Indigenous Powwow drum and singing group, Northern Cree have kicked off the Grammys' with a huge bang, representing First Nations' people of Canada and across the globe.
Laura Morelli

13 Feb 2017 - 2:22 PM  UPDATED 13 Feb 2017 - 2:22 PM

The award-winning Alberta-based Indigenous singing group is nominated for a Grammy Award in the best regional roots category for their album It’s a Cree Thing.

Apart from their stellar new album and Grammy nomination, Northern Cree have had the honour of hitting the stage to kick off the pre-telecast festivities in Los Angeles to perform during the Grammys'.

Millions of people from all around the world have been able to tune in live and watch the band's performance which was a huge success according to social media.

Fans have commented, liked and shared posts on Northern Cree’s Facebook page in thanks, praise and adoration for the Indigenous group's musical talent and cultural recognition.

“I almost cried! Very very proud and happy for you guys! Way to go to be representing and showing the world the beautiful culture and songs we still carry,” said Liyah Bear.

Another fan said Northern Cree Drum group represented the First Cree Nation of Canadian with pride and dignity.

“Precision singing and drumming brought their ability of performance to the ultimate and maximum height of professionalism. Congratulations for your recognition & achievement of being one of the top 10 Pow-Wow drum groups in both the US and Canada. A well-deserved award of Excellence,” said Boots Sireech.

Despite the Native American music category being eliminated in 2011, this is the Northern Cree’s seventh Grammy nomination.

The band consists of 16 members who all come from all different walks of life in the Ermineskin, Saddle Lake, Samson Cree, Louis Bull, Frog Lake and Sunchild First Nations in Alberta, and the Onion Lake, Poundmaker and Sweetgrass Nations in Saskatchewan.

Stephen Wood and his brothers formed Northern Cree in 1982. The group now has 16 members from all different walks of life, including Wood’s very own son. Majority of the group originates from Saddle Lake in northern Alberta but also consists of people from Onion Lake Cree Nation, Frog Lake, Samson, Louis Bull, Sweetgrass and Poundmaker.

Over 35 years, the Indigenous singing and drumming group has released 37 Indigenous albums and with their unique musical sounds, continued to be recognised.

The band took to social media to express their excitement at the prospect of paving the way for other indigenous artists and musicians who may one day take to the Grammy stage with their own unique and culturally inspired music.

“We look forward to representing all our ancestors and First Nations/Indian people in the best way we know how....Cree Style! Sing It Like You Own It!”

In their latest album 'It’s a Cree Thing', the Northern Cree are not just representing their communities and their tribe but all First Nations people, and beyond that, people from Alberta and Canada.

"The Grammys have always usually given black artist their just due and recognition. I believe mainly because music is the one thing that blindingly connects all humanity regardless of color."

“The stage producer said he never heard anything quite so dynamic. People working the stage were asking what's that feeling… From the plains of Turtle Island to the Grammy Stage, Cree style rounddance music reverberated through the Microsoft Theatre for the first time.”

As the 59th annual Grammy Awards kicks off, millions of people across the world have taken to social media to give praise and thanks for music recognising diverse talent and not discriminating against it. The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on 4 May 1959, to honor the musical accomplishments by performers and despite racial segregation existing in America, musicians irrelevant of race and colour were awarded for their musical abilities. 

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