Willie Dunn

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Willie Dunn
Willie Dunn HandPrint Edmonton.jpg
Hand print, Aboriginal Walk of Honour, Edmonton AB
William Dunn

(1941-08-14)August 14, 1941
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
DiedAugust 5, 2013(2013-08-05) (aged 71)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Film director, producer, screenwriter, musician

William "Willie" Dunn (August 14, 1941 – August 5, 2013) [1] was a Canadian singer-songwriter, film director and politician. Born in Montreal, he was of mixed Mi'kmaq and Scottish/Irish background. Dunn often highlighted aboriginal issues in his work.

Canadians citizens of Canada

Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.

Montreal City in Quebec, Canada

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.


Music career

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Dunn was a singer and acoustic guitarist. He released several full-length albums of recorded music including Willie Dunn (1971), The Pacific (1980) and Metallic (1999). Metallic, reprises material from both earlier releases. [2] Dunn also composed the song, "Son of the Sun", which Kashtin recorded on their second album Innu. [3] In 2004 Dunn released the album Son of the Sun with sixteen songs (including three live versions). [4]

Quebec Province of Canada

Quebec is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario and the bodies of water James Bay and Hudson Bay; to the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay; to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; and to the south by the province of New Brunswick and the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. It also shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut is larger. It is historically and politically considered to be part of Central Canada.

Kashtin were a Canadian folk rock duo in the 1980s and 1990s, one of the most commercially successful and famous musical groups in First Nations history.

Innu is the second album by Canadian folk rock band Kashtin, released in 1991. The album was certified platinum in Canada, and was a shortlisted Juno Award nominee for the Best World Beat Recording and Best Roots and Traditional Album awards at the Juno Awards of 1992.

His songs "I Pity the Country", "Son of the Sun" and "Peruvian Dream" are featured on the 2014 compilation album Native North America, Vol. 1 . [5]

<i>Native North America, Vol. 1</i> 2014 compilation album by Various artists

Native North America, Vol. 1: Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985 is a compilation album, released in 2014 on Light in the Attic Records.


He wrote a song entitled "The Ballad of Crowfoot" and directed a ten-minute National Film Board of Canada (NFB) film of the same name in 1968. [6] Both the song and video are about inhumane and unjust colonial treatment of aboriginal Canadians, as well as their taking charge of their destiny and becoming politically active. [7] The first NFB film directed by an Aboriginal filmmaker, [8] the film received several awards including a Gold Hugo for best short film at the 1969 Chicago International Film Festival. [9] [10] His other films include The Eagle Project, The Voice of the Land and Self-Government, [11] and his music was used for the films Incident at Restigouche , about a 1981 police raid on the Listuguj Mi'gmaq First Nation, [12] and Okanada, about the 1990 standoff in Oka, Quebec between police and native protesters.

National Film Board of Canada Canadas public film and digital media producer and distributor

The National Film Board of Canada is Canada's public film and digital media producer and distributor. An agency of the Government of Canada, the NFB produces and distributes documentary films, animation, web documentaries, and alternative dramas. In total, the NFB has produced over 3,000 productions since its inception, which have won over 5,000 awards. The NFB reports to the Parliament of Canada through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. It has English-language and French-language production branches.

Chicago International Film Festival film festival in Chicago, Illinois, USA

The Chicago International Film Festival is an annual film festival held every fall. Founded in 1964 by Michael Kutza, it is the longest-running competitive film festival in North America. Its logo is a stark, black and white close up of the composite eyes of early film actresses Theda Bara, Pola Negri and Mae Murray, set as repeated frames in a strip of film.

Incident at Restigouche is a 1984 documentary film by Alanis Obomsawin, chronicling a series of two raids on the Listuguj Mi'gmaq First Nation (Restigouche) by the Sûreté du Québec in 1981, as part of the efforts of the Quebec government to impose new restrictions on Native salmon fishermen.


A longtime member of the New Democratic Party, Dunn defeated Mohamed Bassuny to win the party's federal nomination for Ottawa—Vanier in the 1993 federal election. He received 3,155 votes (6.50%), finishing fourth against Liberal incumbent Jean-Robert Gauthier. [13] He participated in the Culturally Diverse First Peoples Arts Showcase tour in 1998, [14] and the Nations in a Circle spotlight of 2002. [15] He was inducted into the Aboriginal Walk of Honour in 2005. [16] Dunn died in Ottawa on August 5, 2013, aged 71. [17] [18] [19]

Ottawa—Vanier Federal electoral district

Ottawa—Vanier is a federal electoral district in Ontario, Canada, that has been represented in the House of Commons of Canada since 1935. Previous to that date, it was part of the Ottawa electoral district that returned two members.

Jean-Robert Gauthier, was a Canadian politician.



1972Willie Dunn
1978Akwesasne Notes
1980The Pacific
1983The Vanity of Human Wishes
2004Son of the Sun


YearSingleCAN CountryAlbum
1971"Schooldays"35Willie Dunn
1973"I Pity the Country"79

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  1. "First Nations troubadour Willie Dunn sang truth to power". The Globe and Mail. 23 October 2013.
  2. "Willie Dunn". Auraltrad.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
  3. Windsor Star, 20 July 1992.
  4. Data from German album by Trikont)
  5. "Light in the Attic Unearths the Forgotten History of First Nations Music with 'Native North America' Compilation". Exclaim! , October 8, 2014.
  6. Montreal Gazette, October 21, 1990.
  7. Ottawa Citizen, 30 July 1992
  8. "Fixing the Gaze: New Indigenous Work at the NFB". NFB/blog. National Film Board of Canada. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  9. "The Ballad of Crowfoot". Collections page. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
  10. "The Ballad of Willie Dunn". Curator's comments by Gil Cardinal . National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
  11. "Willie Dunn infosite". Auraltrad.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
  12. Armitage, Kay; Kass Banning; Brenda Longfellow; Janine Marchessault (July 1999). "The Documentary Practice of Alanis Obomsawin". Gendering the Nation: Canadian Women's Cinema. University of Toronto Press. p. 83. ISBN   978-0-8020-7964-0.
  13. Ottawa Citizen, October 7, 1993.
  14. Montreal Gazette, 14 November 1998
  15. Halifax Daily News, July 25, 2002.
  16. Edmonton Journal, June 25, 2005.
  17. Doc Rock. "July to December". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
  18. "William Dunn obituary". Legacy.com. 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
  19. "Aboriginal singer, activist Willie Dunn dies at 71". Cbc.ca. Retrieved 2013-08-10.