Cheryl L’Hirondelle (Cree/Halfbreed; German/Polish) is an award-winning singer/songwriter, music producer and interdisciplinary artist whose Indigenous family roots are from Papaschase First Nation and Kikino Metis Settlement, on the land now known as Canada.
Cheryl’s previous musical efforts have garnered her a 2001 nomination from the Prairie Music Awards (now the Western Canadian Music Awards) for NIKAMOK, two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (2006, 2007) for her contributions to Vancouver-based Aboriginal Women’s Ensemble M’Girl, and in 2011 she was nominated for a K.M. Hunter Award in music. In 2021 Cheryl was awarded a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Art.
As a songwriter, L’Hirondelle’s focus is on both sharing nēhiyawēwin (Cree language) and Indigenous and contemporary song-forms and personal narrative songwriting as ‘survivance’ methodologies. Since 2008, she has been working on two major ongoing projects. Why the Caged Bird Sings is a songwriting and recording initiative that engages incarcerated women, men and detained youth in federal prisons, provincial correctional centres and municipal youth detention centres, and Singing Land is a multi-iterative and international songwriting / sonic mapping project as a process towards forging personal ‘right relations’ with land.
She is also honoured to have contributed backing vocals on the award-winning album Power in the Blood (2015) by legendary Cree musician and activist Buffy Sainte Marie. L’Hirondelle was also one of the featured musical artists included in For Zitkála-Šá, by Navajo composer Raven Chacon (winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in music composition) in his collection of graphic scores recently performed at the Whitney Museum in New York City.
Cheryl is the Director of Miyoh Music Inc., a small, Indigenous niche music publishing company and record label. Additionally, she is currently completing a practice-based PhD at University College Dublin with SMARTlab/Inclusive Design Research Centre.