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Honouring Indigenous Voices Around the World

June 23, 2021

International Indigenous Music Summit Announces Official 2021 Program

Ottawa, ON, June 3, 2021- The International Indigenous Music Summit announces the complete program for the 2021 virtual edition, broadcasting from traditional unceded Algonquin territory in Ottawa, ON, June 8-12. Created by Indigenous artists and inspired by traditional teachings, this year’s Summit honours the rising Indigenous voices from around the world. The program schedule includes ceremony, showcases, panel discussions, networking and professional development opportunities for Indigenous artists.

In addition to the Indigenous music showcases that highlight the connection between land, cultural and creative expression, the program includes the launch of a new National Indigenous Music Organization and a keynote speech by Jesse Wente, Executive Director of the Indigenous Screen Office and Chairperson for Canada Council for the Arts.

Speakers will include Elder Jim Dumont, Alan Syliboy, Kinnie Starr, Xiuhtezcatl (Earth Guardians youth movement), Bear Witness (The Halluci Nation, formerly A Tribe Called Red), double JUNO Award nominee Leela Gilday; Keziah Myers (ADVANCE Canada’s Black Music Business Collective), Mike Downie (The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund), Allan Reid (JUNO Awards/MusiCounts), and more.

From the opening day Welcome Ceremony and Feast to the closing event at the Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards, the five-day program focuses on culture, narrative sovereignty, artistic expression and honoring the diversity of Indigenous arts and cultures. Each day will begin with 2:15 minutes of silence to honour the 215 Indigenous children at the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (Kamloops) residential school. “In light of the devastating news this past week we will be holding a space in our ceremony and feast for the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community and all the children who never made it home,” says Summit Founder and artist ShoShona Kish. “We recognize the importance of our artists in lifting the spirits of the people right now. Our songs and ceremonies are medicine. Our artists are truth tellers. The Summit is a celebration of the stunning resilience, courage and creativity in our communities. Despite all of the atrocities inflicted on our people. We are still here, singing, dancing and resisting.”

For more information and full program details, visit

Program partners include Ontario Creates, Universal Music Canada, Music Ontario, Canadian Independent Music Association, Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Science, SaskMusic, Harbourfront Centre, TikTok, Music Publishers Canada, Native Communications Inc, The Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health, ROAR Creative Agency, Music Canada, SOCAN Foundation, ELMNT FM, The National Music Centre, Lyric Find, Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, Nagamo Publishing, and Red Music Rising.


The International Indigenous Music Summit is a unique annual gathering that amplifies Indigenous voices with a commitment to artists, knowledge keepers, and community builders, along with key invited allies and cultural innovators. Over five days, Indigenous artists and music industry professionals will meet virtually to honour tradition and forge new paths, through curated musical showcases, panel discussions, workshops, and ceremony.