Artist: Mairin Howell
Record Label: Analog Line Records
Songs: “Testament Song” and “Laugh Now, Love Later”
The story of Canada and its people – and the land of songwriting and musical rhythms – dates back almost 400 years. After several groups of people were force-marched to Manitoba, settlers created a language, sign language and a culture that we know today as Inuit.
In 1688, part of the Hudson Bay Company pulled into a swamp in what would become the middle of nowhere, the town of Minto. While trying to escape the elements, it became the birthplace of Roddie, one of the country’s first artists.
Many years later, families from the Selkirk Highlanders settled near Regina, and established a traditional way of life that would have been among the first to be influenced by a new language called Cree. This connection was a beacon for singers from the world’s indigenous communities.
Today, approximately 20 percent of the population is indigenous. Lyrics are added to the history of this area with each new person.
The collective voice of The Gens du Saskatchewan – – today ‘Saskatchewan’, s=’ – won’t let history repeat itself. It’s not a question of recognizing these names or songs, but of understanding how Canada and indigenous people relate to each other.
Tapping into the country’s rich musical heritage, The Gens du Saskatchewan has roots in music from the ancient Micmac Nation in Ontario, the First Nations from Prairie States, and the Indigenous Canadian from the Great Bear Rainforest.
One of the stories that formed The Gens du Saskatchewan was a reenactment of the annual pass for one of the Kingdom of Great Bear Rainforest’s King David’s riders. The evening’s socials were a chance for the residents to learn about the clans of the King, to remember and pay homage to the traditions of their people, and to share stories of aboriginal ancestors.
But there is so much more to Aboriginal Peoples in Canada than time and lineage. Their musical heritage is one that is built upon the spiritual and ecological layers of their culture, music and spirituality.
The Gens du Saskatchewan represent an artistic capital of creativity and wonder in Saskatchewan. The region is the birthplace of First Nations’ national songs, customs and traditions and contemporary internationally-renowned contemporary Aboriginal Musicians.
“This Time Tomorrow” is a documentary to recognize the great work of The Gens du Saskatchewan and to inspire you to experience their music, and more important, their stories and traditions.