The debut post!


My name's Andrew and I am one of the 2 Aboriginal Music Archive Coordinators for OIMA this summer (along with Emma). I'm very excited to be in this position, as I look forward to discovering a whole wealth of independent Indigenous and non-Indigenous musicians from across Ontario.

One of the perks of being the Aboriginal music archiver (rather than just, say, rock, electronic, blues etc.) is the fact that music by First Nations artists in Ontario spans a whole whack of different genres.  Even though I have only held this position for a week, I have already found incredible music in numerous genres - country, blues, spoken word, acapella, down tempo electronic, traditional drumming, and folk (and that's not even the full list)!

While I am not First Nations, I do have a profound respect and appreciation for the interests and cultures of Canada's First People. I am looking forward to connecting with musicians from all across Ontario over the course of this position; from Moosonee to Six Nations, Akwesasne to Attawapiskat.

I also understand the danger of categorizing all music by musicians who identify as First Nations as being “Aboriginal”. I was talking to one musician recently, and they echoed this sentiment. Mainstream or widespread exposure of music by an Aboriginal artist is often limited simply due to the fact that the term “Aboriginal” is attached to it (similar to how we use the term “World music” to describe any non-Western music that we're unfamiliar with).

My hopes for the OIMA site this summer are that by showcasing the diversity of music by First Nations musicians in Ontario, we can begin to deconstruct the stereotypes surrounding these artists and their music.

As that same musician indicated, “there are non-Aboriginal people who make much more 'Aboriginal sounding' music than I do!"
For this reason and more, OIMA allows artists to have their music categorized under as many genres as they wish.

Anyways, I hope you are enjoying the site. Since OIMA is still in its infancy, we are open to ALL feedback and suggestions. Feel free to drop us a line.

That's all for now!

Andrew Kerr