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AFN honours singer Jully Black for her change to Canada’s anthem

Black swapped word at NBA All-Star Game to sing 'O Canada! Our home on native land'

A woman sings.

Jully Black was given an eagle feather and blanket by the Assembly of First Nations after she amended the Canadian national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game in February.

Photo: AFP/Getty Images / Patrick T. Fallon

The Canadian Press

Canadian R&B singer Jully Black was honoured at an AFN Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa on Monday night for making an appreciated tweak to the Canadian national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, Utah, in February.

The Juno Award-winner had swapped out one word in the anthem's usual opening line O Canada! Our home and native land! with O Canada! Our home on native land to recognize the Indigenous people who lived on the land before European settlers.

Black was presented with an eagle feather and wrapped with a blanket during a Blanketing Ceremony by AFN Knowledge Keepers and National Chief RoseAnne Archibald.

The singer said she was grateful while holding back tears.

I didn't realize that my action would garner such a response.

Black went on: On behalf of the Black community, I say we are one. We're better together.

After the presentation of the blanket and feather, Black reprised her rendition of O Canada for the assembly, again including home on native land, which prompted cheers from the crowd.

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