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Indigenous Music & Dance

Featured Resources at X̱wi7x̱wa Library

Some of X̱wi7x̱wa's collection of music & dance resources are listed below. There are biographies of artists, books on music history, and DVDs that show the role that Indigenous peoples have played in all aspects of the music business.

In the below boxes, you will find videos and resources that are not owned by the library, but are important contributions and illustrations of Indigenous Music & Dance. 

Featured Music

In this video, watch Polaris Music Prize winners Buffy Sainte-Marie and Tanya Tagaq perform as part of the Polaris Collaboration Session. Learn more about Buffy Sainte-Marie in a 2018 interview on CBC's q

Skoden ft. Beau Dick is a "fight song" that has political connections in the lyrics as the group looks at Indigenous Peoples' connection to the land, issues with the RCMP, and finishes with Beau Dick's speaking of the demonstrations at the BC Legislature & on Parliament Hill to remind American & Canadian citizens that they are guests on Indigenous land. It has scenes that were shot at UBC's Museum of Anthropology (MOA). 

From Ottawa, A Tribe Called Red is making an impact on the global electronic scene with a truly unique sound. They are a duo made up of 2oolman, and Bear Witness. They consider all their music to be political in nature. Check out this article & interview to learn more about them. 

Jeremy Dutcher

Black Belt Eagle Scout, also known as Katherine Paul, is from Swinomish Indian Reservation in NW Washington. Her songs and music are about what goes on in her everyday life. Specifically about the song above, she says: 

"At the Party starts off with a quintessential BBES guitar lick, heading into booming and abundant drums and vocals. The lines ‘How is it real? We will always sing’ came out of me one evening when I was crafting the song in my bedroom. Within my conscious self, there is always a sense of questioning the legitimacy of the world when you grow up on an Indian reservation. We are all at the party (the world), trying to navigate ourselves within a good or bad situation. I happen to be at the party with my brown friends- Indigenous, Black, POC who always have my back while we walk throughout this event called life." 

Featured Visual/Performing Artist Expressions

DJ Shub's music video for "Indomitable" was shot at the Grand River Champion of Champions Pow Wow in Haudenosaunee territory. It features fancy dancer and techno music producer Classic Roots. The song includes the drums and vocals of the Northern Cree Singers. This video won the 2017 Native American Music Award for Best Music Video. 

In October 2016, Canada’s unions staged a unique and powerful performance with music by A Tribe Called Red, video, holograms and dance to honour Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Supaman is a "a fancy dancer, dj, producer, MC, flute player, motivational speaker, and comedian all in one artist." An interview with him and the Smithsonian Magazine focused on his music and dance work, and how Native American culture factors into his art. 

Dallas Arcand is a high energy Aboriginal Entertainer from the Alexander (Kipohtakaw) Cree Nation near Edmonton, and world champion hoop dancer. Arcand is also a renowned musician and motivational speaker, facilitating workshops for aboriginal people of all ages, speaking on topics ranging from self-awareness to personal motivation.

Finding Materials in the UBC Catalogue

Try these basic strategies to begin your research in the UBC Library Catalogue.

Keyword Searches

Combine keywords relating to the concept of Indigenous identity AND keywords about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. For example:

  • "First Nations"
  • Indigenous
  • Aboriginal
  • Indian
  • "Indians of North America"
  • Native
  • Inuit
  • Métis
  • Musqueam (or any nation)


  • Music
  • Pow-wow
  • Songs
  • A Specific Genre ie: Rap
  • “Music Performances"
  • Musicians
  • "Music Documentaries" 


  • Dancer 
  • Specific Dances ie:  Fancy, Grass, Prairie Chicken, and Traditional
  • Dance 
  • "Northern Dance" 
  • "Southern Dance" or "Southern Straight Dance"

Helpful Hints for Keyword Searches

  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase.
    Example: "Southern Straight Dance"
  • Use a question mark or asterisk to truncate a term to search for words with the same stem.
    Example: music? or music* retrieves musical, musicians, & music

To search for articles about music and dance, use: 

(Indigenous OR Inuit OR Métis or Aboriginal OR "first nations") 

AND (music OR dance)

AND performance


TIP: If you limit your search to Location: X̱wi7x̱wa Library, you do not need to use keywords like "Indigenous" because our collection centres Indigenous scholarship and perspectives. You will retrieve fewer results, which means you may exclude some relevant materials, but it also means you will not have to sift through pages of results that have little to do with Indigeneity.

Try these basic strategies to begin your research in the UBC Library Catalogue.

Subject Headings

Subject headings are a tool designed to help researchers find similar materials. These are only some examples of the many subject headings that Xwi7xwa Library uses. Spend a few minutes exploring them when you find a book in the catalogue that supports your research.

Browse Catalogue > Subject begins with:


Try these basic strategies to begin your research in the UBC Library Catalogue.

Browse Call Numbers

Xwi7xwa Library uses a unique Classification Scheme

Materials on Indigenous Music & Dance can be found throughout our collection. Come by Xwi7xwa to browse the shelves! Start with call numbers beginning with WM for materials, as well as our new materials shelves.