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9 Indigenous Creators & Events You Should Check Out For National Indigenous History Month

Live performances, drag performers, artists, entrepreneurs and more.

9 Indigenous Creators & Events You Should Check Out For National Indigenous History Month
Staff Writer, Studio

June is a super special time of year: it’s National Indigenous History Month, and National Indigenous Peoples Day is on June 21. All month long, there are so many ways to support Indigenous creators and events from across Turtle Island (North America).

Start by getting into some Indigenous-produced media with APTN lumi, a streaming service that has everything from inspirational documentaries to cartoons. This June, APTN lumi will be showcasing a curated selection of special programming, and for $4.99 a month, Canadians can enjoy unlimited access to all of the content.

Bonus: the commercial-free programs are available in English, French and 15 Indigenous languages.

From there, there are so many Indigenous artisans, musicians and outstanding entrepreneurs that are worth checking out.

APTN Indigenous Day Live 2022 (IDL)

APTN IDL 2022 is a live, in-person celebration with an exciting roster of talented artist performances, food vendors, an artisan market and even a Métis fiddle competition. This not-to-be-missed event is taking place Saturday, June 18, in Winnipeg at the Forks Market (1 Forks Market Road).

The 2022 theme is "Celebrating Our Lands," spotlighting Indigenous women and the 2SLGBTQ+ community to make for a truly special event where all are welcome. Plus, entrance to the event is free.

If you can't make it in person, you can still stream the action on all APTN channels, APTN’s YouTube channel, AMI-tv and participating community radio stations from across the country on the day of.

For anyone who streams shows online, APTN IDL 2022 will then be available on APTN lumi and again on all APTN channels on June 21 for National Indigenous Peoples Day.


The Bannock Babes

Courtesy of APTN

The Bannock Babes are a fierce Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer drag collective based out of Treaty 1 territory.

Since their first group performance in 2019, the collective has garnered the attention of local charities and international celebrities alike. They continue to perform regularly at fundraising events, concerts and friendship centres across Turtle Island.

Recently, the group opened for Drag Race legend Morgan McMichaels at the West End Cultural Centre in Winnipeg.

You can catch the Bannock Babes' glitzy and glamorous performance in person at APTN IDL 2022, or by tuning into the broadcast.


Crystal Shawanda

Courtesy of APTN

If you like country and blues, you'll love singer-songwriter and guitarist Crystal Shawanda.

Crystal is Ojibwe from Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island in Ontario. In 2007, she signed with RCA Records Nashville. Today, she’s based in Tennessee — that is, when she’s not on tour.

Her single “You Can Let Go” was a huge hit, and she’s now a world-renowned country star. After falling in love with blues, she released her album Church House Blues in 2020 — Crystal follows wherever her creativity takes her.

You can watch her rise to fame in the Country Music Television series, Crystal: Living the Dream, and you can watch Crystal perform live atAPTN IDL 2022.


DJ Kookum

The party is wherever Cheyanna Kootenhayoo (DJ Kookum) is. They're a talented DJ, video editor and multimedia maker from Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation and Cold Lake First Nation.

EDM and hip-hop music inspire their sound, but they put their own unique twist on their beats. DJ Kookum has been on tour across Turtle Island and internationally with the Snotty Nose Rez Kids.

Now, they're based in Vancouver and, for over ten years, they’ve been editing TV shows, documentaries and promotional videos. On top of all that, they're the music supervisor for the children’s TV series Coyote Science (which you can watch on APTN).

Their talents don’t stop there. They also facilitate workshops, operate sound and lighting for community dance parties, mentor youth, host a podcast (called Immersive Knowledge Transfer), perform virtually and have an online store.


​Cheekbone Beauty

@alexandrataziker | Instagram

Cheekbone Beauty is an Indigenous-owned beauty brand, known for creating clean, vegan and sustainable cosmetics. Founded by Anishinaabe entrepreneur Jen Harper in 2016, the brand is designed for low environmental impact and maximum wearability.

The beauty brand’s mission is centred on giving back to the community, addressing the educational funding gap and increasing Indigenous representation in the beauty industry.

To date, Cheekbone Beauty has donated more than $150,000 to causes like Shannen’s Dream, the Navajo Water Project and One Tree Planted.

Don’t forget to check out APTN IDL 2022, where Cheekbone Beauty products will be used on performers and artists during the show. Pick up your own supplies online or in Sephora Canada locations.


Manitobah Mukluks

Manitoba Métis from Treaty 1 territory, Sean McCormick was just 23 when he founded Manitobah Mukluks. Since 1997, Manitobah Mukluks manufactures and sells traditional mukluks, moccasins, slippers and mitts. In fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing footwear brands in the country.

You can find Manitobah Mukluks in high-end retailers like Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom, plus, they're sold in over 50 countries through the company's online store.

Manitobah Mukluks’ Storyboot Project aims to revive the practice of crafting mukluks and moccasins by hand. The company creates partnerships with Elders and artisans and then donates the proceeds back into the community: all you have to do is buy one of these gorgeous handcrafted pieces.


Feast Cafe Bistro

Owner and chef Christa Bruneau-Guenther opened Feast Cafe Bistro in 2015 in Winnipeg. A proud French Métis and member of Peguis First Nation, Christa combines traditional and contemporary ingredients to bring culture into the kitchen.

Feast Cafe Bistro is passionate about uplifting Indigenous cuisine, giving back to the community and advocating for Indigenous Peoples through nourishing meals and various community initiatives.

If you're in Winnipeg for APTN IDL 2022, visit Feast Cafe Bistro at 587 Ellice Avenue.



MoccasinJo | Facebook

No one knows how to perfect a morning cup of coffee like husband-wife duo Lise and Walter David of MoccasinJo. They’ve been running the micro-roastery for almost 20 years in Kanehsatake Mohawk territory.

You can try their fresh beans at cafes in southwestern Quebec. If you love BBQ too, you'll be into their recent collab with Kanel Spices: a sweet and salty caramelized coffee rub to make your backyard gatherings this summer a little tastier.


Sriracha Revolver

Spice things up with mouth-watering craft hot sauces from Sriracha Revolver, as featured on Chuck and the First Peoples’ Kitchen on APTN. Founded by mom, wife and Indigenous artisan Jordan Hocking in 2017, the hot sauce brand is here to help you level up your cooking game.

The handcrafted small batch sriracha-style sauces are made in Vancouver, BC. Sriracha Revolver’s spicy flavour combos (like cilantro lime, clean mango and jalapeño ginger) are inspired by Jordan’s trips abroad and her love of cultural cuisine.

The fun name of the brand combines the name of a small town in Thailand and the Spanish verb for “stir, mix, mess up.”


The list of talented Indigenous creators could go on and on with the number of quality products, mouth-watering foods, inspiring performances and Indigenous businesses to check out and support.

National Indigenous History Month is a time for celebration and reflection; if you're in Winnipeg, you won't want to miss the exciting in-person APTN IDL 2022. If you can't make it, be sure to catch it on APTN channels.

To learn more about APTN lumi, sign up on their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Stay updated with Indigenous Day Live, by checking out the event’s website.

May Ning
Staff Writer, Studio