Nimkii Osawamick, is an emerging artist with a deep love for dance, drumming and singing from Odawa/Potawatomi from Wiikwemkoong, Unceded Territory located on beautiful Manitoulin Islands (Ontario, CA).
Visiting communities and hitting the Powwow trails as a tiny-tot at the age of three —Nimkii merges his traditional, champion Powwow dancing skills, singing and drumming with his own unique artistic style and expression influenced by 90’s Hip-Hop rhythms and rhymes. While also a trained modern dancer, the red roadway of life informs Nimkii’s creative process in all endeavours as an artist, community member and father. He remains active in circles as a Hoop dancer and an award-winning dancer across Turtle Island and beyond.
Nimkii’s official training began at the age of thirteen, joining a local youth drum group known as Rice Lake Thunder, taught by various singers in the Community: Terry Rogers-ba, Gerard Sagassige and Mark Lavallee, lead singer of the award-winning drum group, the Chippewa Travellers.
As Nimkii continued to develop his craft, he knew that he also wanted to use his voice to express his experience as a young, proud Indigenous man. Uplifting and sharing the brilliance of Indigenous knowledges, language and practices; His art has become a brilliant and impactful form of activism to speak—for and with—his people.
A road warrior at heart, Nimkii has been asked to tour and perform across the globe with his with such greats as Cris Derksen and Digging Roots, bringing his hoops, hand drum, voice, energy, magical footwork and love everywhere he ventures and collaborates. It’s been during these relationships and mentoring opportunities that he learned firsthand the amount of dedication and responsibility that comes with being a great musician singing for the love of music; beholden to the community and future generations.
In 2009, Nimkii had an experience that changed his life. He had the great honour of performing with Indigenous Icon Buffy St. Marie at the Skydome powwow Music Awards. He danced for Buffy’s “No, No Keshegesh” music video soon after performing on stage in front of his first big audience at the age of 17.
That set the bar high for what collaborations he dreamt of and brought to life. Nimkii is regularly requested to collaborate, dance and sing with some of Indian country’s most renowned and accomplished artists, sharing dreams and stages with the likes of DJ Shub in 2017 (formerly of ‘A Tribe Called Red’), alongside fellow dance & music waker/maker/dancer, Classic Roots.
His gifts call to him from across Turtle Island (North America) to share his gifts in workshops and presentations with communities, families and youth. Nimkii’s goal is to empower the people through his style of song and dance. He collaborates with Indigenous artists including Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Cris Derksen, Digging Roots, Bryden Gwiss Kiwenzie and Classic Roots.
Nimkii lifts up special thanks to his mother Ginew Miigwan for raising him in a ‘good way’ within an environment of Indigenous culture and practices. He thanks, Classic Roots for giving him the opportunity to experiment with modern electronic beats. He lifts up gratitude to everyone who has been a part of his journey, those who have supported and encouraged him in dancing on stage to creating music and inviting him to collaborate.
Nimkii’s dedication to the preservation and awareness of his peoples’ culture, history and present-day contributions rooted in brilliance is highlighted in his company DNA STAGE: Dedicated Native Awareness, which aims to bridge the cultural gap between First Nations, Métis and Intuit, LGBTQT2S and Indigiqueer and non-Indigenous folx in culturally safe, trauma-formed, respectful ways that bring value, truth, kind honesty and love to the forefront.