I walked home down 20th street, toward a small brown-skinned Indigenous girl, maybe five years old, standing on the sidewalk. She was wearing a pink raincoat, rubber boots, and carrying a big gold foil balloon in the shape of a star, but overfilled with helium so it puffed up like a marshmallow. I waved at… Continue reading And to think that I saw it on 20th Street
It is not a coincidence that areas with high Indigenous populations are the areas deprived of access to food and health care. At its core, this is an issue of maintaining the dispossession of Indigenous people and the legitimacy of Canadian control; an attempt to destroy the nations and legal orders that we hold in our blood, our muscles, our stomaches, our minds, our mouths.
To paraphrase an Indigenous faculty member, “If I walked in and decided I wanted to teach physics, they would laugh me out of the office. So why is it that this university is allowing someone to teach Indigenous content without the proper qualification?"
Dear Troy, Brent, Bill and Brann, A year ago, I finally had the chance to see Mastodon play with Ghost and Opeth in Saskatoon. I was front row center, pressed against the gates for the first two sets. It was easily one of the best lineups I’ve seen, and an amazing night – made even… Continue reading An Open Letter to Mastodon regarding your Thanksgiving t-shirts [[Updated With Band Response]]
A letter to myself, 2025 (2030?!): if you become a professor, don’t sell out Native students. If a Native student comes to your office in tears about an encounter with institutional racism, don't tell her "Oh, that's too bad. But just stick it out, you're almost done." If microaggressions occur in your classroom, don't ignore… Continue reading That deadly academic silence: outspoken Indigenous students & unsettling the Canadian university
I submitted a shorter version of this op-ed to the Winnipeg Free Press on June 17, 2015, in response to Professor Joanne Boucher's opinion piece entitled "Dress-code message at U of W sexist". After this, the WFP published a response, "Pipe ceremony dress code uncalled for", where Prof. Boucher was quoted once more, along with… Continue reading “Skirting the Issue”: a response & call to action
I’ve often wondered how our campaign to change the name of my high school’s sports team, the Bedford Road Redmen, would’ve gone differently if there was a man out front. I'm only now starting to think about the implications of notions of masculinity conjured by sports mascots and what it meant for our little group of primarily Indigenous & non-Indigenous women to challenge those notions. What does it do to challenge that silently stoic cartoon "Redman" face and replace it with an image of real-life Indigenous women saying no?
does it make you feel superior to blame young people for being descendants of a system that violently stripped our ancestors of their lands of their languages claim that women are "colonized" if we try to write our thoughts on paper, in english, (but remember that another history we inherited is a history of being… Continue reading You Are Love(d)
TW: mention of suicide, overdose I'm writing this post as part cathartic time filler, part explanation. It seems easier to write about personal topics when it's aimed at the void rather than at any one person. This is probably similar to being able to speak to a crowd of 1000 with ease, but struggling when in… Continue reading Care of: the void
One way that colonization manifests in our bodies is through a sense of inferiority, incapability, unworthiness, and vulnerability. Oftentimes this occurs regardless of how much evidence and logic we possess on the contrary. A constant, pulsing siren in the back of our heads telling us that we're not good enough, and that we might never be good enough.… Continue reading Good Enough