HomeMusicMusic NewsTanya Tagaq, PIQSIQ, Kelly Fraser, more protesting the Indigenous Music Awards due...

Tanya Tagaq, PIQSIQ, Kelly Fraser, more protesting the Indigenous Music Awards due to cultural appropriation concerns

On Monday, a handful of Canadian Inuit artists banded together to boycott the Indigenous Music Awards (IMAs) after they nominated a non-Inuk artist whose music revolves around throat singing, an Inuit custom.

Some of the artists who have announced their participation in the protest include Tanya Tagaq, PIQSIQ, and Kelly Fraser, who revealed that they would be withdrawing from the awards completely, by pulling appearances, nominations, and performances from the ceremonies until the IMAs announce that they will be adding Inuit representation to their board.

According to CBC, the artists have spent months trying to address the problematic cultural appropriation by reaching out to the festival and the non-Inuk artist, but PIQSIQ’s Tiffany Ayalik explains that there was no improvement after contact. As a result, they decided to announce the boycott until there is greater Inuit representation.

The group of artists partaking in the boycott refuse to mention the musician in question so that the conversation remains on cultural appropriation of a tradition rather than about the nominee themselves, with a focus on IMAs implication in this process.

“We have been presented with a very difficult task,” the IMAs released in a statement. “To decide if an individual artist is over stepping creative boundaries that some feel is not her right.” Read the statement in full below.

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