When They Awake Encore

Year 2017
Runtime 90 mins

A vibrant celebration of Indigenous Canadian musicians - watch a music revolution happen right before your eyes. 

For hundreds of years, the indigenous populations of North America were stripped of their cultures, languages, and customs. But now, in a renaissance born out of centuries of hardship, the prescient words of Métis leader Louis Riel are proving true: "My people will sleep for 100 years, but when they awake, it will be the artists that give them their spirit back."

In WHEN THEY AWAKE, we follow the footsteps of trailblazers like Buffy Sainte-Marie and Robbie Robertson to modern Indigenous musicians in Canada and elsewhere, who are getting noticed on the mainstream scene, reclaiming their place as key players in contemporary society. From hip hop, rock, and electropop to EDM and country blues, a new generation of outspoken artists are channeling the frustrations and resilience of their ancestors into a stirring and hopeful vision of the future. Featuring Anishinaabe EDM group A Tribe Called Red, Cree trip-hop sensation IskWé, Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq, Dene singer-songwriter Leela Gilday, and many more, WHEN THEY AWAKE is a journey into this tapestry of artists in the midst of a full-blown musical revolution that are speaking to the next generation of Indigenous Canadian youth.


Canada United States
P.J. Marcellino and Hermon Farahi
Executive Producer
Susan Aglukark, Gordon Henderson, Tiska Wiedermann
P.J. Marcellino and Stuart Henderson (co-producer)
P.J. Marcellino
Hermon Farahi
Hermon Farahi
A Tribe Called Red, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Iskwé, Leanne Goose, Leela Gilday, Tanya Tagaq, Derek Miller, Logan Staats, Don Amero, The Jerry Cans, Kathleen Merritt (IVA)