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Jeremy Dutcher

Jeremy Dutcher is a classically-trained Canadian Indigenous tenor, composer, musicologist, performer and activist,[1] who currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.[2] He is most noted for his album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, which won the 2018 Polaris Music Prize.[3]

Jeremy Dutcher
Jeremey Dutcher live in concert at The Great Hall in Toronto, Ontario
Background information
Born (1990-11-08) November 8, 1990 (age 28)
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Occupation(s)Singer, pianist, composer, activist
Years active2014–present

A Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) member of the Tobique First Nation in North-West New Brunswick, Dutcher studied music and anthropology at Dalhousie University.[4] His musical education as an operatic tenor originally centered around the Western classical canon, and later grew to encompass the traditional songs of his community.[2] He recorded Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa following a research project on old archival recordings of traditional Maliseet songs at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, many of which are no longer being passed down to contemporary Maliseet youth.[5][6]

Dutcher identifies as two-spirit.[7]



Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominee/Work Result Ref
2018 Polaris Music Prize Shortlisted Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa Won [8]


Indigenous ActivismEdit

Dutcher aims to preserve both Wolastoq culture and language through his music,[2] and inspire Indigenous youth to think about the importance of language.[9] When asked about his decision to record in his native Wolasktoq language, Dutcher stated "it’s less about asking people to learn a new language and more about disrupting the bilingual Anglo-centric Canadian music narrative. Up until this point, why have there been no popular records in my language?"[10]

LGBTQ2S+ ActivismEdit

Dutcher was previously responsible for development coordination and Indigenous outreach at Egale Canada, which is currently the country's only national LGBT human rights organization.[11]

The intersection of identifying as both Indigenous and Two-Spirited allows Dutcher to speak out on the Indigenization of queer spaces. In the Two-Spirit Roundtable project he speaks on the lack of gendered pronouns in the Maliseet language, and advocates for a "less western" way of thinking about gender.[11]


  1. ^ "Jeremy Dutcher breathes new life into century-old Wolastoq recordings". Halifax Chronicle-Herald, May 8, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "How Jeremy Dutcher Keeps His Ancestors' Language Alive". The Walrus. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  3. ^ "Jeremy Dutcher Wins 2018 Polaris Music Prize". Exclaim!, September 17, 2018.
  4. ^ "A powerful mix of culture and craft: Dutcher's debut brings ancestors' melodies, words into present day". Winnipeg Free Press, June 16, 2018.
  5. ^ "Jeremy Dutcher : chanter avec les voix ressuscitées de ses ancêtres". Ici Radio-Canada, May 22, 2018.
  6. ^ Friend, David (April 28, 2018). "Singer Jeremy Dutcher reaches across a century to connect with Wolastoq language". The Toronto Star / The Canadian Press. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  7. ^ "Tenor Jeremy Dutcher revives the songs of his Maliseet ancestors at the Queer Arts Festival". The Georgia Straight, June 13, 2018.
  8. ^ "Polaris Music Prize Reveals 2018 Short List". Exclaim!, July 17, 2018.
  9. ^ "Polaris winner Jeremy Dutcher hopes to inspire Indigenous youth". The Globe and Mail. September 18, 2018. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  10. ^ "Jeremy Dutcher Aims to Disrupt 'Anglo-Centric Music Narrative' With Wolastoq-Language Album: Premiere". Billboard. April 5, 2018. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Fewster, Peter H. "Researching for LGBTQ Health". Retrieved October 29, 2018.