Tiokasin Ghosthorse welcomes Allison Akootchook Warden, Iñupiaq, Native Village of Kaktovik. Allison is a 2018 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellow in Music. Through the medium of rap and performance, interdisciplinary hip-hop artist Allison engages her audience with stories and themes of the Iñupiaq people, paying homage to tradition while bringing a fresh perspective to contemporary issues. Allison’s rap name – “AKU-MATU” – honors the memory of her great-Uncle Matumeak and her great-grandfather Akootchook. In looking for her inspiration, she asks, “What would a polar bear say if he could rap? Or a caribou, or a whale? What about if an Ancestor came back so far from the past that it actually circles around and becomes the future?” Allison uses performance and irreverence to engage her audiences, conscious of the power of hip-hop to broach unorthodox themes – and appreciation for its aural resonance with traditional Iñupiaq sounds and drum beats. Allison is an engaged community member, particularly passionate about awakening Indigenous youth to their potential and voice. More about Allison can be found at www.allisonwarden.com and Twitter #AKU_MATU.
In the second half-hour: Amy Bombay is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University. Amy is a member of Rainy River First Nations and completed her MSc and Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience. Her primary areas of inquiry have focused on exploring the relationships between historical trauma, contemporary stressor exposure, and mental health and wellness among Indigenous peoples in Canada. Her research exploring the different pathways by which Indian Residential School experiences are transmitted across generations has garnered extensive media interest and has been influential in educating the public about the long-term effects of colonization and in influencing policy and practice related to Indigenous health.