TORONTO - Three albums focused on the historic mistreatment of Canada's indigenous people are among projects on this year's Polaris Music Prize long list.

Gord Downie's "Secret Path" joins 2014 Polaris winner Tanya Tagaq's "Retribution" and A Tribe Called Red's "We Are The Halluci Nation" on the list of 40 albums.

Among the other contenders are Downie's band the Tragically Hip for "Man Machine Poem" as well as the late Leonard Cohen for his sombre final project "You Want It Darker."

Several radio-friendly pop albums also landed spots, including Drake's "More Life," the Weeknd's "Starboy" and Carly Rae Jepsen's "E.MO.TION Side B," a collection of outtakes from her previous album.

The Polaris Music Prize is awarded to the artist or group that created the best Canadian album of the previous year -- irrespective of genre or sales -- as chosen by a large team of journalists, broadcasters and bloggers. The long list was selected from 188 albums that made the first ballots. A short list of contenders will be revealed on July 13.

The winner will be awarded $50,000 on Sept. 18 at a gala presentation held at Toronto's Carlu.