Teagan Littlechief says recently winning a Saskatchewan Country Music Award for Indigenous Artist of the Year is a dream come true.
The singer from White Bear First Nations, north of Carlyle, SK says she is grateful for her mother who has always played a huge part in her musical journey.
"My mom is one of the biggest influences in my life," Littlechief told Saskatchewan Weekend host Shauna Powers, adding that her mother took her to music competitions when she was younger, booked her shows and knew all about the latest fashion trends.
"She is the person that has really kept me grounded with my music."
Her mother, Sara Littlechief, said she was on "cloud nine" when she heard Teagan won.
"We were jumping around, hugging. I couldn't believe it," Sara said in an interview with CBC News.
"I know that she's going to keep on going. And this is only one dream. She's got many other dreams that are going to be coming true."
Music has always been a passion for Littlechief. She recalls dancing in the car seat as a baby and singing along to every Disney song.
Beating addiction and paying back
Littlechief is a mother herself and says she struggled for years after having 10-year-old Gabriel in 2011.
"I was in my own addiction … it wasn't until 2017 where I had gotten my life together," she said.
"Since being sober, I've found myself doing so many things with my son, like taking him to whatever lesson, hockey practice, baseball practice … all these things that we celebrate together. Whereas before I used to celebrate with a drink in my hand or whatever."
Teagan's mother said she noticed a boost in her daughter's confidence when she got sober.
"Life has changed for her," Sara said. "Her singing is much more powerful now and you can feel it when she sings. You can feel like — she wants this."
Teagan is also a graduate of an addictions counseling program and works as a youth support worker and addiction counselor, helping people who are facing some of the same challenges that she's gone through herself.
"When we struggle with our addictions we always feel like we can't bother people with what's going on with us. We're scared to reach out. We're scared to ask for help," she said.
"That's something that I get through to my clients. And it makes sense after a while when I get to talk to them and just tell them, I'm here."