Status/Non-Status is the new name for the ongoing musical work of Anishinaabe community worker Adam Sturgeon (Nme’) and his longtime collaborators (fka Whoop-Szo). The band spent a decade carving a path through Canada’s DIY scene before leveling up thanks to 2019’s acclaimed long player Warrior Down (You’ve Changed Records). This album confronted Sturgeon’s complex family history and identity and was long listed for the Polaris Music Prize among numerous other accolades. Today, the band emerges renewed, with more stories to share …

Adam is ‘non-status’ as defined by the Canadian government. Adam’s grandfather Ralph made the difficult decision to enfranchise in order to support himself and his family by joining the Armed Forces. Enfranchisement was the government’s term for the legal process of turning in one’s Status Card, terminating one’s Indian Status, and becoming instead a Canadian citizen. It was a pillar of the government’s assimilation policy and a requirement for any Indigenous person who wished to enlist.

In the name of providing a better life for himself and his family, Ralph was required to forsake his Anishinaabe roots, an all-too-common experience for Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island. Acts of colonial violence such as enfranchisement, the residential school system, and the Indian Act have resulted in disconnection amongst generations of Indigenous people from their communities, languages, land, and identities. Today, new voices are rising up and — through acts of reclamation via art, language, music, and community — taking back spaces that have been dominated by settler culture for so many years.

Who is native enough? Who ‘counts’ as Indigenous, and who does not? These questions swirl through the Canadian arts discourse today, impacting every medium and revealing fundamental inadequacies within our current identity-defining systems. For Adam, the proof is in the work; his commitment to telling his family’s story with integrity and truth informs every aspect of his music and his life. Now a father to his own young son, it is the future that allows Adam to dig further into his roots.

“When we tell stories, we have a responsibility to tell the truth. Do the necessary work to earn trust. Share your experience as one voice within a greater circle … and find a home.”

Releases

Status / Non-Status
1, 2, 3, 4, 500 Years
YC-047
May 28, 2021
12" EP
$14.00 Select options
WHOOP-Szo
Warrior Down
YC-041
November 1, 2019
LP/CD/Digital
$10.00$22.00 Select options

Blog Posts

Status / Non-Status – 1, 2, 3, 4, 500 Years

April 28, 2021 | Posted in: WHOOP-Szo 0

Status/Non-Status is the new name for the ongoing musical work of Anishinaabe community worker Adam Sturgeon (Nme’) and his longtime collaborators (fka Whoop-Szo). The band spent a decade carving a path through Canada’s DIY scene before leveling up thanks to 2019’s acclaimed long player Warrior Down (You’ve Changed Records). This … Read More

Music Video: WHOOP-Szo – Gerry

October 10, 2019 | Posted in: WHOOP-Szo 0

Some background on this song and video from Adam of WHOOP-Szo: “My cousin Gerry was shot by a cop. Murdered. In his own home. While the circumstances surrounding his death are unclear, there has only ever been one side to the story, that of the RCMP. No external investigations took … Read More

New Release: WHOOP-Szo – Warrior Down

September 10, 2019 | Posted in: Artists, Blog, WHOOP-Szo 0

London, Ontario’s WHOOP-Szo is a blazing force of DIY rock. Fronted by Anishinaabe-Canadian community leader Adam Sturgeon, the band has spent nearly a decade carving out a reputation for themselves in Canada’s crowded DIY scene, rising on the strength of their musicianship, songwriting, and tireless touring. We are thrilled to … Read More

Tour Dates

No shows booked at the moment.