About FNCI

Mission Statement

The First Nations Composer Initiative is dedicated to the creation and promotion of American Indian music and musical traditions in all of its forms. By increasing awareness of and exposure to the wide diversity of musical traditions and genres within the American Indian, Alaskan Native and Hawaiian Native communities, FNCI serves to widen the audience for composers and performers. Within this scope of service FNCI is also committed to the education of our youth and in the diversity of opportunities for their work.


Those who are producing quality work beyond the traditional framework are frequently isolated from each other and from major presenting organizations. There are also very few composers who have had wide experience with the field, and no established mechanism for mentoring the next generation.

Clearly there is a need to build infrastructure for American Indian composers and musicians, and to facilitate the integration of their work into the wider cultural and artistic framework. Native American composers and musicians of all ages, interests and abilities need to have access to information and opportunities, collaborate to ensure that future generations gain composition skills and the chance to express themselves creatively, and facilitate ways for their music to be heard by a wide audience.

Over the last century, American Indians have successfully codified unique Indian expressions in painting, sculpture, dance, theater and literature. Only recently have American Indians embraced music to this degree, and have begun to fully express themselves within all the possibilities that lie in music.

Likewise, American Indians have experienced a rebirth in and an enthusiasm for participation in their traditional music, resulting in a growing relationship between traditional and contemporary music throughout Indian Country. This relationship is very unique and is creating an entirely new palate of exciting musical possibilities, as well as important challenges. Through the presence of The First Nations Composer Initiative, we wish to help create opportunities for American Indians to lead the way in providing the solutions to these possibilities and challenges, and strengthen their relationships with the musical world abroad.

Therefore, We establish the First Nations Composer Initiative to address these needs and concerns.

Statement of Intent [PDF, 201 KB]

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