Native Nations are an indigenous reggae duo (Kateřina Pihera-Ridge and Marcus Ridge). Marcus is a Diné (Navajo), Cherokee and Hopi Native American from of Na’Neelzhiin, (Wolf Stand, Navajo Nation) New Mexico, USA. Kateřina affiliates to Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngā Puhi and the Czech Republic – born and raised in Rotorua, NZ. Katerina is also adopted into the Jemez Pueblo tribe of New Mexico. They travel between their homelands to stay connected physically and spiritually and to keep family and cultural ties strong, while also sharing in their cultural, professional and musical performance capacity.
First meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico while playing together in a native reggae band, they later joined to create their own music, followed by marriage and two MāoriDiné babies! Music and whakapapa genealogy binds them through all time.
Their self-titled debut album cover depicts the fusion of Navajo and Māori knowledge that has survived with indigenous resilience. The waiata songs will resonate with those conscious of Te Ao Hurihuri, the changing world and connect with the uniting language of music as medicine and good vibration.
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Marcus is an experienced multi-instrument musician and has played in award-winning Native American bands, Marcus is the creator and producer of Native Nations music as well as lyricist and vocalist. He established ‘Ridge Riddim Records’ when leading his own family band STRIKE and this is the 2nd album under his own label. Marcus has also completed two Degrees at the University of New Mexico and works in the area of Social Services as a Whanau Ora Pae Arahi – indigenous programme navigator, supporting whānau/ families in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Katerina arranges compositions as lyricist and vocalist of Native Nations and leads any business, promotions and distributions for Native Nations. She is well known within Te Arawa for being a champion for indigenous rights both locally and internationally. With a background in indigenous and international development, management and governance roles within her tribes, Katerina knows first-hand the challenges native people have experienced and leverages this experience in her current role as a Senior Māori Advisor for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
Native Nations have created music and have also created two children; Te Kānuka Josef Ocean Eagle and Sequoia Lida Star Flower. Both named after strong, resilient, native trees from both homelands as well as carrying Czech family names and native Pueblo names. They unite Māori and Native American whakapapa (genealogy), culture, language, land, water, love and solidarity, today and into future generations. These children are both Native Nations’ strength and biggest fans. Their debut album is livicated to them both. “Bloodlines it ties us through all time…”
Native Nations Music
Their single “Get to You” is their first track to be released for sale on iTunes and Spotify. “Get to You” has a YouTube video that captures their traditional Navajo wedding and performance at the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow, Stage 49 in Albuquerque with Navajo band, Strike (filmed by No Reservation Production). It has received positive indigenous and international reviews.