A new organization is being established in Saskatchewan to help Indigenous musicians.

Thursday morning some of the board members for the newly formed Saskatchewan Indigenous Music Association spoke to media in Prince Albert at the E.A Rawlinson Centre about the new industry group which is looking to help Indigenous musicians.

One of the organization’s board members is musician Donny Pareanteau, who explained one of the motivations behind the creation of the association is that currently there is not enough recognition for Indigenous artists. He added most industry groups have historically had just a single category for all Indigenous music, which Parenteau said does not suffice.

“We’re talking about all genres of music that go right from Pow-wow to singing and it should be recognized,” he said.

One of the ways the new association hopes to help raise the profile of Indigenous musicians from Saskatchewan is with an awards show, which will be held in Prince Albert at the Rawlinson Centre on Oct. 1. Parenteau said at their awards show they will be making sure all genres of music are recognized. Parenteau stressed the association will not just be doing an award show, but are also hoping to be able to provide financial support to Indigenous musicians.

“That is all in the works, definitely, as part of the board, that was brought up in many discussions, where do we go, it’s not just an award show, that’s the one thing we want to make loud and clear,” he said.

Parenteau said they as well want to be an organization where musicians can come and get advice on how to best go about recording a song or about how they can get themselves booked on shows. Currently the association’s board of directors is made up of people who have worked in the music industries in a number of different capacities, who will be able to offer advice in their areas of expertise.

In setting up the new association, Parenteau said they are doing something which has not been done before. He explained other organizations have done awards shows to recognize Indigenous musicians, but said those awards shows and organizations have had a national focus.

“Provincially, I believe we are the first province to ever do this,” he said.

(Top Photo: Four members of the Saskatchewan Indigenous Music Association Board of Directors, Sheryl Kimbley, left, Donny Parenteau, Paul Lomheim and Roland Corrigal. Photo Courtesy of Michael Joel-Hansen.)