Seventeen-year-old Emma Stevens from Eskasoni First Nation has become a music sensation all before graduating high school. With the release of Steven’s debut song, “My Unama’ki, her musical journey is just beginning. “My Unama’ki,” celebrates the strong and resilient Indigenous culture of her community that resides on the island of Unama’ki (Cape Breton, N.S.).
As an artist, Emma is passionate about bringing awareness to important issues facing First Nations across Canada, including the loss of language and the staggering number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG). In 2019, Emma recorded Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird” in Mi’kmaq to help bring awareness to the United Nations’ observance of the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Fewer than 10,000 Mi’kmaq speakers remain. Since its release, Steven’s version of “Blackbird” has garnered international attention and has helped bring awareness to the various efforts being undertaken to revitalize endangered Indigenous languages around the world. Stevens has performed across Canada and internationally with past performances in Nairobi, Kenya, Abu Dhabi, Parliament Hill in Ottawa and the UAE for United Nations assemblies where she sang and spoke to leaders and policy-makers from around the world.