Hip hop Musqueam performer in the news

Crunch, or Christie Lee Charles as she’s known off-stage, speaks hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, the Downriver dialect of Halkomelem (hur) spoken by the Musqueam Indian Band in British Columbia, Canada. She learned the language from her great-uncle and in high school from the First Nations Languages Program.

Crunch has taken her heritage language in a new direction, developing and performing rap. She performed at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, at the Utopia Festival at Storyeum for International Women’s Day last month, and at other venues such as a Kelowna talent show.

According to “First Nations Female Artists,” she began performing the language in hip hop after obtaining permission from elders. Christie Lee Charles is also featured in “Young mom performs hip hop in Musqueam dialect,” on the CTV News site.

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