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Red River Current Newsletter – November 2023 – Fort McKay FN

Fort McKay First Nation Chief and Council would like to congratulate Blair Bellerose on his continuing musical success. Following the launch of his second album in 2022, Born in the City, Blair, recording as Midnight Sparrows, has put it forward for the 2024 Junos in two categories. Rock album of the year and Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the year. Both are perfect for the album. Not only does it rock like it’s the eighties, the songs are imbued with images and memories of Blair’s childhood as a member of the Nation.

Nowhere is this more obvious than the song Butterfly Wings which Blair wrote in honour of his late Mother Freda Bellerose, an Elder from the community and a residential school survivor. “The song celebrates all she taught me about how to live a good life,” said Blair, “as well as being able to let go of loved ones when they are gone.”

The Title Track of the Album is also close to his heart. Born in the City is one of Blair’s most personal songs to date, reflecting his lived experience of urban Indigeneity. Having lived, worked and studied in the urban Aboriginal community his entire life, this is a subject that Blair is very pas- sionate about, even writing his recent Master’s thesis on the ways in which government policies impact urban Indigenous non-profit organizations. “Born in the City defiantly challenges the notion that living in a city renders one’s Indigeneity as inauthentic.”

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