It was my way of showing what needs to change…


Shy-AnneTHUNDER BAY – Northwestern Ontario Musician Shy-Anne Hovorka has received notice from the JUNO Awards Committee that her album Pseudo has been disqualified from the “Aboriginal Album of the Year” category. 

Here is the message that Shy-Anne sent to the JUNO Awards.

Dear Laura and Committee,

I would like to appeal your decision in regards to my album being considered for the “Aboriginal Album of the Year”. I have my rebuttal in point form below:

The song “Fire” is all based on the Ancient Ojibwe prophecy of the 8th Fire
The song “Ancient voices” is a reflection of us losing our connection to spirit, land, and our culture. It also features Tyler Lavellee (he is with the Chipawa Travelers) as a traditional vocalist. 

The song Can’t Change the World is a song dealing with all the things we are dealing with as Aboriginals, especially our youth. It was my way of showing what needs to change here in Canada…. in regards to our youth..(suicide, drugs, gangs, alcohol, politics… the list grows). 

The song “Colorblind” is all about racism and how we are quickly judged and our acceptance is based on the color of our skin. If we were Colorblind, we wouldn’t be judged. First impressions people get when they see us.

The song Zodiac is based on many different Indigenous beliefs in the prophecies and stars. this can be seen in the Zuni tribe, Ojibwe, Cheyenne, and many in the southern states of the US.

The song Pseudo is all about being true to yourself and following your own path. I wrote this from the Aboriginal perspective, or us being true to who we are as a people. We do not have to fit a certain mold. I use the flying like a bird as a connection to earth. 

Mal’s Sad Song is all about connection to the naturual environment.

If I were a weed again… deals with the idea that we are so easily thrown away, and left by the sidelines. I (we) are part of a beautiful culture, and so often we are stomped on for it. People pick flowers, let them die… weeds are easily walked by (in the natural world… not gardens…) If we were left to live in our own way, and were not picked apart, how would it be different? would we be hurting?

The water section (first 4 songs) are songs of mine that are emotional and a clear reflection of the pain felt of being hurt. These hurts came to me BECAUSE I am Aboriginal. I was told I was Unlovable because I was Aboriginal

The air section is about racism, the Fire section about keeping our culture, the water section about healing and grieving, the earth section is more related to earth.

The whole album is grouped according to the Medwewin. The songs grouped as Earth, Air, Fire, Water.

The design of the Album is also in accordance to the four, AND signifies the fact that Mother Earth will give us our needs. That is why I am not wearing any cloths. To show that Mother Earth and the Creator will meet our basic human needs.

There is even the Medwewin symbol in the album.

Yes, the songs may not say those things in actual words, but I am trying to get a message out to all people. I thought if I made everything metaphorical, it would be easier to get our message out to the non-Aboriginal population, as they are more apt to listen to “main-stream” music, then music that they might see as an attack, or insulting. I want to reach our youth and send a message. In this day and age, we have to make sure that we compose our songs in ways that people will listen to them over and over again, and try to build the bridges into the mainstream eye. I want my music to be appreciated from all angles, while still holding fast to my roots. 

Those are just reasons why I think the album fits. Here are other reasons:

I am a big fan of Inez, Digging Roots and Derek Miller. I own all their albums, love them very much. I don’t see how their music has more content then mine based on your criteria.

I was voted 2010 Aboriginal Entertainer of the year, and my biggest following is Aboriginal youth, and they love my music because it gives them pride, encouragement, and desire to follow their dreams. They email me all the time saying they listen to our songs (especially Can’t Change the World, If I Were a Weed, Fire, and Ancient Voices) when they are upset. 

Three of our pieces were selected to be part of the finale act with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for the Indigenous Festival because of its strong connection to Aboriginal content. 

Despite our recent grand accomplishments (opening the G-8 Summit with Can’t Change the World, the music awards, chart topping, high profile gigs) we are still maintaining our goal of reaching the Aboriginal Youth in remote communities via ice and winter roads. Why? Because we are that proud of our roots, and want the youth to be proud too. Mentor them, and continue to give them hope and guidance. They love us for our music and content and roots. 

I can list more reasons why, and have a few people from Thunder Bay, as well as other areas who are more then eager to write letters of support and reasoning to why my album should be in the running for the Aboriginal Album of the Year.

Peace and Love,

To listen to, or download Shy-Anne’s Music visit iTunes.

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