Wiikwemkoong musician and group nominated for Juno award

Musician Nimkii Osawamick (originally from Wiikwemkoong) and his band Nimkii and the Niniis have been nominated for a Juno award.

BARRIE—Musician Nimkii Osawamick (originally from Wiikwemkoong, currently living in Barrie), and his band Nimkii and the Niniis (which when translated means Nimkii and the guys), debut album has been nominated for a Juno award!

The Juno awards have added two new categories this year for Indigenous artists and groups. The contemporary Indigenous artist or group of the year and traditional Indigenous artist or group of the year have a total of 10 nominations between them.

Mr. Osawamick said on a Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory Facebook page post, “our music, our teachings and our way of life have been swept under the carpet for so long.” He said the new awards will be able to showcase Indigenous artists.

“I wanted to keep it real, and I want to keep the truth to our roots because that’s the way that I believe we’re going to decolonize ourselves,” said Mr. Osawamick on his Facebook post. He explained that the new album is influenced by his family and ancestors and that the first song on the EP is dedicated to his late aunt, Lilly Osawamick.

Mr. Osawamick told CBC News that for the future, he wants to work on blending together both traditional and contemporary music styles. He’s trying to create ‘warrior music,’ leading from the heart about standing strong and being proud of who you are. “I want to take our power back and show the world where we are exactly, who we are as Nishnaabeg people,” he said.

The traditional Indigenous artist or group of the years nominees also include ‘Kakike’ by Fawn Wood, ‘Singing is Healing,’ by Joel Wood, ‘Manitou Mkwa Singers II,’ by Manitou Mkwa Singers, and Angel ‘Eagle-Cree Round Dance Songs,’ by Youth Spirit.

The 51st Juno Awards will take place in Toronto on May 15 at the Budweiser Stage at Ontario Place.