Manitoban labels have done quite well in the last couple of years, with Arbor Records garnering nominations for releases by Susan Aglukark in 2007 and Asani in 2006, while Sunshine Records' release of Burnt-Project 1's Hometown won the Juno that same year. Manitoban artists were shutout in 2007, but earned three of the five spots in 2006 with releases by Eagle & Hawk, Burnt-Project 1 and Billy Joe Green.
The Aboriginal category for the Junos is a little different than some its counterparts at other award shows in Canada. It’s based on the music as opposed to the Aboriginal status of the artist/group. In other words, the music needs to have an Aboriginal element in it like a flute, drum, fiddle, chanting, lyrics in an Aboriginal language, etc... in order to qualify.
This categorization has a number of pros and cons and I think it’s worthy of further discussion and a little debate.
So let’s hear what you think. Should Aboriginal categories at music award shows be specific to Aboriginal artists and groups, or does it make more sense to use the type music being submitted as the defining trait for an Aboriginal category?