Project Mamu Ensemble Together

MAMU ENSEMBLE TOGETHER was curated in Quebec in the Indigenous community of Uashat / Mani-utenam near Sept-Îles and in the Mauricie region, with music as a tool for dialogue.

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It is thanks to funding from the Government of Canada and in partnership with Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam, Pasa Musik and more than 15 other partners across the province, that we were able to put together sixteen days of activities and workshops divided between Mani-utenam and the Mauricie region.

The musicians taking part in this project, which aims to engage and build bridges between communities to promote multiculturalism and the fight against racism, are:

  • Shauit, songwriter from Mani-utenam
  • Salif Sanou ‘Lasso’ also songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Burkina Faso, and
  • Saulo Olmedo Evans, multi-instrumentalist and a storyteller from Panama

To get a concrete idea of ​​the project, simply think of how much music has unique therapeutic and emotional characteristics. In fact, music has been shown to facilitate contact, interaction, and can also help people express themselves.

It’s with that in mind  that MAMU ENSEMBLE TOGETHER was curated so musicians could exchange with the communities on topics such as:

  • Does our culture determine our attitudes towards others?
  • Do you believe that music has an important role to play in relationships with others and why?
  • What impact can a musical project like MAMU ENSEMBLE TOGETHER make in communities and how?

These inclusive discussions with the local population meant that everyone’s point of view was taken into account, it helped defuse prejudices and to identify the common bonds that unite us all. We believe in the value of artistic and human capital and in the capacity of music as a tool for dialogue to open conversation and for it to make a significant impact in communities.

With our ambassador and local musician, Mishta-Shipu McKenzie, son of Mr. Philippe Mckenzie, considered to be the father of modern Innu song, the musicians took part in activities, including school music workshops, round tables  or cultural and social events. These activities inspired the artists with their creation.

In short, MAMU TOGETHER TOGETHER is a great community adventure filled with hope where everyone’s voice is being heard.

The project that started in March 2020 in Mani-utenam had to be postponed to a later date due to COVID19. However, we were able to complete 7 of the 16 days scheduled in the program.

Despite our shortened stay, we were able to exchange with elders at family gatherings, do outdoor activities with members of the community, and do a music workshop in a school during cultural week.

In a very short time, the musicians managed to collaborate on 4 songs which can be presented when we continue the project.

The project generated great interest from the media, including a short piece Vues d’ici of Radio-Canada.

We hope to resume our activities in the coming months. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of developments.

Activities, concerts and workshops

  • March 13 – Bringing people together through dance – Shaputuan Museum | Uashat – (Sept-Iles). Whether you are spectators or participants, this is a unique opportunity to celebrate with us the richness and diversity of cultures, from here and elsewhere, through dance. Take part in a round dance or learn a few steps with passionate dancers from the Wallis and Futuna Islands (Polynesia) in a spirit of openness between peoples. (postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • March 15 – Round table with the theme of music as a tool for dialogue in the company of Shauit, Lasso, and Saulo. Shaputuan Museum | Uashat (Sept-Iles). Exploration with the community of themes related to music and the importance of its role in our relationships with others. (postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • March 19 – Concert and workshops at Ecole Camille-Marcoux School with Ecole Tshishteshinu and Johnny Pilot (Sept-Iles) (postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • March 20, 8:00 p.m. – End of project concert with the Tam ti delam | Teueiakan Room | Mani-utenam (postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • March 22, 1-3 p.m. – Blanket Exercise | Comsep, Trois-Rivières. The KAIROS blanket activity is a unique participatory teaching tool for exploring the dispossession experience of indigenous peoples. The activity promotes knowledge and understanding of our common history, from pre-contact, treaties, colonization, residential schools to end with the contemporary era marked by resistance movements. (postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • March 22, 7-9 p.m. – Concert and dialogue | Espace Luc Laramée, Saint-Stanislas – Concert followed by a round table on music as a tool for dialogue.
  • March 23 – Workshops – Batiscan Versant School in Saint-Stanislas. Full day with students including a visit to the sugar shack. (postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • March 24 – Concert and workshops – École Val Marie de Trois-Rivières (postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • August 29 – Presentation of the Project Mamu Ensemble Together, Saint-Adelphe – Together with Shauit, Lasso & Saulo, we will present the Mamu Ensemble Ensemble project followed by a question and answer session to promote diversity and intercultural understanding.
  • August 30 – Round Tables, Grandes-Piles & Sainte-Thècle – Round table facilitated by Autrement d’ici. Participants will discuss issues related to multiculturalism.

Musicians Biographies