Jeremy Dutcher rocked the pantheon of Canadian music last year with his indelible debut album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa. A member of the Tobique First Nation hailing from New Brunswick, Dutcher used classical opera training and samples of century-old recordings of songs created by his people to help shape his project — it was a work Canada needed, but could not have expected.
Today, The FADER is premiering Dutcher's clip for "Mehcinut," his first-ever music video. At first, Dutcher (who co-directs with Chandler Levack) seems like the centerpiece, performing the song in Toronto's remarkable Aga Khan Museum. Then, Indigenous activists, leaders, and artists of all stripes unfurl onstage, and Dutcher becomes more prism than performer. Brian Solomon choreographs a dance that includes performers like Tantoo Cardinal, an icon of Indigenous Canadian cinema. The movement transitions to the "Table of Indigenous Excellence," which seats Lido Pimienta, A Tribe Called Red, and many more. It's one of several waves of vibrancy the “Mehcinut” video offers its viewers.
Read Jeremy Dutcher's statement on the video below:
This song calls back
and reaches forward across time.
Concerning indigenous continuation
and what it can mean.
For all those who have gone before
and all those who are yet to come.
‘ciw nihkanipasihtit naka weckuwapasihtit.
This video arises through collaborative processes,
between death and rebirth.
A beautiful assemblage of people
committed to telling
stories of reclamation and resilience.
Make Indigenous excellence visible.
To witness it in multitudes, is to know that we’ll be ok. Thrive.
To see a full table, is to see a collective
speaking of who we are.
Indigenous people are not one thing
we come from many different backgrounds
speak many different languages and ways.
Drawing our circles wide
we make our gathering places
relying on all gifts and abilities
to make our presence and positions known.
This project is a call to my community
let's show what we’ve done and can do
let’s send a dream into the future
for where we’ll go
Amplifying diverse indigenous voices
past, present and future
of inspiring artistic visions”
Jeremy Dutcher tour dates
10/11: Detroit, MI – Detroit Institute of Arts
10/12: Toronto, ON – The Danforth Music Hall
10/17: Halifax, NS – Rebecca Cohn Auditorium *
10/19: Regina, SK – Conexus Arts Centre *
10/23: Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
10/24: Victoria, BC – Alix Goldeen Performance Hall
10/26: Edmonds, WA – Edmonds Center for the Arts
11/08: Calgary, AB – Jack Singer Concert Hall *
11/09: Saskatoon, SK – TCU Place *
11/14: Fredericton, NB – Fredericton Playhouse Inc. *
11/15: Moncton, NB – Capitol Theatre *
11/16: Saint John, NB – Imperial Theatre *
11/19 Bertrand, NB - Musique Saint-Joachim / Église de Saint-Joachim
11/20: Bristol, NB – Weldon Matthews Theatre
11/22: St. John’s, NL – Arts and Culture Centre
11/23: Corner Brook, NL – Arts & Culture Centre
11/25: Happy Valley-Goose Bay – Lawrence O’Brien Centre
11/27: Georgetown, ON – Kings Playhouse
11/30: Sackville, NB – Mount Allison University
12/04: Chester, NS - Chester Playhouse Theatre
With Symphony Orchestra *
Thumbnail photo by Peter Hadfield