Will the real Carlos Santana please stand up?

  • Posted on: 1 September 2016
  • By: admin
WINNIPEG, MB
Monday, August 11, 2014

It was a meeting that Chief Bart Meekis hopes will put Sandy Lake First Nation on the worldwide map. And on Friday, August 8th, Sandy Lake took front and centre stage at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg with none other than guitar legend Carlos Santana.

Just an hour prior, Chief Meekis met his look-a-like and world-renowned musician Santana, who is known as one of the greatest guitar players of all time. Backstage, the Mexican-born star was presented with a beaded medallion of the Sandy Lake First Nation logo, a gift from Chief and Council on behalf of the community. The beautiful beadwork was handcrafted by band member Margaret Kakepetum. 

Come show time, Santana walked on stage wearing the beaded medallion, putting Sandy Lake First Nation in the spotlight in front of the sold-out crowd and later, in photos by the Winnipeg Free Press. For Chief Meekis, this is an indication of the significance and impact the encounter has already had on the musical superstar. He says Santana is the real thing. “He is a really down to earth guy and I could tell he felt really honored to be welcomed by the Chiefs of the area.” Chief Meekis had also invited Grand Chief David Harper of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. to help welcome Santana to their Indigenous lands.

Chief Meekis says Santana spoke of the connection between the First Nations of Canada and other Indigenous nations around the world. “He said, we are one,” says Chief Meekis. “We connected – we really did. We connected with him.”

The meeting, which lasted about 20 minutes, included other gift presentations and a hoop dance performance and hand drum song.

More on this story including exclusive photos and video of the meeting will be available in the coming week. 


Carlos Santana is humbled by the gifts from Sandy Lake First Nation.


Carlos Santana presents Chief Bart Meekis with a signed guitar backstage before the concert.


Grand Chief David Harper of MKO helps Chief Bart Meekis welcome Carlos Santana to Canada.


Carlos Santana wears the Sandy Lake beaded medallion on-stage that was given to him by Chief and Council on behalf of the community.


Carlos Santana was joined in concert by legendary rocker Rod Stewart. 

Carlos Santana wears the Sandy Lake beaded medallion on-stage that was given to him by Chief and Council on behalf of the community.

Access Level: 
Slides Option: 
Yes