Ottawa's A Tribe Called Red won Breakthrough Group of the Year at the 2014 Juno Awards. As Aboriginal artists winning in a mainstream category at a mainstream awards show, the win was particularly meaningful for the electronic DJ crew.
"This award doesn't belong to us, it belongs to all of us," said Ian "DJ NDN" Campeau during a backstage presser. "This moment right here is a perfect example that Aboriginal youth can excel and achieve any goal that they could ever want. Anything is possible. They can do whatever they want and we're proof of that."
The group made the conscious choice not to submit their album in the Aboriginal Album of the Year category, relying solely on the strength of their music to stand up against other mainstream contenders.
Back in February, Campeau told the Ottawa Citizen that the group wanted to put their album up against artists in the same genre, rather than the same race: "In one category you’d have the George Leach album, a really good alternative rock album, and then our album, an electronic album, to compete for the same award just because we’re of the same race. I'd rather be in a category with music of the same genre than to be nominated because of race."
They lost out to Halifax DJ Ryan Hemsworth for Electronic Album of the Year during the Saturday night gala, but snagged a win Sunday in the televised Breakthrough Group category, whose previous winners include Monster Truck, The Sheepdogs, Said the Whale, and The Arkells.
With the increased acceptance of the band, the crew hopes to continue to break down barriers for Aboriginal people.
"The dialogue needs to start happening, and I find that our popularity is a really good doorway to have that conversation,” Campeau said. "It's definitely starting, which is great."
Not Arcade Fire accept album of the year award for Arcade Fire
Co-hosts Serena Ryder and Classified
BTO rock out
Tegan and Sara and Choir! Choir! Choir!
Olympian Dara Williams
Co-host Johnny Reid
Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Friends
Shad and July Talk
BTO and Chris Hadfield
A Tribe Called Red win breakthrough group of the year
Olympic Curling Team
Tegan and Sara say thank you
Serena Ryder performs
Walk Off the Earth
Classified, Serena Ryder and Johnny Reid say goodnight
Tegan and Sara
Commander Chris Hadfield
Gold Medal Women's Olympic Curling team
Co-Host Serena Ryder
Small Town Pistols
Walk Off The Earth
Co-Host Johnny Reid
Fans on the Red Carpet
Kardinal Offishall taking a selfie with a fan
Devin Cuddy Band
A Tribe Called Red
Tegan and Sara
Dara Howell, Gold Medal Olympic skier.
2014 JUNO Awards. MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba. March 30, 2014. Photo: CARAS\iPhoto.
Three Days Grace
Alysha Brilla, JUNO nominee.
Green Carpet. 2014 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards. March 29, 2014. RBC Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Photo: CARAS/iPhoto - See more at: http://junoawards.ca/press/media-database/2014-2/2014-juno-gala-green-carpet/#sthash.kr5RTrBL.dpuf
Nominee Brandi Disterheft.
Green Carpet. 2014 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards. March 29, 2014. RBC Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Photo: CARAS/iPhoto
Gala host Jian Ghomeshi