This is a superb and historically important album, a compilation of music by indigenous musicians in Canada 1968-1985. It’s telling that I had only heard one of these tracks before hearing the album; it points to a disturbing lack of airplay of native music during those years. This album belongs in every music collection in Canada and beyond.
The record has received uniformly rave reviews. Read the Guardian article, and Rolling Stone also gave it a high rating. And yes, I know, Rolling Stone committed suicide—again—by rating U2’s album #1 in the year’s 50 best albums this year, but it is not wrong in this case.
Native North America Vol. 1 was compiled by Vancouver music producer/DJ Kevin ‘Sipreano’ Howes, who researched the era for years, not just in archives but by driving across the country finding rare local releases that had never been exported beyond their own regions. Watch a very shot doc including appearances by some of the album’s key figures below.
Vol. 2 is in the works now and will cover work from the same period but by indigenous artists in the U.S.
— Sipreano (@VINArchives) November 30, 2014