In the spring, our Work-Study student Aynur Kadir brought up the idea of using a signature sound to introduce our audio and video productions, one that reflected our dedication to the protection of cultural heritage. Naturally, we thought to ask IPinCH Fellow, Mique’l Dangeli, who, with her husband Mike, co-direct the Vancouver-based Git Hayetsk, an internationally renowned mask-dancing group.
Git Hayetsk performs the songs and dances of their ancestors, as well as new ones they have created to reflect their challenges and victories as 21st-century First Nations peoples.
Mique’l kindly agreed to help us out. Because of the intellectual property rights and other protocols associated with the songs performed by Git Hayetsk, Mique’l composed a new song that she could gift to IPinCH.
Entitled The Journey, Mique’l was inspired to write the song based on her experiences as an IPinCH Fellow. More specifically, it was her participation in the IPinCH-supported Cultural Commodification workshop, held in early May of this year that stirred her.
During the two-day workshop, held at the University of British Columbia, over twenty Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and community representatives from all over the world came together to discuss the risks and benefits of commodification, and to explore ways to mitigate negative effects on communities. The group resolved to continue their work through a public education campaign, curriculum development, a community outreach package, and an IPinCH declaration on the larger issue of commodification.
The Journey pays tribute to these efforts. As Mique’l says, “The song symbolizes our on-going journey to work with Indigenous communities to protect their knowledge systems.”
On July 12th, Mique’l and Mike came to Simon Fraser University’s CJSF radio station to record the song, with RA’s Alexa Walker and Aynur Kadir managing the session. Mike played a traditional hand drum and Mique’l accompanied with a rattle while singing.
We are so honoured to have been given this gift and to be able to share it.
Mique’l is of the Tsimshian Nation of Metlakatla, Alaska. She a Ph.D. Candidate in the Art History and Visual Art Department at the University of British Columbia. Her specialization is Northwest Coast First Nations Art History. Mique’l was appointed an IPinCH Fellow in April 2013.
Listen to The Journey below:
Composed by: Mique'l Dangeli
Vocals: Mike and Mique'l Dangeli of the Git Hayetsk Dancers
For more information: www.githayetsk.com