Willie Dunn

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About this artist

With a Micmac mother and a Scottish father, Willie Dunn has embraced the musical traditions of both cultures. Initially inspired by the burgeoning American folk music scene of the late-1950s, he’s increasingly turned his focus to the people of Canada’s First Nation, composing and singing songs about their lives and history as a people. A recent tune encouraged First Nation youngsters to remain in school. Dunn has skillfully balanced music and film. His video for his tune, “Ballad of Crawfoot”, based on the life of Blackfoot chief, Crowfoot (1830-1890), in 1991, was the first music video produced in Canada. Subsequent productions have include an enviromental documentary, The Eagle Project, and a documentary on the First Nations languages, The Voice Of The Land. Recording since the early-1970s, Dunn donated the proceeds of his second album to First Nations organization, White Roots Of Peace, publisher of First Nations journal, Akwesasne Notes. His 1999 album, Metallic, featured songs that had been written more than two decades before. Dunn’s song, “Son Of The Sun”, was covered by First Nations band, Kashtin. ~ Craig Harris