Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson is a unique voice for indigenous cultures. She is a Haida musician, artist, and lawyer, well known for her work in aboriginal-environmental law and as a recognized keeper of traditions. Born and raised in Haida Gwaii, Terri-Lynn has dedicated herself to the continuation of Haida culture. The traditional Haida songs her centenarian great-grandmother sang have motivated and been a beacon throughout her life, leading her to help preserve a legacy of Haida music through the Haida Gwaii Singers Society.
Deep on the front lines of Indigenous Rights, her work strives to open new vistas to her audiences rooted in Indigenous world views, Haida language and laws, music and oral traditions, and branches out to explore their relevance to contemporary society.
Released in August 2017, Grizzly Bear Town is Terri-Lynn’s third album and is a collaboration with Bill Henderson and Claire Lawrence. It seeks to build bridges of understanding, respectfully blending ancient and contemporary knowledge and music.
Respecting the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the music propels the conversation about past and future, responsibility and legacy. The songs illustrate aspects of Haida culture, including supernatural beings such as Cedar Sister, Landslide Lady and Canoe Song, spirituality, and indigenous laws. The album strives to highlight the endangered Haida language and music from the Northwest Coast of Canada.
“Grizzly Bear Town” is best described as “cutting edge ancient.” Improvisatory techniques—common to both Jazz and potlatches—are used to explore the diverse perspectives in this album, cut live-off-the-floor and in the primordial, mystical islands of Haida Gwaii. Their joy and love of this shared creation shines through their compelling performances.
Her previous album ‘New Journeys’ garnered a ‘Best Female Artist’ Canadian Aboriginal Music Award (“CAMA”) and numerous nominations, and stayed on the National Aboriginal Music Countdown for almost 40 weeks. Her first album ‘Lalaxaaygans: Beautiful Sound’ received a ‘Best Female/Traditional Cultural Roots’ CAMA.