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Alberta Indigenous band Northern Cree seeking 1st Grammy win

Northern Cree attends the 60th Annual Grammy Awards - Arrivals at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City.
Northern Cree attends the 60th Annual Grammy Awards - Arrivals at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City. Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Hall and Oates have five.

The Police have eight.

The Northern Cree have nine.

The Alberta group is up for a Grammy Award with their ninth nomination, this one in the Best Regional Roots category following the release of their 40th album When It’s Cold – Cree Round Dance Songs.”

READ MORE: Saskatoon-based Cree musicians return from unforgettable Grammys experience

“I think that would be true being ambassadors for all First Nations across Canada, as well as the Canadian public,” says group co-founder Steve Wood. “But beyond that, all First Nations people from across North America and South America.”

Formed in 1982 by Wood and his brothers, the band originates from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation but has members from across Treaty Six territory.

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The band has travelled the world, performing with some of the biggest musical acts on Earth, including the Tragically Hip, whose charismatic frontman, the late Gord Downie, Wood remembers fondly.

LISTEN BELOW: Ninth time the charm? Alberta band seeks their first Grammy

“The things that he spoke about when we were there (in London), [he was] an amazing human being.”

The Northern Cree haven’t won an award yet, despite eight prior nominations. So what would a win this year mean?

READ MORE: Alberta’s Northern Cree to kick off Grammys in L.A.

“That would be most awesome,” says Wood.

“We try to stay grounded by thinking, ‘How many groups were nominated for our group originally?’ There must have been hundreds and we made the top five.”

The Grammy Awards will be presented Sunday in Los Angeles.

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