Shawnee Paul

Cape Breton

Shawnee Paul is a young Mi’kmaq musician from Eskasoni who has been playing the fiddle since the age of seven. Before her grandfather’s (Wilfred Prosper) passing, he gave her a fiddle and she soon began instructions from Eddy Rogers. Since childhood, Shawnee has been passionate about music and learning new instruments. This led her to study music at Acadia University where she received her Bachelor of Music Education degree in May 2019. During her time at Acadia she was a part of the Acadia Orchestra and has been a violin instructor for two years. One of her highlights while at Acadia was being part of the 2019 National Youth Band of Canada tour in Manitoba. One of the compositions they performed was a poem based on the late Mi’kmaq Poet Laureate Rita Joe of Eskasoni. The poem, “I Lost My Talk”, was turned into a 20-minute musical composition by National Arts Centre award-winning composer John Estacio. Shawnee recited Rita Joe’s poem during the performance. This was a great honour for Shawnee who was proud to represent the Mi’kmaq people. Shawnee has been a key player in the Feis en Eilein program for five years teaching guitar, piano and fiddle. She is in her final year of the Bachelor of Education program at Acadia and hopes to bring her music education back to Cape Breton.

Festival Performances

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