10/6/2017 7:27:00 AM LdF Tribal women nominated
for prestigious awards
photos by Dean Hall/lakeland times
Kelly Jackson, pictured singing a song from her album during the “Renditions of the Soul” CD benefit release party in 2015 at the Lake of the Torches Resort Casino in Lac du Flambeau, is nominated for “Song/Single of the Year” and “Best Music Video Performance” at this year’s NAMAs.
Melissa Doud is nominated for “Song/Songle of the Year” for her song “Bullet Dress,” a collaboration with Mambo Surfers. Doud is pictured at the Indian Bowl Pow Wow in Lac du Flambeau in 2012, incorporating her woodland camouflage battle dress uniform as part of her contemporary jingle dance regalia, using shell casings as jingles.
The Native American Music Awards is the most prestigious award show for Native American music and this year two women from Lac du Flambeau have been nominated for their music.
"It's just a way to showcase the value and contributions that Native Americans make to the music industry at a national level," Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians tribal member and nominee Kelly Jackson explained of the NAMAs. "So, it's a prestigious award that again, recognizes artists from the entire northern continent."
Jackson and Melissa Doud, both Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians tribal members, were nominated for their highly acclaimed singles.
Jackson currently has two albums out, "Spirit of a Woman" and "Renditions of the Soul," as well as her nominated single "Wake Up."
Although anyone can nominate themselves or other artists, the submitted music is voted on by a committee made up of artists and only the top songs, artists and music videos are put on the official ballet.
"The awards are actually an advisory committee of Indigenous artists from across the country ..." Jackson explained. "The artists themselves, or their producers or managers, submit their music and it is basically voted on for a certain amount of time and then if you make the ballet, very much like the Grammys, you are considered a nominee. So myself and - I'm very excited - Melissa Doud, who is a good friend of mine also from Lac du Flambeau, also has a single that's nominated as well."
Jackson is nominated for "Song/Single of the Year" and "Best Music Video Performance" for her song "Wake Up."
"Wake Up" is a pop, Americana song focusing on being environmentally conscious.
"'Wake Up' is sort of a new genre for me, it is sort of a pop piece but it was inspired by and influenced by the plight of people to protect our water and our natural environment," Jackson expressed.
The song stems from Jackson's time spent at Standing Rock protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.
"November last year I went out to Standing Rock and I went out there with an intent to help volunteer with my hands and my heart, anything I could do, but when I got out there I realized that I really couldn't do very much and I wanted to give back in some way," Jackson said. "So I worked with another artist and created a song called 'Wake Up', which is about environmental consciousness. We talk about how corporate industry has an impact on the environment but we as individuals have a responsibility to care for the earth and the resources. 'Wake Up' is a message that inspires us to all realize that we can all impact the protection of mother earth."
Instead of simply releasing a song, Jackson decided to create a music video with her song collaborator THEE, or Theodore Yancey, featuring footage from Standing Rock.
The music video itself was filmed at an abandoned Ho-Chunk school in Wisconsin while the B-roll footage was filmed by Skyler Doud of Lac du Flambeau at Standing Rock.
While Jackson is thrilled to be nominated for "Wake Up," this is not her first time receiving a NAMA nomination. Jackson was previously nominated for her debut album "Spirt of a Woman" in five categories. She brought home the award for "Best Americana Album of the Year" in 2012.
To view the music video for "Wake Up" visit www.kellyjackson.net or search "Wake Up" in YouTube.
Jackson will be making the trip to Niagara Falls, New York on Oct. 14 with her family to attend the NAMAs.
To sum up her feelings regarding the nomination of two Lac du Flambeau tribal women Jackson states, "Having Indigenous women in the spotlight is a rare thing, so I'm excited about that."
Doud is nominated for "Song/Single of the Year" for her song "Bullet Dress" made in collaboration with the Mambo Surfers.
Doud and the Mambo Surfers integrate upbeat instrumentals with lyrics that tie in Native American language and culture.
"You will hear the word 'Animikiikwe,' which is my spirit name," Doud explains. "It means 'Thunder Woman' or 'The Storm is Coming.' You will also hear the word 'Ogitchidaa Kwe,' which means 'Warrior Woman.' Veterans are held in high regard in Indian Country."
"Bullet Dress" is a song that references Doud's time in the military and her longing to be home to dance freely. Doud served in Iraq with the 724th Co Eng. Bn. Charlie Company from 2003-2004 and eventually retired from the U.S. Army after 20 years of service.
"This song is for fellow veterans struggling with PTSD," Doud explains. "There are different pieces to the entire song. The real musicians are the Mamba Surfers, a really talented group that play very well together. If you listen closely at the end of the song, you will hear the bullets jingling together. It's a great song when all the pieces mesh together."
Doud incorporated her Native American culture and time in the military by creating a jingle dress, part of the inspiration for the song.
A jingle dress is a Native American women's pow wow dance. Those dancing wear a jingle dress with ornamentation of metal cones. Instead of generic metal cones, Doud dances with empty M16 shells.
"I made a jingle dress out of empty M16 shells and I dance at pow wows in this regalia," Doud explained. "Many male veterans have always incorporated their military service/history into our traditional culture so I thought I would do the same."
Anybody can vote for the Native American Music Awards. To vote for Kelly Jackson and Melissa Doud visit www.nativeamericanmusicawards.com. Voting ends Oct. 13, the day before the awards show.
Doud and the Mambo Surfers have a fundraising campaign to get the group to the awards show, to donate visit www.gofundme.com/ meltonama.
Abbey McEnroe may be reached via email at email@example.com.