Origin: Montréal, Québec
Willie Dunn was a Canadian filmmaker, folk musician, playwright and politician. Born in Montreal, he was of mixed Mi'kmaq and Scottish/Irish background. Dunn often highlights aboriginal issues in his work.
Dunn was a singer and acoustic guitarist. He wrote a song entitled "The Ballad of Crowfoot" and directed a ten-minute National Film Board of Canada (NFB) film of the same name in 1968. Both the song and video are about inhumane and unjust colonial treatment of aboriginal Canadians, as well as their taking charge of their destiny and becoming politically active. One of the first NFB films directed by an Aboriginal filmmaker, the film received several awards including a Gold Hugo for best short film at the 1969 Chicago International Film Festival.
Dunn released several full-length albums of recorded music including Willie Dunn (1971), The Pacific (1980) and Metallic (1999). Metallic, reprises material from both earlier releases. Dunn also composed the song, "Son of the Sun", which Kashtin recorded on their second album Innu. In 2004 Dunn released the album Son of the Sun with sixteen songs (including three live versions). His films include The Eagle Project, The Voice of the Land and Self-Government, and his music was used for the films Incident at Restigouche, about a 1981 police raid on the Listuguj Mi'gmaq First Nation, and Okanada, about the 1990 standoff in Oka, Quebec between police and native protesters.
"I'm a topical folksinger, as opposed to being a Native artist. However, the topic of being an Indian became so prevalent in my music that I became known as an Indian folksinger".