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When the Haisla hip-hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids performed at this year’s Juno Awards, they wore custom wood-carved masks and fringed ceremonial aprons while dancers in traditional regalia stepped to the rhythm of a beating drum. Photos of totem poles from their home territory of Kitamaat Village in B.C. flashed on stage as they rapped, “This revolution will be live, and decolonized, for the next seven generations, all my relations.”
Snotty Nose Rez Kids are part of a larger movement of Indigenous artists celebrating their cultures and shining a light on issues facing their communities that had long been ignored in the mainstream. Dubbed the “Indigenous renaissance” by Wolastoqiyik composer Jeremy Dutcher, these artists incorporate traditions, such as throat singing and oral storytelling, into music that ranges from politically charged rap to indie folk.