Celebrating the 26th edition of the

Montreal First Peoples’ Festival

The First Peoples’ Festival will showcase its activities in Montreal at Place des Festivals in the Quartier des spectacles, and also at Concordia University, UQAM and Kahnawake, where a selected films will be screened and the traditional grand Nuestroamericana parade will take place.

A of myriad events – from gastronomy to cinematography, from poetry readings to electro concerts, from la Place des Festivals to the Kahnesetake pine forest, there are so many opportunities for discovery, meetings and sharing stories with the First Nations of Americas. Going back to the wellspring also means spawning in the living waters of renewal.

Montreal First People's festival Sylvain Rivard – Abenaki Culture

Friday August 5th at 3 p.m. and Sunday August 7th at 7 p.m
Abenaki culture will have pride of place at Place des Festivals, where Sylvain Rivard will also be showcasing traditional craftwork, transforming ash trees. For Abenaki people whose material culture is intimately connected to the use of this tree, this resource’s increasing scarcity, caused by the emerald ash borer, makes this relationship more dramatic still. But paradoxically, the preventive felling of many ash trees is also seen as a possibility of getting a supply of them and a cultural resource. Place des Festivals, transformed into an Amerindian site, will host the central element of the display. Using several trees cut down on the island of Montreal, bearers of Abenaki cultural traditions will be on hand to illustrate the traditional process of transforming Ash wood in public demonstrations of chopping trunks, splitting the lignous material obtained, colouring and dyeing wood splints. Workshops open to the public will initiate visitors to these different processes. Cultural workers and artists will round out the initial encounter. Old photographs, descriptive panels, stories and poems will lend meaning and depth to the activity. Amidst the other creations, an Aboriginal DJ will be invited to create a work based on the sounds and rhythms accompanying the processing of the Ash.

Film Highlights
100 Tikis by Dan Taulappapa McMullin
Chasing the Light by Blackhorse Lowe
Hija de la laguna, a documentary by the Peruvian Ernesto Cabellos Damián
Mekko by Sterlin Harjo, from the Seminole Nation, creator of the remarkable Barking Water (2009)

Concerts on stage near the Grand Teepee, Place des Festivals

Montreal First Peoples' festivalDigging Roots

Thursday August 4th at 8:30 p.m.
Husband and wife duo Raven Kanetakta and ShoShona Kish, whose musical style blends folk-rock, pop, blues and hip hop influences. They won a Juno award for their album For the Light sung in Anishinabemowin and English.


Montreal First Peoples' festival Shauit

August 5th at 8:30 p.m.
A unique Innu artist that cannot be imitated by anyone, coming from Maliotenam in Northern-Quebec, the singer-songwriter sings in French and English and is also able to sing in his Native language (Innu). Mature, honest and engaged in his music, consisting mainly of reggae/pop with the flavor of dancehall music, he sings of love, hope, Mother Earth, respect, and peace, an achievement few are able to achieve. He will launch his new album during this evening.

Soirée ÉlectroChoc, with DJ XS7

Saturday August 6th at 8:30 p.m.
Alexander Jerome is a Micmac musician from Gesgapegiag. Under his stage name DJ XS7, he creates electronic music with an Aboriginal input.

Montreal First Peoples' festival Emerging Artists Showcase

Sunday, August 7 2016 – 7:00 pm

Always on the lookout for talented new musicians, Musique nomade is proud to present a selection of young emerging Aboriginal artists. Don’t miss Sylvester Mestokosho, Spencer St-Onge and Brittany Manitowabi.

Montreal First Peoples' festival Spencer St-Onge

Hailing from Uashat mak Mani-Utenam, Spencer St-Onge gave his first concert at the tender age of 10. On top of participating in Mashteuiatsh’s Aboriginal Games, he also attended over 10 editions of the Innu Nikamu festival and performed on the television program Tam and was selected on Chic Choc for the most beautiful gesture of solidarity for his childhood friend who lost his parents. Having produced a first CD at the Makusham studio, he’s now working on releasing a second album.

Montreal First Peoples' festival

Brittany Manitowabi

The summer of 2014 saw Ms. Manitowabi gather stature as a talented emerging artist as she performed at the N’Swakamok Aboriginal Day Music Showcase and as the opening act for Digging Roots live at the Ruins in Wikwemikong. She has also been invited to perform at Crystal Shawanda’s Homecoming Concert for the past eight years. At just 20, she has been singing ever since she could talk. Influenced by Shania Twain, Crystal Shawanda and Johnny Cash in younger years, her main style follows her roots of country music. However, today’s musical freedom has Brittany merging popular music into this style. Brittany is self taught in guitar and other instruments.

Montreal First Peoples' festival Sylvester Mestokosho

Sylvester Mestokosho will present songs from his first solo album, out on August 4th. Having already released an album with his band Uasheshkun in 2005, this Innu artist from Ekuantshit has been touring his acoustic pop-rock across Quebec over the past few years.


Montreal First Peoples' festival Kawandak and Logan Staats

Sunday August 7th at 8:30 p.m.
Logan Straats is a young Mohawk author-composer-performer who hails from Six-Nations. For the first time, he will be performing with the Kawandak group, and its admired – and virtuoso – arranger and double bass player, Normand Guilbeault. An original presentation from First Peoples Festival 2016.
«Kawandak» (“white spruce” in Algonquian language), quartet put together in 2008 by jazz bassist/composer Normand Guilbeault, is designed as meeting ground for traditional Native American music (Quebec, Canada, United States), and occidental musical forms, integrating it, according to the inspiration, to diverse elements such
as jazz, blues, rock and folk without forgetting a review of some of the great classics of the great classics of the contemporary aboriginal songbook.

For more information, including the complete schedule of events, visit: www.presenceautochtone.ca/en      514-278-4040

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