February 20th, 2014 Last Updated on: February 20th, 2014
Dr. Dawn Karima, Music Editor
United by their admiration of the wolf, some of Native America's brightest stars released a new CD on January 16, 2014. The WOLF CD retails for $9.99 and is available nationally for purchase.
The CD which aims to honor and pay tribute to the wolf, will be donated as a fundraiser for the NY Wolf Conservation Center (http://www.nywolf.org) and other wildlife organizations who fear that a delisting of the Gray Wolf's endangerd species protection by the US Fish & Wildlife service is premature in its recovery and will leave it subject to recreational hunting and trapping. At one time there were hundreds of thousands of wolves that roamed the lower 48 states. Today, there are 5,000 – 6,000 remaining after facing extinction.
Jack Gladstone (Blackfeet), Jimmy Lee Young (Mayan) & international Swiss artist Davide Buzzi, Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida), Joe Firecrow (Northern Cheyenne), Lee Plentywolf & The PlentyWolf Singers (Lakota) and The Gray Wolf Blues Band (Yaqui) lend their talents to this project. In addition, Jan Michael Looking Wolf (Grand Ronde), Bobby Bullet St Germaine (Lac du Flambeau), Austrian group Big City Indians, world music duo Painted Raven, Rushingwind & Mucklow (Cashuilla/Opata) share their supportive songs. Songs by Silverwolf (Cherokee), a special bonus track for the download version by Wade Fernandez (Menominee) and more including artist Silverfox's (Apache') own little set of howling wolf pups he's helping to raise, can be heard on the CD.
Mayan performer Jimmy Lee Young graciously shared his perspective on participating in this project. He discussed his personal commitment to conservation and his musical stylings.
DK: Thanks for informing us about this intriguing project, my dear friend! What makes you passionate about performing to save the wolves?
JLY: This year the Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries removed them from the endangered species list. Shocking!!! The rules for hunting them and reporting the (gulp) kills are varied. If we don't do something RIGHT NOW, they will be at risk for extinction all over again. I feel it down to my soul for these noble creatures, and I'll raise my voice for as long as it takes to save them.
DK: Tell us about your song on the CD? What's the inspiration behind it? Share the meaning with us?
JLY: The song on the CD was written by songwriter Davide Buzzi of Pony Records. When I was on national tour in Switzerland, he asked me to choose a song to translate and recod. I was drawn to this one, because it is based on the legend of a Native American child raised by wolves. Eventually, in the song,a hunter kills the mother wolf. It begs the question: Who is the real beast- the wolf who would raise an orphaned child, or the human who kills for sport. Ellen Bello put this project together, and I was so touched by her efforts, that I offered to get in and do all I can to raise awareness.
The CD can be purchased at the link provided on the NAMA website. My songs can be found at www.cdbaby.com, iTunes, and wherever downloads are sold. I can be reached at Fb anytime, and answer all my fan mail and messages personally, and with the help of my assistant, Eric Vandenberg, and my drummer, Gil Gabaldon II.
DK: You have such a busy schedule, but you made time for this project. You must care deeply about wolves. Why do you think all of us should take an interest in preserving wolves as well?
JLY: I have a few things going already for 2014. I have half of the next JLY CD written and rehearsed. We are doing the Pine Ridge Benefit Concert in Venice California on January 26th, and then going back home to play in New Orleans for the first time since we went international. It will be a welcome home gig, and I feel great to sing and play for the folks back home finally! But I'm never too busy for something this important.
Recently, there was a comments page posted by the government, and over a million people raised their voices in support of the cause. I am hoping that they will keep the wolves on the endangered species list, and protect them. For myself, I want nothing but to see this happen. This time, it's all about the noble wolves, and we have to act now.
Our audiences should care about these creatures because they are part of the priceless gifts that mother Earth has given us. They are part of the balance in nature, which is being threatened on all sides. If we don't act, it will be another lost child of this earth, and that would be just tragic!
DK: Thanks for offering your insights into this great project!
JLY: Gee, I feel so energised by all of this! You're welcome!
The concept behind the CD was sparked when NAMA Founder, Ellen Bello, made a visit with Ambassador Wolf, Atka, at the NY Wolf Conservation Center who was recently featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and following news that the Gray Wolf may be removed from endangered species protections.
Bello was moved by the dire conditions of the wolves. Currently, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission calls for hiring a hunter-trapper to eliminate two of six packs of wolves due to a low elk population. In 1995 – 1996 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service introduced 35 wolves into Idaho, augmenting several lone wolves living in the state. In 2002, Idaho had 300 wolves and the number was growing; the Legislature approved a state management plan. In 2011, Congress removed wolves from the threatened species list in the states of Idaho, Montana, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington and northern Utah. Wolf and wildlife advocates believe that removing any protections are premature.
The Native American Music Association which also presents the annual Native American Music Awards is the world's largest professional membership-based organization for contemporary and traditional Native American music initiatives.
Dr. Dawn Karima won a Native American Music Award for her CD THE DESIRE OF NATIONS (www.cdbaby.com/honeydawnkarima).
Home » Native American Articles » Native American Culture »