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Pow wow dancers meet breakdancers in A Tribe Called Red’s new video

By Greggory Clark on February 28, 2017

Behold a new video from A Tribe Called Red before the group performs at the JUNO Awards on April 2.

A Tribe Called Red’s new music video for “Indian City” is shot on location in Toronto – a city whose name is derived from the Iroquois for “where there are trees in water.” However the video opens on images of concrete city juxtaposed by a First Nations man in traditional dress. What follows is best described as a celebration of movement between breakdancers and pow wow artists.

“Some of us have found our way first through beats, breaking and turntablism, only to find it leading us back to our roots.”

In an email, A Tribe Called Red spoke of hip hop as an avenue for Indigenous youth to learn about their heritage. “Like many movements, the Halluci Nation grew from a place of necessity. Long before we fought in the streets, our first battles were fought on the dance floor. Some of us have learned about our culture from birth, being taught to sing, drum and dance like we were being shown to speak and walk. Some of us have found our way first through beats, breaking and turntablism, only to find it leading us back to our roots. The movement carries memories and the drums are kept deep in our chests, no matter how hard they tried to rip them out. So, we learned to dance on these city streets and write our songs on digital drums.”

Featuring performances by Yasiin Bey, Tanya Tagaq, Shad, Lido Pimienta and more, A Tribe Called Red’s new album We Are The Halluci Nation has earned the Ottawa-based group three nominations for 2017 JUNO Awards: Electronic Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, and Video of the Year for “R.E.D.” They won Breakthrough Group of the Year in 2014.


A Tribe Called Red is in the lineup of performers confirmed for the gala on Sunday April 2 at the Canadian Tire Centre. Their performance will air live as part of the awards broadcast.