Leonard Adam & Sons
As a child growing up on the trapline, Leonard Adam remembers visits to Fond du Lac as hugely exciting events. When he was about 13, he moved into town. That’s when he first got interested in music. “My extended family, aunties and uncles, were all musical. I learned my first two guitar chords from a cousin,” he says. “They’d never seen anyone pick it up so quickly.”
By 15, Leonard was playing in an old-time fiddle band with his uncles and cousins; by 17, he was playing electric guitar in a country band at weddings, dances and parties. His life took a new direction when an Elder asked him why he didn’t write songs in his own language.
“That really inspired me. I knew nobody had written songs in Dené before. Some of my family lived to be over 100 years old, and they had seen many different worlds. There was so much history – growing up on the land, living in isolation, losing our traditions. I thought, ‘wow’. That’s inspired the song ‘Relatives’. It’s about who we are and where we come from, and showing ourselves to the rest of Canada.”