Treaty 6 Territory and within the Métis homelands and Métis Nation of Alberta Region 4, Edmonton, AB –  Destination Indigenous (part of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada) is proud to announce it sponsored the JUNO Awards category — Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year Award — at the JUNO Opening Night Awards held in Edmonton on Saturday, March 11. 

At the Opening Night Awards, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s (ITAC) Director of Development, Tara Saunders, presented Digging Roots with the Contemporary Indigenous Artist/Group of the Year Award for their album Zhawenim. Destination Indigenous congratulates all other nominees in this award category: Aysanabee, Indian City, Julian Taylor, and Susan Aglukark for their notable albums. 

“Destination Indigenous opens doors into the living cultures of Indigenous Peoples in Canada today through Indigenous cultural sharing and so much more,” says President and CEO of ITAC, Keith Henry. “Sponsoring the Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year is meaningful to us as it celebrates and shines a spotlight on how Indigenous Peoples are contributing to the growing diversity of the music scene across Canada.”

Prior to the JUNO Opening Night Awards, Destination Indigenous also presented the Indigenous Honouring Ceremony at the Royal Alberta Museum. Chef Scott Iserhoff curated and prepared the food and beverage menu in the reception that followed. Performances from The Bearhead Sisters and Digging Roots took place in addition to hosting a marketplace that showcased Indigenous businesses and artisans from the region. Moreover, ITAC’s Creative Content Manager, Zane Buchanan presented the association’s  “Creative Collabs” campaign and spoke about The Original Original mark of excellence.

This year, there were 49 Indigenous award nominees – the most in the history of the JUNO Awards! Congratulations to all nominees!