new artist on the strength of her self-titled album.

The award for best radio program went to Unreserved, CBC’s weekly show hosted by Rosanna Deerchild, who does a first-rate job covering Indigenous Canada from coast-to-coast.

Besides the 18 award categories, a Lifetime Achievement Award was also handed out. This went to Northern Cree, the veteran drum group from Alberta. The group also won for Best Hand Drum Album with It’s a Cree Thing.


photos by Jen Doerksen and Adam Collier

List of winners

At this year’s gala event, a total of 18 awards were handed out. What made selection process different this year was that a jury of their peers chose the winners. Previously, when the awards were called the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards, fans were able to vote and pick the winners.

Best Blues Album

Cradle to the Grave, Cary Morin

Best Country Album

North Country, Jade Turner

Best Folk Album

Goodbye Goldia, Logan Staats

Best Inuit, Indigenous Language, or Francophone Album

Kisakihitan, Rhonda Head

Best Instrumental Album

PowWowStep, DJ Shub

Best Pop Album

Bloom, Mariame

Best Rap/Hip Hop Album

#GreyMagic, Joey Stylez

Best Rock Album

Dark Matter, Kristi Lane Sinclair

Best New Artist

Carsen Gray, Carsen Gray

Best Radio Single

Pretty Little Nightmare, Black & Grey

Best Music Video

Revival, District Avenue

Best Producer/Engineer

Derek Miller for Goodbye Goldia

Best International Indigenous Release

Imbaya Full Flavour, The Imbayakunas

Best Radio Station Program

Unreserved, CBC

Best Peyote Album

Water is Life, Wanita Bird & Joe PoorThunder

Best Hand Drum Album

It’s a Cree Thing, Northern Cree

Best Pow Wow – Contemporary Album

Celebration of Life, Blackstone

Best Pow Wow – Traditional Album

Belongs to the People, Young Bear

Share Button

Comments are closed.