Day Of Gratitude: Honoring Indigenous Sacrifices & Maintaining Ancestor Stories Alive

Reflecting on our work at Klahanie School and a day of Gratitude, we wanted to share some our favorite Indigenous musicians of focus we are honored to introduce daily at Circle. And the most recent artists have been introduced to us staff through local radio station, KEXP and DJ Gabriel Teodros. Thank you KEXP!

Through global music and Indigenous Circle practices-honoring and explorations in Klahanie School classes, we dive into the truths of lives lived in vulnerability and cultural strength, resilience, perseverances through activists works of their voice, ancestry and words for today for Indigenous Nations, to follow in respect and movements to further awarenesses and change for equity and peace. This leads us to richer learnings about more and more Indigenous BIPOC activists each new school year.

We celebrate local activists who help support our community learnings through past and present movements standing up for cultural equities and support peace growth.

Thank you local radio station KEXP, DJ Gabriel Teodros for the descriptions below and the constant vocal and time support of indigenous artists! Please note, all descriptions below videos are from the KEXP playlist, DJ Gabriel’s morning show.

Suquamish artist and activist Calina Lawrence performs in both English and the Lushootseed language. Gabriel Teodros interviewed Calina Lawrence in a feature for KEXP’s “Sound & Vision” podcast; Celina discussed the power of language, and the efforts to preserve the Lushootsed language. Check it out!

The beautiful video for this track (featuring 14-year-old Lil Deya) was recorded in Suquamish, WA:

You can find Calina at:
and her music on Soundcloud at:
Circles is such a great title because there are so many circles we’re a part of and some of the most powerful ones are the hidden ones, the ceremonial ones, those are the ones you’ll never see on my Instagram. So much healing comes through circles, healing circles, ceremony,” says Drezus.

“For us, Circles shows the strength of community. We are stronger together. And that goes for Indigenous peoples and for settlers. In the circle, we come together with the common goal of healing our wounded past,” shares Bear.
“Indigenous people in Canada are like the Black Lives Matter movement in the States. It’s pretty bad here, especially when it comes to shootings by police. The statistics are crazy, so I think we [as First Nations people] can relate to what’s happening. That’s why Phoenix [who is Black] gets it so deeply, we’ve both experienced the same struggle in Canada.” DJ Shub told Billboard.

Black Lives Matter. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Matter. The Mohawk DJ and music producer, member of the Six Nations of the Grand River, and a former member of A Tribe Called Red donated all proceeds from this song to organizations benefiting these initiatives.
Raven Kanetakta (from Winneway, Quebec) and ShoShona Kish (from the Batchwana First Nation of Northern Ontario) form the husband-and-wife duo Digging Roots; they’ve collaborated with indigenous artists including DJ Bear Witness from A Tribe Called Red.
he songs on ‘Ayagnera (The Beginning)’ are almost entirely in Yugtun, the Indigenous language Nicholai grew up speaking. He also uses traditional Yup’ik music for inspiration. Music is Nicholai’s way of keeping his Alaska Native language alive, and he said it’s also an experiment in modernizing traditional Yup’ik music and dance. He said that much of the album involves a mix of emotions. He sings about his own struggles, the struggles of others, and about his family. The genres he uses to express his feelings in the songs are just as mixed as his emotions.

“Throughout the time that I was making it, I would record a song depending on how I was feeling at that moment,” Nicholai said. “I’ve got a few rap songs in there, I’ve got a couple R&B songs. I’ve got songs in there that sound like pop, and I’ve got a song in there that sounds like electronic dance music.”
Buffy Sainte-Marie is an Indigenous Canadian-American singer-songwriter, musician, Oscar-winning composer, visual artist, educator, pacifist, and social activist.

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