Indigenous award categories showcase the best in contemporary and traditional Indigenous music from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

COAST SALISH TERRITORY (Vancouver, BC) – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is proud to announce its sponsorship of the new JUNO Award category, Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year Award. JUNO Week runs from May 9-15, 2022, in Toronto. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced the creation of new categories this year in response to Canada’s evolving music landscape.

“At ITAC our mandate is to support the revitalization and broader understanding of Indigenous culture in a way that positively contributes to Indigenous communities,” said President and CEO of ITAC, Keith Henry. “Sponsoring the new Contemporary Indigenous Award category is especially important to us as it recognizes the authentic, empowered and current music that Indigenous Peoples are contributing to the music scene in Canada.”

Previously called Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year, the award has now been split into two awards: Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year (2022 nominees include Adrian Sutherland, DJ Shub, Jayli Wolf, Shawnee Kish and Snotty Nose Rez Kids) and Traditional Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year (2022 nominees include Fawn Wood, Joel Wood, Manitou Mkwa Singers II, NIMKII & THE NINIIS and Young Spirit).

Additional Indigenous nominees included are The Halluci Nation for Electronic Album of the Year and Ruby Waters for Alternative Album of the Year.

Serving Indigenous Artists

The JUNO Award sponsorship is just one more example of ITAC supporting Indigenous artists in Canada. Previously, ITAC announced a partnership with Pow Wow Pitch, North American’s premier pitch competition and non-profit organization supporting emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs.

The 2022 Pow Wow Pitch Program will support more than 2,500 Indigenous entrepreneurs in 2022 with mentoring, funding, training, and marketing in addition to creating a safe and trusted community of support. ITAC is supporting a Virtual Creative Pitch that will provide $2,500 grants, mentorship and training to ten creative Indigenous entrepreneurs from across Canada to commission mini-projects showcasing Indigenous-owned tourism businesses.

The ten creative entrepreneurs will then pitch to win the Creative Prize, a $15,000 grant for a larger commissioned Tourism project with ITAC, and to advance to the Pow Wow Pitch Finale for a chance to win the $25,000 Grand Prize.

ITAC will also present the Creative Award at the Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards, providing the winner with a $10,000 prize.