By Anna Hoefnagels
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Extra resources for Aboriginal Music in Contemporary Canada: Echoes and Exchanges (McGill-Queen's Native and Northern Series)
Several reference sources compiled by Native Americans have included significant material on music-related topics and individuals; see, for instance, Rayna Green’s The British Museum Encyclopedia of Native North America (1999) or Duane Champagne’s Native America: Portrait of the Peoples (1994). 3 This volume’s bibliography includes work on the northern powwow and other topics relevant to First Nations who live both north and south of the Canada-US border. 4 A number of very short articles in bulletins or newsletters relevant to this chapter are not included in the volume’s bibliography.
Narratives, often told before or after a song performance, are used to contextualize the songs and to maintain their genealogical and historic associations. Knowledge about nááchęyinéʔ is accrued through time as people are exposed to the songs in different performance settings and by different performers with their own body of knowledge about the songs. Information typically associated with each song by song keepers and some community members includes its dreamer, its message from Heaven, and its significance in Dane-zaa history.
Lynn Whidden (2003a, 2003b, 2000, 1993) has written about their song traditions. In Saskatoon the Gabriel Dumont Institute has played a major role in producing anthologies of prairie Métis music (see Dorion-Paquin 2002 for one of its most popular publications). Many studies of Métis culture emphasize, however, that self-identifying either as a member of a First Nation or as a Métis is a complicated process, one that is historically and politically contingent. The distinctive features of Métis instrumental music (heterometric fiddle tunes in particular) have been described in numerous publications.