Indigenous languages: conflict between Samian and a music festival

Indigenous languages: conflict between Samian and a music festival


The rapper of Algonquin origin Samian criticizes the Festival international de la chanson de Granby (FICG) for forbidding him to sing in his language . According to him, his participation in the festival was canceled because his show did not respect a quota of songs in French.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Samian said he explained to the festival team that his more recent album, Nikamo, is sung entirely in Anishinabemowin, the language of his ancestors.

In 2022, should indigenous languages ​​still be considered foreign languages? These ancestral languages ​​here have nothing threatening for French!


Samian thereby denounced the ignorance of the organizers. “Do your homework: know who you choose to invite to your events,” he wrote. According to him, this ban on performing in Anishinabemowin demonstrates a “colonial mentality”.

The festival organization announced on Tuesday that the artist was indeed invited to take the stage during the event and apologized to him. However, she brings a nuance: he will not be able to sing only in Anishinabemowin.

“Knowing that there are French titles and titles in his first language in his repertoire, we told his representative that we were open to him so that he could perform songs in his two languages ​​in however, taking into account the primary mission of the festival, which is to promote French-speaking song,” she said in a press release.

The rapper's public release is supported by the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL). Its leader, Ghislain Picard, denounces the “colonial ideology” of the festival.

As of this writing, Samian representatives have not followed up on apologies and explanations from the International Festival of song from Granby.

With Philippe Lépine

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