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Willie Dunn

Willie Dunn

A Mohawk chief once called him Roha’tiio—which means “his voice is beautiful.” Willie Dunn left the Canadian army with a UN Medal and quickly established himself on the sixties folk scene, drawing from his Mi’kmaq/Scottish heritage to craft protest songs about the Indigenous experience. In 1968, as a member of the Indian Film Crew, he directed The Ballad of Crowfoot,the first NFB film to be directed by an Indigenous filmmaker. A powerful homage to the Blackfoot/Siksiká leader featuring Dunn’s own ballad, it’s considered Canada’s first music video. Dunn collaborated on several other IFC titles and recorded many albums. He died in 2013 and is remembered as a trailblazing artist, activist and community leader.