elsewhere · stories

Young Indigenous Women’s Utopia 2.0

Congratulations to the Young Indigenous Women’s Utopia (second gen), based in Saskatoon, on today’s hometown launch of Kîyânaw Ocêpihk. This is a gorgeous collection of stories from the smartest and bravest people I know.

Here’s my foreword to the Young Indigenous Women’s Utopia collection, Kîyânaw Ocêpihk.

Toronto & MTL launch info coming soon!

If you’re interested in this book, email Jenn at yiwutopia@gmail.com.

Kîyânaw Ocêpihk: Foreword by Erica Violet Lee

You are holding in your hands something rare and precious.

The words and photos that follow are a record of the lives of Indigenous girls from our community, in their own voices.

The stories contained within are a fearless declaration that Indigenous girls belong to ourselves and no one else. Despite everything this world has tried to take away from us, we are reclaiming it all and then some. We are coming for every single, gorgeous moment of life that our ancestors were denied.

Words alone cannot save us from the oppressions of poverty, patriarchy, racism, ableism, and queerphobia. We need material action to break the chains that bind us, abolish the police and prisons that hold us captive, end the state-enforced poverty that wears us down, and demolish the walls that divide us. We need to fight to ensure the futures of Indigenous girls may bloom recklessly and relentlessly without violent interruptions.

By choosing to read these words, you are entering into a sacred relationality that demands you to refuse complicity in systems of hatred and make movements toward the liberation of all our relations. In telling our truths, we demand nothing less than full freedom.

We know well that this freedom will not come from outside. Our freedom will not be handed down to us by any colonial government or state. Our freedom already exists within ourselves and within each other. We may be bruised but we are never broken, nor are we defined by that which has been done to us. Together, we are whole and worthy of all the beauty this world has to offer, without reservation or compromise.

You are holding in your hands a collection of stories to guide us from the past into the future.

Tawaw. Welcome to the Young Indigenous Women’s Utopia.