Shawnee, meaning fighter and warrior is a Canadian Mohawk Two Spirit singer/songwriter who uses music as medicine.
Sharing her struggle with self identity and discovering music as a healing power is what drives Shawnee's creative spirit. Billboard recently named her one of their "LGBTQ2 Artists You Should Know" in music.
Shawnee's voice is filled with power, dynamic strength all the while there is a soul and vulnerability that is captivating. With songs like Warrior Heart, that you will listen to after the intro, Shawnee demands awareness and promotes community healing inspiration through music for community issues and struggles like the Suicide Crisis in Indigenous communities.
She has been named the winner of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Music’s annual search for the best undiscovered voice in Canada. Shawnee and her song Building a Wall which will play at the end of the episode, were chosen from more than 1,000 original songs that were submitted to the CBC Searchlight 2020 competition.
Shawnee's voice is a strong one, her message is powerful and her journey in Canadian music continues to reach out impacting Warrior Hearts internationally.
Some Questions I Ask:
- Where do you find your strength?
- What do you think is the biggest challenge of the world right now and how would you solve it if you were given the chance?
- How are young indigenous people represented in today’s society and what do we need to know about them?
- What’s the wisest thing you have ever heard someone say?
In This Episode You Will Learn:
About making the most of the simple things in life, embracing change, what’s the biggest challenge of the human race, the reality youth indigenous people are facing and what she’s willing to do to change it and much more.
I find my strength in art. Music has always been the source, its this pull, whenever I feel lost or confused, or I’m struggling.
In my teenage years I struggled with depression and finding joy in life and it was music that gave me freedom to just being ok with no being ok. It made me recognise this powerful pull that made me want to be better, to be happy, to look for joy.
Find joy in the simplest things and live in the moment.
It is really sad for me to see conflict in the human race. We separate ourselves based on our beliefs, our religion, our race, our background…but I really do, truly and honestly believe that we are all here living the same life in different capacities. We are one big family, we are all here together, we don’t have time to outcast each other and to try and control and manipulate and gain control over each other, there’s not enough time.
The beautiful part of art and music it can inspire, empower and heal, maybe give a different perspective. It opens your heart, it opens opportunities, it is extremely powerful to change what’s going in the world in that sense.
It's ok to not know exactly who you are, where you are going, what you are doing. I believe your time here is all about the journey and I used to put a lot of pressure on myself specially being in the public eye at times. It can come with restriction and expectation to not be who you are.
At the start of my career I hid a lot of parts of myself because I was pressured to do that and I was unhappy.
When I was younger I wasn’t afraid to be me and somewhere along the line I lost that. I’ve got to a place in my life and my career where I got back to that mentality of being who I am, who my spirit wants me to be and be that person. I can’t be happy any other way. To know and recognise that everything feels ok when nothing is ok.
Chaos can be going around me and I know if I’m true to who I am I have it all, nobody can take that away from me.
Indigenous people have been very much pushed and we are facing a lot of challenges. My biggest and deepest concern is for the indigenous youth who are struggling to see past that hardship and I remember what that feels like and I will do whatever I can, whenever I can at any cost to communicate to indigenous youth that they are strong and powerful and needed and we have a journey to heal. It will take time and we will through each other, it’s important to continue on that path and not give-up.
I keep hearing this message through strangers that my mum kept saying to me, wherever you go there you are.
The power that you need in your own life and journey lies within yourself.
The strength that I’ve needed and that I need and will need lies within myself. It’s all about discovering that, holding on to it, honing in on it and then sharing that with the world so that you can also give that message to other people.
Connect with Shawnee: