The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) has announced that the Juno Award category Aboriginal Album of the Year will be renamed Indigenous Music Album of the Year in recognizing all First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities in Canada.
A press release details that the annual award "recognizes the music that echoes the Indigenous experience in Canada through words and/or music," accepting all traditional indigenous music, in addition to "fusions of all genres of contemporary music that incorporate the above and/or reflect the unique Indigenous experience in Canada, by virtue of words or music."
In a statement, president and CEO of CARAS/Juno Awards and MusiCounts Allan Reid said, "The renaming of this award to Indigenous Music Album of the Year aims to honour, respect and acknowledge the indigenous peoples of Canada and their long standing contributions to the Canadian music industry and their rich history in this country. At CARAS we always strive to provide equal celebration for all of Canada's diverse musical specialities."
Juno Awards Indigenous Music Album of the Year Music Advisory chair Alan Greyeyes added, "Our committee asked CARAS to consider the change because we felt that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People provided a stronger foundation for our collective movement than what had been established around the term 'aboriginal.' Our music community is made up of artists from many nations who bring their own languages, perspectives, truths, and styles to the table and I'm glad that CARAS is committed to helping us share these gifts with audiences and media here on Turtle Island and beyond."
Buffy Sainte-Marie was the last to capture the award before its name change in 2016, with her album Power in the Blood.
In conjunction with Canada's 150th anniversary as a nation, the 46th annual Juno Awards will be held in Ottawa this year, running from March 27 through April 2. The Indigenous Music Album of the Year award will be presented at the Juno Gala Dinner & Awards presented by SOCAN on April 1 at the city's Shaw Centre.