DJ Kevin “Sipreano” Howes goes crate digging and unearths a trove of rare Indigenous music folk, rock and country music. The re-issue Native North America Volume 1 turns the spotlight back on trailblazing musicians from across the continent. But it also raises questions about when music is art and when it becomes an artifact.

We speak to a couple of the artists on the album: Willy Mitchell, whose music got political after being shot by a cop, and Willie Thrasher, who started making Inuit rock after a stranger approached him at a concert.

This episode also features Jeremy Pahl, a contemporary folk musician from northern BC who shifted from black metal to folk in order to serve his message.

Find more information about Native North America Vol. 1 on Light in the Attic‘s website.

There’s a Native North America gathering happening in Toronto on August 8th, featuring performances by artists on the album – including Willie Thrasher and Willy Mitchell – as well as a tribute to Willie Dunn.

When you’re done listening, move on to part two!


This episode featured contributions by Maya-Roisin Slater and Katie Jensen.


Songs on this episode:

“Spirit Child,” “Old Man Carver” and “We Got to Take You Higher” by Willie Thrasher

“Fall Away” by Sugluk

“I Pity the Country” and “Son of the Sun” by Willie Dunn

“Kill’n Your Mind” and “Birchbark Letter” by Willy Mitchell and the Desert River Band

“Call of the Moose” by Willy Mitchell

“Sikumiut” by Sikumiut

“Gisigwilgwelk/Diiltk” by Gyiibaw

“Coyodel #1” by Black Spruce Bog