June 8, 2022

By Emilie Derkson-Poirier, APTN Communications Assistant  

Join us for APTN Indigenous Day Live 2022 (IDL 2022) at the Forks in Winnipeg, Man., on June 18! This inspiring event brings communities together in celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD) and the summer solstice. In the past, IDL has been hosted much like a traditional concert, but this year’s event has an exciting new format that we look forward to sharing with audiences across Turtle Island. 

Celebrating our lands 

The theme for this year’s IDL event is “Celebrating Our Lands.” Our bodies hold a symbiotic connection with the lands and waters around us. The lands nourish us spiritually, emotionally and physically on a daily basis. With this theme, we aim to celebrate them and honour those who work tirelessly to protect them.  

Community participation 

In addition to a two-hour live performance featuring artists from a variety of disciplines, vignettes representing the four directions will be shared throughout IDL 2022. All four videos are inspired by this year’s theme and will demonstrate the importance of the lands to Indigenous communities nation-wide.  

The first vignette is an intimate portrait of Treaty 1 territory, presented by musician MJ Dandeneau and film artist Janelle Wookey. The second vignette, presented by writer and throat singer Taqralik Partidge, takes us to the rolling landscapes of Kuujjuaq, Que. The third vignette, featuring dancer and educator Laura Grizzlypaws, takes us to her homelands of Xwisten First Nation, B.C. The fourth and final vignette takes us east to Tobique First Nation, N.B., to visit the homelands of painter Natalie Sappier. 

This year, for the first time ever, IDL will be celebrated via community watch parties in several regions across Turtle Island. Participating locations include Crystal Shawanda’s home community of Wiikwemkoong First Nation, Ont., and Natalie Sappier’s home community of Tobique First Nation, N.B. In honour of NIPD, these communities will host special events throughout the day, enjoy a traditional feast and then come together to watch the IDL show! They will also receive an “IDL in a box,” which will include IDL seed bookmarks for planting, IDL posters and some APTN merchandise. 

Never-before-seen collaborations 

IDL 2022 spotlights up-and-coming Indigenous artists and musical icons to present a refreshing lineup of collaborations in English, French and a variety of Indigenous languages. This year’s collaborations showcase the rich diversity of Indigenous creators and encourage us to reflect on the significance of the lands to their work.  

Accompanied by our IDL house band, Inuit writer Taqralik Partridge will share some of her powerful spoken word poetry. Partridge’s work focuses on Inuit life experiences and she uses her words in Inuktitut, English and French to stay connected to the lands. 

Composer Tomson Highway and singer-songwriter Patricia Cano will join forces to perform a set of cabaret songs from Highway’s musical play, The (Post) Mistress, which ran at Edinburgh Fringe in 2019 and at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in 2021. Highway and Cano have worked together regularly since 2001 and their artistic collaboration continues with this year’s edition of IDL! Their songs will include lyrics in English, French, Spanish and Cree.  

Just as longtime collaborators are coming together for IDL 2022, so, too, are first-time collaborators. Soprano Melody Courage and dancer Barbara Diabo, who have not yet met in person, are in the midst of creating a brand-new collaborative piece to perform on the IDL stage this year. Courage’s soaring voice and Diabo’s unique style will come together in an emotional performance that honours those we have lost in recent years.  

Focus on gender diversity 

IDL 2022 will celebrate gender diversity, with each act being led by an Indigenous woman or member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Drawing on the theme of “Celebrating Our Lands,” the event will highlight the important connection that Indigenous women and Two-Spirit people have to the land. In many ways, these are the people who bear the greatest burdens in our communities, so we want to honour them as much as possible. 

Event and broadcast information 

Pre-show celebrations at The Forks will begin at 6 p.m. CT with an artisan market, food vendors, a Métis fiddle competition, cultural stage performances and more. The IDL show will kick off on the main stage at 9 p.m. CT. There will be dance, music, drums, spoken word, comedy, drag and visual arts, all wrapped up into one unforgettable production! 

The event will be broadcast live across all APTN channels, AMI-tv and participating community radio stations on June 18, 2022, from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET. On June 21, IDL 2022 will be re-broadcast on APTN and APTN lumi for NIPD.  

Restructuring how we present IDL was the best way for us to share it with the widest audience possible and we can’t wait for you to join in on the celebrations! Visit the official IDL show page for full broadcast details and the complete artist lineup.