Indigenous Music Awards is held in Winnipeg every year.
In 2019 the awards will take place on May, the 17th. However, everything can go not very smoothly, because the event has already faced a certain type of controversy.
As it became known, a group of Inuit artists decided not to take part in the Indigenous Music Awards. They think that the singer Connie LeGrande, who performs as Cikwes, appropriated Inuit style throat singing in her music. LeGrande was nominated in the "best folk album" category.
In the past, the singer has repeatedly said that she is fascinated with Inuit throat singing, but now she refused to comment on the situation.
Lisa Meeches, the executive director of the Manito Ahbee festival, which will be held in parallel with Indigenous Music Awards (from May 15 to May 19), said that after a series of meetings and consultations with the IMA board of directors and their elders committee, it was decided to allow Cikwes to have a place in the best folk category.
She added that at the moment there are no Inuit representatives on Manito Ahbee's board of directors. Last year they were offered to join the board, but no positive response was received. Meeches hopes that there will be a peaceful solution with the Inuit artists who call themselves as the Arnaqquasaaq Collective.
Tiffany Ayalik, who makes up the Yellowknife throat singing duo PIQSIQ with her sister Kayley Mackay, suggested to have a different view on how LeGrande learned throat singing. When one of the throat singers could not perform at an artists' demonstration being hosted by the federal government, Connie LeGrande was taught throat singing and performed that day. It was not for the purpose of giving her permission to then go and take something that isn't hers and make an album, and put it on iTunes, and have it for sale.
Lisa Meeches also added that she does not believe that cultural appropriation is possible between Indigenous Peoples.