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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Digging Roots Are Back With Their Strongest Work Yet, An Invitation To Rise Up And Join The Movement

Following the success of their last single’s #1 chart position on the Indigenous Music Countdown, Digging Roots are back with their strongest work yet- an invitation to rise up and join the movement. SKODEN is a powerful alternative blues rock track, the third single from their upcoming album Zhawenim (pronounced JAH- WEN-IM).

“SKODEN speaks about a mindset of action and the adverse environmental impacts that we’ve created for our planet. The sooner we embrace the concept of compassion, the sooner we can lead with our hearts.

The footprint of societies that are individualistic leave a path of chaos and oppression. It’s time to stand up and engage ourselves, our communities, and the rest of creation to a road that is inclusive of creation, sacredness, and equality. There is a lyric that says Fear will be our courage now, hope will be our strength. We believe in this sentiment and are ready to move.”

Digging Roots are a Juno-winning husband and wife music duo, Raven Kanatakta Polson-Lahache and Sho-Shona Kish, whose style blends folk-rock, pop, blues and hip hop with the traditional sounds of Indigenous music. Digging Roots has collaborated with Indigenous music giants like A Tribe Called Red, Kinnie Starr, and Tanya Tagaq.

Sho-Shona is Anishinabe, from Batchewana First Nation, but grew up mostly in Toronto. Raven is Anishinabe and Mohawk, from Winneway, Quebec, a small reserve where “everyone knows your name”. Raven and Sho-Shona both ended up in Ottawa, where they met in 2004. Raven’s family relocated to Canada’s capital city when he was 14, and Sho-Shona moved there for school.

A friend tuned Raven on to a new musician in town, Sho-Shona, and suggested they meet. Raven looked her up on one of his visits home, and the two hit it off right away. After talking for hours, he accompanied her to an audition she had for a slot in a music festival. They spontaneously decided to audition as a duo and booked the slot, planting the seed that would grow into Digging Roots.

They came from different backgrounds, but as Indigenous people, they both had experienced the common oppression and systemic racism in some way or another, which is reflected in their music. And, they fell in love. Two years later, they released their debut album, Seeds. The following year they won the Canadian Aboriginal Music Award for Best Group. Their second album, We Are, won the Juno Award for Aboriginal Album of the Year in 2010, they have gone on to tour internationally to great acclaim.

Having both been raised by activist parents at a time when Indigenous activism was on the rise, their music explores and raises awareness of the social injustices that still exist today. “Our activism is kind of in the way that we live, more than anything. It’s built on how we live as a family,” says Raven.

“Walking gently on the earth and being very mindful of the kind of parents we are. And looking at what seeds we’re planting for the future. That to me is the most powerful activism,” Sho-Shona adds. Raven and Sho-Shona live in Barrie, Ontario with their two sons.

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