Moving away from the reggae that inspired him in his early days, Shauit reconnects with his musical roots, showing what connects Quebec and Innu traditions.

Violin, accordion, vocal harmonies like in response songs, foot rhythm, a dancing beat, almost everything you hear on natukun, the new album by Innu singer-songwriter Shauit, of the community of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam, is familiar to all Quebecers. What he calls Innu folk is indeed very similar to “our” folklore.

One of the big differences is that he tells his stories in Innu-aimun, a language he reclaimed while listening to and making music, and to which he gives here and there a nicely percussive energy. (nutshimam trad, in particular). He talks about the respect of leaders, the people he misses, and evokes the hard knocks of life. He also sings of hope and features a song called tshishpitenitakushin (“you are important”), a phrase he addresses to all First Peoples who throughout history have been told that they are next to nothing.

For this record where he reconnects with folklore, Shauit shows his desire for rapprochement between peoples by inviting a monument of Quebec trad, none other than Yves Lambert. He covers with him a song by Cyrille Fontaine (ka utapanashkutshet) and ekuan pua (by Philippe Mckenzie), which is neither more nor less than the unofficial national anthem of the Innu, if not of all the first peoples of Quebec.

natukun is a generous record with rich arrangements, carried here and there by folk-pop outbursts, and punctuated by the beat of the teueikan, an almost sacred Innu drum. Shauit skilfully combines past and present, notably by offering a joyful “remix” of a song by Morley Loon (whose influence on Innu music throughout the North Shore he underlines) to which he mixes his love of reggae. To discover.