The song is called “Power and Strength”. It was written by Lisa Marie Naponse, a singer and songwriter from Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, as she watched her niece’s hair blowing in the breeze.
Naponse, who is also known as ‘Odeminkwe’ or ‘strawberry/heartberry woman,’ was at the lake, sitting in the grass with her guitar in hand. There was a melody and few chords swimming around her brain and fingertips, but no words yet.
Until she saw her niece standing in front of her. “The lyrics just flowed,” said Naponse.
“I wondered if she knew how much power and strength she has, as an Anishinaabe Kwe (woman),” said Naponse. “I want her to grow up knowing she belongs, that she has a purpose and gifts to share with the world, and that she is loved. I want this for every Indigenous girl.”
It was this desire that translated into the lyrics of the song, Power and Strength, now available on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon as well as Naponse website, Odeminkwe.com.
“This song is a reminder to Indigenous girls and women that they have power and strength all around them,” said Naponse. “It comes from within, from our families, community, and nation. This song is also a call to action to everyone to stand up with Indigenous Women and support them in their visions and dreams.”
She also considers the song a call to action, one that requires any community “to stand up with Indigenous women and support their dreams and visions to make this world a better place.”
The single is from Naponse’s debut album, recorded at Deadpan Studios to be released later this year, preceded by two more song releases.
“At the beginning, it was hard to get into a creative mode, because of personal issues, and the uncertainty of the pandemic,” said Naponse. “I focused on improving my guitar skills and just breathing. Also learning more about the business of music, and what that entails.”
Now, she feels she can “focus on new music.”
And it is now that she can focus not just on creating new sounds, but on her own path to wellness — through song. “I like making a chord progression and melody first, and then let the lyrics surface. I write the lyrics out and record the lyrics and melodies on my phone, and come back to them over time. It's really a healing time when I am creating. Singing is healing for me.”
That healing musical path is one that she never intends to leave. “This music journey is forever and I love it, because it's my own journey.”
You can find more information about Naponse at her website Odeminkwe.com.