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Name  Curtis Jonnie
Role  Singer-songwriter

Shingoose wwwmanitobamusicmuseumcomshingoose2jpg
Nominations  Gemini Award for Best Variety Program
Similar People  Willie Dunn, Orjan Sandred, Willie Thrasher, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, John K Samson

Shingoose was the stage name of Curtis Jonnie, an Ojibwa singer and songwriter from Canada.

Shingoose wwwmanitobamusicmuseumcomshingoosejpg

Born October 26, 1946 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he was a member of the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation. At the age of four he was adopted by a Mennonite family in Steinbach. He began singing in church choirs, and joined the Nebraska-based Boystown Concert Choir after moving to the United States at age 15. In the late 1960s and 1970s, he performed with several rock and rhythm and blues bands in Washington, DC and New York City, including a stint in Roy Buchanan's band.

He returned to Winnipeg in 1973. Inspired by the contemporaneous American Indian Movement, he began performing as a singer-songwriter, adopting his great-grandfather's name. His first recording, Native Country in 1975, featured contributions from Bruce Cockburn. He toured extensively across Canada, performing shows in clubs and university campuses and on the folk festival circuit.

In the early 1980s, he collaborated with Don Marks and Bill Britain on the First Nations musical play InDEO, in which he starred. He and Marks later cofounded Native Multimedia Productions, a television production company which created the First Nations current affairs program Full Circle, later retitled First Nations Magazine, for CKND-TV, and the 1989 television special Indian Time for CTV. He was the host of the former program, and was one of the performers in the latter. He was also a correspondent on First Nations issues for CTV's Canada AM.

In 1991, he hosted a three-part documentary series for CBC Radio on First Nations music. He has also worked in aboriginal programming and policy development for TVOntario, and as director of education for the Canada Arts Foundation.

He later served as chair of the Juno Awards committee administering the Juno Award for Aboriginal Album of the Year, and raised funds for an aboriginal cultural centre in Winnipeg. His song "Treaty Rights" was adopted as an anthem of the 2007 Aboriginal Day of Action.

In 2012, he suffered a stroke which left him with partial paralysis. Marks organized a fundraising concert to assist him with medical and living expenses, which featured Eagle & Hawk, Ray St. Germain, Mark Nabess, Dustin Harder, Jesse Green and Don Amero.

"Silver River", a track he recorded in collaboration with poet Duke Redbird for his 1975 release Native Country, is featured on the 2014 compilation album Native North America, Vol. 1.


  • Native Country (1975)
  • Ballad of Norval (1979)
  • Natural Tan (1989)
  • T-Bird in the Lake (2007)
  • References

    Shingoose Wikipedia

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