A collage of images of Indigenous artists featured in the Indigenous Stories Podcast
Indigenous artists featured in 2023 | Photo courtesy of the artists

Reflecting on a year of Indigenous storytelling

A look back at the inspiring artists featured in our Indigenous Stories podcast in 2023

Sable Sweetgrass and Cherie McMaster

As the year comes to a close, Indigenous Stories podcast hosts Sable Sweetgrass and Cherie McMaster look back at our series for 2023 and share some of their thoughts and feelings about the inspiring artists they’ve talked to who are having a positive impact in the arts community.

“I sit here and listen to you (Sable) get into conversation with these folks,” says Cherie McMaster, “and I always learn something. I always go into recording, whether it’s this podcast or our other streams that we do, and I think I know something about that person, and then you learn so much and you hear such great stories… It’s that candidness and that honesty that people bring with their stories that I think is really quite moving and interesting. And you learn so much every time.”

Sweetgrass agrees, adding that it’s been a great year for connecting. “Being able to have this podcast feels like it helped me to have access to people in a way that I never really had access to them…. Somehow when you’re interviewing someone, you can get to the heart of something, you can ask questions that you might not necessarily ask when you’re trying to get to know someone.”

The artists that were profiled and featured throughout 2023 represented the diversity and creativity in Indigenous Arts in Mohkinsstsis/Calgary today, something that excited and inspired Sable — from those who find creativity in music, to tackling the business aspect of art, to reflecting on a 2022 interview with Troy Emery Twigg, whose loss this past year was felt deeply.

The artists featured in 2023 include: Yvette Denby, Morgan Possberg, Crissy Red, Melrene Saloy EagleSpeaker, Sarah Good Medicine and Tamara Lee-Anne Cardinal.

“Talking to Sara Good Medicine and hearing about the way that she has really made a mark and has that place within hip hop but is also transgendered, and that sort of, like, acceptance and that she’s found in that community.”

When speaking about artist Melrene Saloy EagleSpeaker, Sweetgrass is inspired by the way EagleSpeaker puts herself out there and inspires other artists with her work. “There’s so many people in the community who are are creating and are trying to, like, take their work to and to the next level to look at their work, not just as in the creative lens, but also in terms of as being a business.”

Looking forward to 2024, Sweetgrass is excited not only for the chance to promote Treaty 7 nations’ culture with the planning of the 2027 Indigenous Games, which will be held in Calgary, but also on a more personal level, anticipating the outcomes of Calgary Arts Development’s Indigenous granting programs and what exciting projects the city will see from Indigenous artists in 2024.

Tune into this week’s Indigenous Stories podcast to learn more about all of the artists who shared their amazing stories this year. 

About The Storytelling Project: Indigenous Stories

Part of The Storytelling Project, this series raises awareness about local Indigenous artists who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, affecting positive change and enriching others’ lives.

Sharing diverse stories of creativity in our city, The Storytelling Podcast shines a spotlight on artists and projects that connect Calgarians to the arts.

Have a story to share? Email us at submissions@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

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