Teagan Littlechief says she is still on cloud nine after winning the Saskatchewan Country Music Award for Indigenous Artist of the Year.
“It’s still kind of hard to believe, but I’m just going through the motions right now. It’s always been a dream of mine, it’s always been a goal to someday win that award and this year was just the icing on the cake,” Littlechief said.
The singer from White Bear First Nation said that she’d been singing since she was five and joined the Saskatchewan Music Association about 20 years ago.
“Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to hold an award in my hand for something big. I mean a shampoo bottle, anything, always holding something (thinking) one day I want to win this award,” Littlechief said.
Littlechief said her mom always knew she could sing, that she was musically inclined. Her preschool teacher also said, “Get this girl into music lessons.”
“So that’s what happened,” Littlechief said. “I got into music lessons at the age of five or six, and I was in music lessons till I was about 13, 14 and I started entering contests. I got into a few radio contests, I won those.”
She then went on to perform at Voices of the North in Prince Albert and did her first recording at the age of 12. She also took part in Canadian Idol and made it to the top 100.
The journey wasn’t all sunshine and roses for Littlechief, though. She had many challenges along the way.
“Back in 2015, I really struggled hard. I used to drink. Being an older teen, you know, I got kind of into drinking and stuff and it became a problem,” she said.
“But it was 2015 when I really hit rock bottom after losing my dad. And, you know, I struggled really hard with addiction and alcohol and drug addiction.”
Now that she’s sober she’s making up for lost time with her son and said he loves it. “Every minute he gets, he wants to be by my side, which is totally fine and I don’t mind it at all,” she said.
“You know, I feel like I missed him for three years,” she said.
Littlechief is also an addictions counsellor and youth support worker at White Bear First Nation and said that it’s an amazing feeling to be able to reach people who are going through something that she went through herself.
“I was lucky enough to have that support system when I was getting sober and you know, it’s just telling them I’m here if you think that nobody cares, if you think that your family doesn’t care or you don’t have any friends or anything, I’m here, just come talk to me,” she said.
“Let’s get to know each other and we’ll go from there. My story is probably just as similar to yours because at some point I’ve gone through it just like you.”
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