Social Justice Stories

building compassion, tolerance, and responsible citizenship through social justice narratives

Great Musicians from our First Nations

By Vincent Schilling

Music is their passion.

Follow the journeys of ten talented musicians from the Native community as they make their way to the top. All of them, whether their music is traditional drumming or mainstream rock, bring their own cultural traditions to their music.

Rising stars Shane Yellowbird and Crystal Shawanda are steeped in country music. The Blackfire band combines punk rock with Dine' music, while Four Rivers Drum has been drumming at powwows for more than fourteen years. Leela Gilday is an award-winning folk artist, and Michael Bucher's music protects sacred sites. Contrast classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala with rock guitarist Mato Nanji, and learn about the talents of jazz vocalist Jamie Coon and Native American flutist Mary Youngblood.