Award-winning musician Jeremy Dutcher on reconciliation and the power of music

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Jeremy Dutcher, award-winning Wolastoqiyik musician

As a society, the mistreatment of Indigenous groups in Canada is a mistake that we are only beginning to correct. However, supporting communities after generations of trauma will take more than the occasional land acknowledgement. A good foundation begins with empowering people to reconnect with their language and the beauty of their culture.

Few embody this approach better than Jeremy Dutcher. The most recent winner of the Polaris Music Prize and the Juno award for Best Indigenous Album, Jeremy's sound combines classical influences with the Wolastoqey language (one of only a hundred speakers in the world) to showcase the power of his Indigenous heritage.

Outside of his music, Jeremy works tirelessly as an activist that brings attention to the need for consistent support of Indigenous communities (as seen in his recent Junos speech), and his family's struggles in accepting their identity (his mother never learning the value of the Wolastoqey language, despite his grandmother not knowing English). As a result, Jeremy has had an incredible journey from a "chubby little kid" unsure of himself to a proud two-spirited Wolastoqiyik adult from the Tobique First Nation, sharing the beauty of his language with the entire world.

Jeremy joins Gilad Cohen and special guest host Blanche Israël to discuss reconciliation vs revitalization, the role music has in keeping Indigenous languages alive, and changing misconceptions about Scorpios.

Image: Jeremy Dutcher - photo by Gilad Cohen.

Hosted by Gilad Cohen (Founder, JAYU) and Simona Ramkisson, produced and edited by Brandon Fragomeni and Alex Castellani. Associate Producer: Ron Ma.

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