- The CMMA Slaight Music Humanitarian Award
- The Meritorious Service Medal
- Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal
- YMCA Canada Peace Medal
- Honorary Kentucky Colonel
- Estelle Klien Award, Award of Excellence
- Peter Gzowski Award – PGI Canada National Literacy
- Innovator of the Year – Canada Folk Music Awards
- The Recording of the Year and the Entertainer of the Year – Central Canadian Bluegrass Award.
Joseph Boyden, CM, is a novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and public speaker. His internationally bestselling work including Three Day Road, Through Black Spruce, The Orenda, and Wenjack has been published in 25 languages and won numerous awards such as the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, Amazon First Novel Award, and France’s Prix Literaire du Monde. In 2012, Boyden received the Queen Elizabeth II, Diamond Jubilee Medal, for his contributions to Canadian art and culture, and in 2016 he was made a member of The Order of Canada. Awarded five honorary doctorates to date, Joseph also sits on the board of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and helped create a charitable foundation named The Onakawana Education Fund, that helps bring Cree youth of James Bay out onto the land.
Born in Moose Factory Ontario, Jules was raised by her Cree speaking grandparents in Moosonee, and also with her mother in Ottawa, a warrior of the Canadian Residential school system. Jules is a band member of Attawapiskat First Nation, the Ancestral lands of the MoshKeKo InNiNeWak. She currently resides in Vancouver where she is a PhD candidate with the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, her research focus is Indigenous documentary and she aims to defend in early 2020. In 2010, she completed her masters at Ryerson University in Documentary Media where she was awarded the Award of Distinction for her thesis work, as well as the Graduate Ryerson Gold Medal for highest academic achievement.
While in graduate school, she produced her first feature documentary Remembering Inninimowin regarding her journey of remembering InNiMoWin (Cree).
Her research MooNaHaTihKaaSiWew: Unearthing Spirit is focused on Indigenous documentary and our relationship to stories.
Through Jules’ arts practice, she involves the use of film, photography, documentary, creative writing and installation. Her practice is deeply influenced by her Ancestral ties to the MoshKeKo. InNiNiNeWak teachings in the form of a story, is an integral way to ensure our Ancestors are respected and heard.
Nelson Tagoona, a one-of-a-kind musician best known for his inspirational messages and his unique blend of vocal percussion and traditional Inuit throat singing called "throat boxing" a custom musical performance style that merges two techniques into one: beatboxing and throat singing. This unique performance has garnered Tagoona high praise throughout Canada, including being awarded at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and named one of the “Top 10 Canadian Artists under 20” by CBC Music. Tagoona performed during the opening of the Northern Scene Festival at the National Arts Centre, Pan Am Games, and at numerous other festivals and events Canada-wide.
Nelson Naittuq Tagoona began writing songs and performing when he was 15. “In a lot of my songs I’ve always talked a lot about believing in yourself, being courageous and not being afraid and having a lot of heart. No matter how dark your days have been, you’ll see that shining light once again.” Nelson Tagoona
As a member of the National Centre for the Arts’ Music Alive program, Tagoona is frequently invited to perform at public events and for youth. The Music Alive program sends teaching musicians to work with children and youth in northern communities, including Iqaluit, Igloolik, Rankin Inlet, Pangnirtung and Kugluktuk.
Fusing elements of traditional Inuit throat singing with live looping and standard beatboxing, Nunavut’s Nelson Tagoona has created a sound that honours his culture, embraces technology and resonates with audiences across the world.
Dominique Daye Hunter aka DDaye (she/her/hers) is of Black/Sappony/Irish/Polish descent. Dominique seeks to heal through the power of storytelling. Using the mediums of poetry, hip hop, and wearable art, her goal is to empower femmes and people of colour by bringing awareness to social justice issues, environmental racism, womb wellness, and mental health.
Dominique has a Bachelor of Science in Nonprofit Leadership Management with an emphasis in American Indian Studies from Arizona State University. She lives between the southwest and southeastern United States.