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Ojibway musician Curtis Jonnie, known as Shingoose, dies at 74

Last Updated Jan 13, 2021 at 2:55 pm EST

TORONTO — Folk musician and Indigenous rights activist Curtis Jonnie, known as performer Shingoose, has died after testing positive for COVID-19.

He was 74.

His daughter, Nahanni Shingoose-Cagalj, confirmed her father died on Tuesday. She says he was living in a Winnipeg care home after a stroke in 2012.

Jonnie, who was Ojibway from Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation, was a residential school and Sixties Scoop survivor who, at age four, was adopted by a German Mennonite family.

As a teenager, he was sent to a Nebraska boarding school where he joined the choir.

Jonnie later became an active member of Canada’s music scene, first as a singer in the 1960s and later as a champion for future generations of Indigenous music.

His songs include “Silver River,” a performance of poetry and lyrics from Duke Redbird, recorded in 1975. The song was later included in the compilation “Native North America Volume 1,” which was nominated for best historical album at the 2016 Grammy Awards.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2021.

David Friend, The Canadian Press