'Lengthy dwell Indian Cowboys': APTN sequence, Amplify, shines mild on nation music and horse tradition on Siksika Nation

'Lengthy dwell Indian Cowboys': APTN sequence, Amplify, shines mild on nation music and horse tradition on Siksika Nation

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When Trevor Solway was a communications main at Mount Royal College, he enlisted fellow Siksika Nation resident Armond Duck Chief for a faculty undertaking.

Each had been simply getting began. It was practically a decade in the past and it turned Solway’s first video undertaking. Duck Chief was additionally pretty early on in his profession as a rustic singer.

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“I used to be simply fascinated by it,” says Soloway, in a Zoom interview alongside Duck Chief. “We did one thing related. And now we’re doing it for actual.”

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Soloway is now a seasoned filmmaker who has labored with Duck Chief on quite a few events, together with in his 2018 sequence of musical profiles for the College of Calgary campus radio station CJSW referred to as Intertribal Sequence. 

So it was pure for The Aboriginal Peoples Tv Community to pair the 2 up for an episode of Amplify, which airs this Friday. The sequence, now in its second season, profiles Indigenous musicians in Canada. The episodes are directed by Indigenous filmmakers utilizing a completely Indigenous crew. Every week, the sequence visits a songwriter and follows her or him via the artistic strategy of penning a brand new tune.

For Solway and Duck Chief, who’re each Blackfoot, it was a great excuse to throw a highlight on Siksika and discover the overlap between nation music and Indigenous horse tradition. The episode additionally options Allison Pink Crow, an icon of the Indian Relay Race and up-and-coming rodeo star Travis Maguire. Duck Chief additionally comes from a protracted line of riders within the Siksika Nation. All through the episode, which was shot in varied areas together with Solway’s household ranch, we see the songwriter pen Cowboy Indians, a twangy ode to “the advanced lives of Indigenous cowboys.”

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“After we had the preliminary assembly, I began brainstorming about what I wished to write down about,” Duck Chief says. “For me, a number of my music is cowboy music, which I’ve been writing since my first album.”

The songwriter’s roots in rodeo predate his musical profession. On the circuit, Duck Chief would write and carry out songs for his fellow cowboys on weekends. Again in 2006, his fellow cowboys started encouraging him to report early numbers similar to Gold Buckle Desires and I Love Being a Cowboy. Now, these are among the many songs that Indigenous riders, together with Maguire, use to pump themselves up earlier than competing.

“That’s the rationale why we wrote the tune initially,” Duck Chief says. “Sitting there on the trailers, I got here up with the tune and began displaying it off and other people had been loving it. It was the entire cause why I’m doing what I’m doing in the present day. They began asking, ‘Are you ever going to report that?’ Again in 2006, 2007, the concept was born and now all of my songs are slowly being recorded. The sensation is simply superior, that feeling from somebody saying ‘I used to be jamming out to the tune on the best way to the rodeo and it pumped me up.’”

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Because the episode progresses and the tune takes form, Soloway interviews Duck Chief, Maguire and Pink Crow concerning the horse tradition on the Siksika Nation and the customarily harmful world of the rodeo.

Solway’s previous work contains the 2016 comedic quick Indian Giver and the 2021 documentary Kaatohkitopii: The Horse He By no means Rode. He’s additionally the author, director and showrunner of the horror comedy anthology sequence Tales from the Rez, hich  is about to stream on APTN lumi on Oct. 20.

He grew up on his grandfather’s ranch in Siksika Nation.

“As an artist, I all the time wished to flee that place,” Soloway says. “However now that I’m making movies, all my initiatives carry me again there. That’s simply how it’s in Siksika. There’s a number of horses and a number of open prairies and it’s an enormous a part of my identification. I grew up listening to George Strait and George Jones and Brooks and Dunn and I nonetheless take heed to them in the present day. You’d all the time hear it within the kitchen and the vehicles. When Armond began popping out taking part in music, he was in that previous fashion, too.”

There may be actually a few of George Jones, Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard in Duck Chief’s voice, a wealthy baritone that’s on full show in Indian Cowboys. Duck Chief was in preschool when he first noticed Jones in live performance. Indian Cowboys provided him an opportunity to pay tribute to the historical past of Indigenous rodeo opponents.

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“We’ve had so many cowboys that hit the report books,” Duck Chief says. “When my dad was a child, he remembered who was on the Calgary Stampede: who was profitable, how this system appeared. Numerous it was First Nations expertise and I simply wished to carry that to life. Certainly one of my favorite traces within the tune itself was ‘Lengthy dwell Indian Cowboys.’”

Duck Chief launched his debut, Nation Groove, in 2011.  His album The One was nominated for Finest Aboriginal Album of The Yr in 2016.

“Once they mentioned (I) was the primary nation artist that they had been going to cowl, that was good,” he says. “We get to let all people know that we’re right here and nation music is a part of what we do. There may be a lot expertise round northern Alberta, southern Alberta and into Saskatchewan. There are such a lot of good Indian nation artists. I’m simply honoured and humbled to be part of that.”

Amplify airs Fridays on APTN.

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