RedTail Spirit Singers & Sacred Wolf Singers
Co-produced with Harbourfront Centre and sponsored by TD Bank.
Co-presented with Marchande d'idées interculturelles.
Rousing powwow music bring together RedTail Spirit and Sacred Wolf Singers from Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. They are accompanied by Ojibwe dancer Matthew Rutledge from Ontario.
REDTAIL SPIRIT SINGERS
Founded in 2004, RedTail Spirit Singers made its debut in Kanehsatà:ke from a very modest idea of offering options to youth through singing, drum and dance workshops, as well as all activities related to the pow wow. Their mission is to sing and demonstrate that with wise choices, sustained effort, and positive attitude, the results will be convincing. RedTail Spirit Singers has performed extensively across Canada, the United States and Europe for pow wow, conventions and festivals. In 2012, alongside twenty other musicians from around the world and under the musical direction (and composition) of Katia Makdissi-Warren, the group participated in the concert Musiques transes du Moyen-Orient et d’Amérique du Nord combining and harmonizing four different styles. In 2015, they also participated in the opening ceremony of the Pan American Games Indigenous Pavilion in Toronto. In March 2017, at the invitation of the High Commission of Canada in Trinidad and Tobago, the band offered a performance where their music merged with Trinidad’s drums (steel pan). At the end of the same year, the group took part in a five-day musical residency in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, a project initiated by Marchande d’idées interculturelles in collaboration with Taragalte under the Stars and with the support of the Embassy of Canada in Morocco.
In March 2018, at the request of “Tourisme Autochtone Québec” three members of the group traveled to Paris with dancers to perform some songs and dances. This trip was meant to give journalists and international tourism influencers a taste of the culture from the 11 First Nations of Quebec.
Discography: “A Beginning” 2007, “Tradition” 2010, “Our Journey” 2013.
SACRED WOLF SINGERS Metepenagiag, NB / Unama’ki, NS
Tee Cloud from Metepenagiag and Julian Wells from Unama’ki are the Sacred Wolf Singers - a Mi’kmaq drumming group who perform traditional and contemporary songs to honour the uniqueness of the Mi’kmaq language and its inherent cultural knowledge. Growing up, Tee Cloud and Julian both learned from their fathers about singing. Tee Cloud has gone on to learn from and collaborate with George Paul, the famed Mi’kmaq songwriter who received the Mi’kmaq Honour song during a 1980’s sweat lodge. Naming the group out of the deep respect for the wolf, the duo have followed the pow wow trail throughout Mi’kma’ki since 2014.
MATTHEW RUTLEDGE – Red Lake, ON
Matthew Rutledge is Ojibwe born in Red Lake, Ontario. His roots are from Lac Seul First Nation and Little Grand Rapids, Manitoba. He has lived in Toronto since a very tender age and has been dancing Men's Traditional for 10 years.
The men's traditional dance is one of the oldest dances. The dance honors the different animals the Creator put on Earth and represents movements of the hunter, gatherer. Action oriented movements such as battling an enemy or hunting game. There is no prescribed regalia but dancers will often wear regalia of their own creation. You will however see regalia with meaning for our ancestors. For example, men will wear breast plates made of bones or shells to protect against arrows, or a neck choker to protect against knives or have a tomahawk or a shield decorated with symbols associated with their tribe. Oftentimes, you will then see dancers low to the ground as though they are hunting. Moreover, some of them will wear a plate or bustle made of eagle feathers (it is quite impressive), the eagle being a sacred bird within the native culture. The eagle flies to the sky to bring our prayers to the Creator. – Matthew Rutledge