Glenn Gould Award winner Alanis Obomsawin sets a tone of hope for Indigenous future

Opera singer

By David Friend


Alanis Obomsawin

TORONTO – Alanis Obomsawin shared her hope for the future of Indigenous peoples by accepting the Glenn Gould Prize on Monday for her lifelong contribution to the arts.

Almost a year after the 89-year-old documentary maker was nominated by an international jury of her peers, she appeared at an in-person ceremony to accept the honor of $ 100,000.

Obomsawin, a member of the Abenaki Nation, has been recognized for her dedication to chronicling the lives and concerns of First Nations peoples for decades.

His work includes documentaries highlighting the Oka Crisis of 1990 and the raids on Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation in 1981.

The filmmaker says her feelings for the future run “deeper than hope.”

And she says she is motivated by a noticeable change in the way Canadians perceive Indigenous peoples.

“Unlike 20 years ago, even 10 years ago, every time there was a display of injustice… it was a problem for most Canadians,” she said in a speech. thank you note posted online.

“Now I see, it’s 2021, people are caring. They want to hear.

They want justice for our people.

Established in 1987, the Glenn Gould Prize is named after the famous Canadian virtuoso pianist who died in 1982 at the age of 50 following a stroke.

The award, which is presented every two years, has been presented to the late American opera singer Jessye Norman, American composer Philip Glass, Canadian theater icon Robert Lepage and the late Canadian poet / composer Leonard Cohen.

Grammy-winning American musician and visual artist Laurie Anderson was the chair of this year’s international jury.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 5, 2021.

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