Canada’s Queen of R&B is the toast of the Assembly of First Nations. The country’s most influential Indigenous organization honoured Toronto singer Jully Black with a blanketing ceremony and eagle feather at the Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa.
AFN National Chief Roseanne Archibald and the AFN Knowledge Keepers praised Black “for singing the truth” during her performance of Canada’s national anthem at the NBA All-Star game.
On national television in February, Black changed the words of “O Canada” to “our home on Native land” rather than “our home and native land”.
Today, Black delivered a rousing a cappella performance of her version of the song with Chief Archibald at her side. Hear it in the tweet below.
The @AFN_Updates honoured Jully Black at The Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa. They honoured her for her singing of the National anthem a few months ago. @ChiefRoseAnne said some amazing words about Afro-Indigenous people as well 🙌🏿✊🏿 pic.twitter.com/77Og43XZda
— DJ O Show (Orene) (@DJ_Oshoa) April 3, 2023
Black’s actions in February stimulated a national conversation over Canada’s history of land theft from Indigenous peoples.
“Meegwetch Jully Black for bravely singing the truth,” Archibald said in an AFN news release. “Artists are truth-tellers.”
Black was a strong advocate for Indigenous rights for years before the NBA All-Star game performance. Shortly before singing the song, Black tweeted about the power of words.
Ahead of her performance of the Canadian national anthem at the #2023nbaallstargame Jully Black reflects on the power of words pic.twitter.com/kWiSKgENje
— Kuture Life (@KutureLife) February 20, 2023
The 1908 version of “O Canada”, by Robert Stanley Weir, is enshrined in federal legislation.
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