Some Places To Be – Indigenous History Month

In honor of Canada’s National Indigenous History Month, let’s look at some artists of note, as well as some pertinent stories affecting Indigenous Persons.

Indigenous Authors Picked as Rising Stars

Indigenous author Eden Robinson names 5 Indigenous authors to watch, and explains why Waubgeshig Rice, Alicia Elliott, Arielle Twist, Joshua Whitehead and Lindsay Nixon are poised to rise to the top.

Arielle Twist is a “Nehiyaw, Two-Spirit, Trans Woman poet and multi-media artist is originally from George Gordon First Nation, Saskatchewan and is now based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia … Twist does not flinch when she lays her truth on the page, vulnerable and fierce as she explores trauma and resiliency.” – Robinson

Click the link to the dialogue to see what Robinson has to say about all of the writers she chose.

Tanya Tagaq’s Split Tooth Impresses

Musician Tanya Tagaq has won the best published prose in English category at the Indigenous Voices Awards for her debut novel, Split Tooth.”

This isn’t Tagaq’s first written work, and with the critical acclaim she’s received, it certainly won’t be the last. Tagaq is a musician, an author and an activist, and definitely worth reading.

Visit Kainai Nation

Kainai is both an Indigenous Nation near Calgary, AB and the name of this short film, which looks at the Nation’s efforts to overcome poverty while preserving their cultural heritage.

An Opportunity For BIPOC Writers

BIPOC Writers Connect is your chance to connect with industry professionals, funding officers, and professional authors. There are only a few weeks left to apply!

Alicia Elliott is mentoring. Not to be missed.

Tantoo Cardinal Takes the Lead

” … after playing more than 100 roles in film and television, Cardinal finally got a chance to act in front of a real wood fire. It happened to coincide with her first lead role in a prolific career that spans almost half a century, in Falls Around Her—a movie written for her by Indigenous filmmaker Darlene Naponse and shot on the director’s homeland, the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation territory near Sudbury, Ont.”

From Canada’s Libraries

To celebrate Indigenous History Month, over 300 libraries across Canada have chosen Plains Cree author and comedian Dawn Dumont’s short story collection Glass Beads for their One eRead Canada campaign.

“From June 3 to 30, Glass Beads will be available as an e-book or digital audiobook to all patrons of participating libraries, meaning readers will be able to access the book immediately rather than having to join a waiting list.”

Rising Above Racism

When a Cree woman experienced racial profiling in a local store, she decided to respond by celebrating her culture. She made and wore ribbon skirts — traditional Cree regalia — for a full year.

LaVallee says people from different cultures often approach her and ask about the skirts, and what it means to her people. In that sense, it’s helped build connections with people from all over the world.”

Lavallee is now selling the skirts, and using the money to “help Cree youth in her Montreal Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan  learn their language.”

Art Inspiring Activism

Learn about the works of “Jack Malotte, a Shoshone and Washoe artist who grew up on the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony reservation and has since made a career of creating prints, posters and paintings that have inspired both environmental and social activism nationwide.

Yes, It’s Genocide

Canada’s Museum For Human Rights recognized Canada’s genocide of Indigenous Persons officially. This was the conclusion reached in the #MMIWG report, revealed June 3. Many of Canada’s newspapers have expressed more concern over Canada’s reputation than the thousands of Indigenous people who have been victims of violence and been indifferent to the ways Canada has denied the rights of Indigenous people, violated treaties, perpetuated falsehoods, and promoted racism – not to mention the theft of Indigenous children. Alicia Elliott breaks it all down in The Washington Post.

” … as the report points out, when the League of Nations was drafting the Genocide Convention, “Colonial states, including Canada, actively pushed for ‘cultural genocide’ to be excluded from the Convention, knowing that they were, at the very least, perpetrating this type of genocide contemporaneously with the drafting of the Convention.” Considering the initial drafting defined cultural genocide as “any deliberate act committed with the intention of destroying the language, religion or culture of a … group,” and Canada was at that very moment allowing experiments on malnourished indigenous students in the state’s care, one can understand why Canadian officials weren’t keen on allowing this form of genocide to go on the books.” – Read Alicia Elliott’s full article here.