Categories & Submission Criteria
“Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing on those territories, or parts of them.” Defining “Indigenous Peoples” – the United Nations.
This category celebrates artists who identify as Indigenous, but not First Nations, Metis or Inuit, and may reside anywhere in the world, including Canada.
The artist/group needs to highlight their unique Indigenous culture within their music by means of language, instruments and/or lyrics about their culture. All genres of music accepted. It is important for the judges to understand what your music is about and the message within the lyrics. You have the opportunity to attach a copy of the lyrics, in English, for the judges to review.
This category recognizes an album which captures the sounds and emotions of the Pow Wow and/or captures cultural heritage and the love of traditional and classical music and dance with the use of hand drums / fiddle / flute instruments.
This category recognizes and shares the talent and potential of a rising and emerging solo artist or group who has yet to reach a large audience with their art. This category is open to all age groups. Submission will include 1-3 songs or videos released within the eligibility period (April 1, 2021 – January 1, 2023).
This category recognizes an artist who raises awareness of social and relevant issues for and/or environmental issues and inspires change through positive messages in music. For example – an artist whose message highlights MMIWG, Climate, Housing conditions, Languages, LBGTQ2S+. Please submit a copy of the lyrics with a song submission.1-3 songs from within the eligibility period (April 1 2021 – January 1 2023) must be submitted. The songs do not have to be from the same album.
This category celebrates creative artistic values and expression through video. Both self-produced and professionally produced videos made available to the public will be eligible. You will need to submit your video along with an outline of the video’s production details, including the name(s) of the producers and details of where the video was produced. This award will go to the artists as well as the director, producer, or filmmaker of the video. The director/producer or film maker does not need to have Indigenous Heritage but the artist does.
This category recognizes an original previously unreleased song single which has been released to commercial radio and celebrates music and artistic excellence. The song will have had recognition by industry, peers and the public with an exceptional impact in its release.
This category recognizes artists in the folk, roots and blues genres, who are creating music in any of these genres with traditional or contemporary instruments.
This category recognizes the success in capturing cultural heritage and the love of traditional music and dance with the use of lyrics and/or Métis music instruments such as the fiddle violin, mouth-organ, accordion, spoons, comb, and jaw harp, etc.
Celebrating pop, alternative and rock music in all genre styles; including a fusion of traditional and contemporary music expression.
This award recognizes artists who have impacted artistic and cultural heritage on behalf of the Indigenous community. Their contributions helped to influence and grow continued development in the Indigenous music industry. The winner of this category will be selected this year by the artistic advisory circle.
Artists, guests and their Industry representatives are required to be professional and respectful to The SSIMAs, The SSIMAs Advisory Committee, Judges and The SSIMAs guests, partners, sponsors and all associates.
The SSIMAs encourage an environment of inclusiveness and mindfulness of all social and political backgrounds/views, gender diversity and fairness that exists within our community. All participants, nominees and staff of The SSIMAs will be respectful, will uphold appropriate behaviour and not participate in lateral violence. Any violation of the code of conduct will result in immediate removal from the nomination process and/or live event.