From a miracle recovery to inspirational artist, Chamakese to play The Gog

Inspirational artist and storyteller Jason Chamakese will be featured at The Gog, a popular house concert venue in North Battleford, on Nov. 16.

Having recovered from a life-threatening stroke to resume his musical career, he is inspired to bring people together and to encourage Indigenous youth.

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Jason Chamakese is from the Pelican Lake First Nation. He is from the Plains Cree Nation and is a speaker of the Plains Cree language.

In 1998, he began playing traditional flute music. What began as a pastime led him to start composing and recording his own music. Nominated for Best Flute player at the Native American Music Awards, Canadian Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards, and Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards in 2011, he is the winner of the Best Traditional Flute CD category at the 2011 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. In 2010, he had the honour of performing at the 4 Host Nations Pavilion and 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. He has traveled throughout North America sharing his music and stories and travelled to Scotland in 2013 for the Scottish International Storytelling Festival.

In May of 2015, he suffered a stroke and was in an induced coma for nine days, placed on life support and given a 30 per cent chance to live. Doctors notified his family that, if he was to survive, he would suffer debilitating effects and require constant medical care.

However, his recovery has been miraculous. Moreover, he kept his ability to play Native American flute. His story is inspirational. He wishes to encourage First Nations youth to learn their respective languages and follow their culture as best as they can to also to embrace a positive alcohol and drug free lifestyle. He also wants to encourage them to pursue interests in sports, art, education and culture as an alternative to drugs and alcohol.

To non-First Nations youth, he passes on a message of mutual respect and would like to foster understanding among all people. He shares his own personal story and it is truly inspiring.

Recently, he was part of a history making national broadcast of an NHL game on APTN, where the Cree Language was utilized for the first time and he sat as a panelist and special guest. He is now enjoying the release of his third recording of solo flute music.

Chamakese will share his music and story at an event MCed by Ray Fox. The Gog is located at 1391 - 105th Street and the door opens at 7 p.m. Bring a $20 bill with you.

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