Status / Non-Status – 1, 2, 3, 4, 500 Years
Status/Non-Status is the new name for the ongoing musical work of Anishinaabe community worker Adam Sturgeon (Nme’) and his longtime collaborators (formerly known as Whoop-Szo). The band spent a decade carving a path through Canada’s DIY scene before achieving their widest recognition with 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 Polaris Prize among numerous other accolades. Today, the band emerges renewed, with more stories to share. 1, 2, 3, 4, 500 Years was recorded in Mexico and highlights the band’s unique mix of heavy psychedelia, anthemic indie rock, political story telling, and inter-cultural exchange.
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.”
1, 2, 3, 4, 500 Years, featuring lead single “Find a Home,” is out this spring on You’ve Changed Records / Grizzlar Records. It is available as a deluxe single sided 12″ EP with graphic etching on side B.
- Find A Home
- Untitled Travelogue
- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
- 500 Years
- Recorded by Jesus Canibales in Guadalajara, Jalisco province, Mexico, at Rockweiler Studio
- Production and editing by Kyl Ashbourne and Adam Sturgeon
- Mixed and Mastered by Jesse Gander at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver, Canada