Marcel Gagnon (musician)

Marcel Gagnon (born 2 May 1950) is a Canadian composer, singer, guitarist, and substance abuse counsellor.[1][2]


Born in Prince George, British Columbia, a member of the Lheidli T'enneh Band and the 16th of 20 children in his family,[3] Gagnon was involved in music from his youth, playing for dances, weddings and private functions in central British Columbia, as well as for radio shows in Alberta and British Columbia.[1][4] His career was interrupted by severe alcoholism, but after undertaking a recovery program, he recorded his breakthrough album Crazy Maker at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 2001.[5] The album was nominated for a Best Music of Aboriginal Canada award in the Juno Awards of 2002. He has produced two other albums.

In 1997, he graduated with a degree in addictions counselling. Acknowledging himself as a recovering alcoholic and a person affected by fetal alcohol syndrome disorder, Gagnon became a member of the Board of Directors of the Whitecrow Village FASD Society upon its inception in 2002.[6] He has become a prominent advocate and counsellor for persons affected by the Canadian Indian residential school system.[5][7] Currently, he is an elder of the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation. He teaches spirituality, that "Man's struggle has always been dark against light. Positive versus negative. Our teaching is to recognize these two forces and which is the greater. The Medicine Man within, I refer to as Tsiyan/Grandfather. Bheni Hoolo is the darker force that wars within us. We (allow) that greater power within, Tsiyan, to help us to recognize and overcome Bheni Hoolo's influence."[8] Gagnon is currently working with Indigenous youth in conflict with the law, presenting his program, "Awakening the Medicine Man Within," and performing music.



  • Crazy Maker, 2001
  • The Watchman – Tom Crow, 2002
  • Captured, 2006
  • New Years Day, 2009


  1. ^ a b Brian Wright-McLeod. The Encyclopedia of Native Music: More than a Century of Recordings from Wax Cylinder to the Internet. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Cheyenne Dennis (2009). "Marcel Gagnon, Beaver Clan" (PDF). Burns Lake Native Development Corporation newsletter. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Living with FASD 2013 Summit". Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Marcel Gagnon's biography". 2006. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b PGFree Press staff. "Crazy Maker". Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Marcel Gagnon, Addictions Recovery Support Team". 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Alberni Valley Times (2008). "CBC Live in Alberni". Archived from the original on 24 March 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Marcel Gagnon (2013). "The Beaver Lodge – Tsa". Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 

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