Chelsey June, who is Metis and Jaaji, who is Inuk and Mohawk, take the stage as the ottawa based band Twin Flames, who hope that their music will reach those that do not speak their traditional language.
Their songs are sung in English, Inuktitut and French and the band has won several national music awards for their work by blending contemporary folk music with Indigenous storytelling.
But the duo also want to break down barriers and help people connect with each other, which is their message in their new single Human.
Human was premiered to commemorate a conference and it is an upbeat folk song with a hopeful vision for the future of Indigenous languages.
The opportunity to sing their song at the conference came through a friend with the organization Folk Alliance, who asked them to come to Paris to represent Indigenous people in Canada. At the same time, another friend who works with UNESCO also invited them to perform and commissioned a new piece.
Back in February, they premiered the song in Paris as part of UNESCO’s launch of the Year of Indigenous Languages.
June said that she doesn’t understand Inuktitut and she will share that with many who listen to the song, but the song still coveys emotion to reach those that listen.
Through their time in Paris, June and Jaaji saw common threads between Indigenous-language speakers across the world and helped them to realize the ability that music holds to revitalize language.
But even with this hopeful outlook, they say there’s still a lot of work to do to make sure that Indigenous languages continue to survive.