Nominees Revealed for Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards

Now just 10 days away, The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival are getting ready to host one of Canada’s biggest music award shows. The Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards span 18 categories, celebrating solo artists, duos and groups from across Canada by showcasing the diverse and growing music and culture of artistic expression and accomplishment within the Indigenous community. The winners will be revealed on June 12 from the National Arts Centre.

“Presenting and promoting Indigenous music has been a cornerstone of our Festival for over 22 years, so we felt it was a natural connection to establish these international Awards to spark this celebration of Indigenous music in recognition of National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day,” said Trina Mather Simard, Artistic Producer and Executive Director of Ottawa’s Summer Solstice Festival which runs June 1st to June 21.

“TD has a long-standing relationship with the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival, and we are delighted to be part of this vital platform that supports Indigenous Peoples in the music industry. Music reminds us that we are all connected through shared passions and ideas. Regardless of who you are, it invites all of us to a common ground where we can find confidence, acceptance and self-expression. We are truly proud to be creating opportunities for artists from the Indigenous community and connecting communities across Canada through music.” - Doris Bear, VP of Indigenous Banking

Some of the 18 award categories hold special significance. Youth Leadership in Music and Social Voice categories recognize individuals and groups that have impacted artistic heritage and culture within the Indigenous community, mentorship of youth through music and/or raised awareness of social and environmental issues to inspire positive change. International Indigenous Artist/Group Recording of the Year recognizes artists within and beyond this country’s borders, who identify as Indigenous but not as First Nations, Métis or Inuit.

Nominees were selected from 250 Canada-wide submissions by an invited panel of jurors comprising Indigenous and music industry professionals and peers. No public voting was involved in the selection process.

Category winners will be announced and honoured at a special ceremony streamed live from the National Arts Centre on Saturday, June 12.


Radio Song Single of the Year

"Battlefields," Twin Flames

"Super Power," Joey Stylez

"Manidoo Dewe'igan," Cody Coyote

"Sah 'Laana," Carsen Gray

"Some Kind of Hell," Burnstick

Country Album of the Year

Shine, Leah Belle

Don't Mind If I Do, Jerry Sereda

Break The Chain, Desiree Dorion

Big Dream, Esther Pennell

Last Ride, The C-weed Band

Pop/Alternative/Rock Album of the Year

Omen, Twin Flames, Omen

Quanah Style, Quanah Style

Theory of Ice, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Warrior Sun, Joey Stylez and Carsen Gray

Dreamweaver, Anachnid

Live Musical Performance of the Year

Shawnee, Warrior Heart

Shauit, Nutshimam

Sandrine Masse-Savard, Yawenda and wendat chants

Joshua Arden Miller, Toronto Blues Society 35 Years of Blues

Joey Stylez and Carsen Gray, Victory Dance

Social Voice

Murray Porter

Leela Gilday


G.R. Gritt


Roots Album of the Year

As The Stars Explode, The North Sound

Made Of, Nick Sherman

STAND UP, Murray Porter

North Star Calling, Leela Gilday

The Ridge, Julian Taylor

Rap/Hip Hop/Electronica Album of the Year

Sah 'Laana, The North Stars

Electric Turtle Dreams. Sean Beaver

Let the games begin, Rich n Beka

20/20, Mattmac

Dreamweaver, Anachnid

Metis Artist/Group of the Year

Sandra Sutter

G.R. Gritt

Electric Religious

Brandi Vezina

Blue Moon Marquee

Youth Leadership in Music

Warrior Women


Cody Coyote

International Indigenous Artist/Group Recording of the Year

Vildaluodda / Wildprint , VILDÁ

A Small Death, Samantha Crain

Cihkkojuvvon / Hidden, Gájanas

Dockside Saints, Cary Morin

Sky Songs, Alena Murang

Music in the Arts

Twin Flames, Grace Too

Okara, Okara LIVE

Cris Derksen,  Indigenous Fashion Week

Recording Artist(s) of the Year

Twin Flames

Murray Porter

DJ Shub



Rising Star

Mary Bryton

Logan Staats

Kaeley Jade

Joshua Arden Miller

Angel Baribeau

Inuit Artist/Group of the Year

Silver Wolf Band

Silla and Rise


Hand Drum/Fiddle/Instrumental Album of the Year

Four Sacred Colours, Tee Cloud

Manitou Mkwa Singers Volume 2

Singing is Healing, Joel Wood

Pow Wow Traditional/ Contemporary Album of the Year

Honouring Our Languages, Wabanaki Confederacy

Kepmite'lsultinej: Honour Our People, Stoney Bear Singers

Manitou Mkwa Singers Volume 2, Manitou Mkwa

The SSIMAs and SSIF are produced by Mather Simard’s Indigenous entertainment and tourism firm, on behalf of the National Indigenous Peoples Day Committee comprising six (6) organizations that represent Indigenous communities across Canada. An Artist Advisory Committee made up of Canadian Indigenous music leaders was created to collaborate with and provide direction on The SSIMAs.

“It’s time to celebrate Indigenous voices! These Awards provide an excellent platform for artists to be recognized for their hard work. Ottawa being the nation’s capital is a great portal to the world to share the surging wave of Indigenous expression,” noted Advisory Committee members Vince Fontaine and Elaine Bomberry.

Author image
Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician and Canadian Music Trade magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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