Moose Factory’s own Wapistan (a.k.a. Lawrence Martin) could be the first aboriginal person to win a Juno under a new First Nations music category.
Wapistan’s debut album Wapistan Is Lawrence Martin, a favourite at The Nation office, is one of five recordings nominated in the new category. Wapistan was born in Moose Factory, and went to school in North Bay. Later, he became executive director of the Wawatay Native Communications Society based in Sioux Lookout, where he eventually was elected mayor.
The First Nations recording industry and artists succeeded in pressuring the Juno’s people to create the new aboriginal category in time for the next awards ceremony on March 20.
Wapistan Is Lawrence Martin is the first release not only from Wapistan, but also from his label, Wawatay Recordings of Stouffville, Ont. (info: 905-640-6966). Wawatay has already come out with a brilliant second release, Murray Porter’s 1492 Who Found Who?, which is sure to be in the running for the Juno’s next year (a review will appear in our next issue).
Other artists nominated for the Juno’s this year: New Brunswick Micmac band J. Hubert Francis and Eagle Feather for two songs Booglatamooti (The Indian Song) and Grandfather, Sazacha Red Sky for her song The Prayer Song, and the drum group Stoney Park Singers for the album Stoney Park.