Canadian R&B singer Jully Black was honoured at an AFN Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa on Monday night for making a tweak to the Canadian national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, Utah in February.
Black swapped word at NBA All-Star Game to sing ‘O Canada! Our home on native land’
Canadian R&B singer Jully Black was honoured at an AFN Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa on Monday night for making an appreciated tweak to the Canadian national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, Utah, in February.
The Juno Award-winner had swapped out one word in the anthem’s usual opening line “O Canada! Our home and native land!” with “O Canada! Our home on native land” to recognize the Indigenous people who lived on the land before European settlers.
Black was presented with an eagle feather and wrapped with a blanket during a Blanketing Ceremony by AFN Knowledge Keepers and National Chief RoseAnne Archibald.
The singer said she was “grateful” while holding back tears.
“I didn’t realize that my action would garner such a response.”
Black went on: “On behalf of the Black community, I say we are one. We’re better together.”
After the presentation of the blanket and feather, Black reprised her rendition of O Canada for the assembly, again including “home on native land,” which prompted cheers from the crowd.