Tuesday, 19 August 2014

myth busting bannock + wellness, two-eyed seeing, system change

MYTH BUSTING BANNOCK from Frog Girl Films on Vimeo.

PHSA Food Security resources/Exploring traditional foods
Frog Girl Films’s Videos on Vimeo

Frog Girl Films was established in 2007 by Marie Clements and Evan Adams, to create innovative works of film, television and new media, that speaks to contemporary Indigenous realities. ...

Frog Girl is a character in Tla’Amin stories. She was a humble girl, who worked tirelessly for her community.

Wellness, two-eyed seeing and system change: Dr. Evan Adams 

Published on 22 May 2013 on youtube
Award-winning Canadian actor, playwright and medical doctor, Evan Tlesla Adams is a member of the Tla'amin (Sliammon) First Nations from the Upper Sunshine Coast. [more]

Monday, 18 August 2014

love in a time of ebola

I came across this song of my youth recently, and realized what a great job Mungo Jerry and friends did of articulating the timeless gender-class minefield: "if her daddy's rich, take her out for a meal, if her daddy's poor, just do what you feel" "if she's rich: if she's nice, bring your friends and we'll all go into town..."

I have reluctantly shared the song with my daughters, as a caution. Pre-AIDS/HIV, and today in the time of Ebola, the impoverished romantic can expect a difficult deal. Matters of love will frequently shade into issues of criminality, whether you are living in a tiny village or a big urban centre, any where in the world.

There are different rules applied, and we cannot help what others see when they look at us.

To a large extent, my twin texts (A Night for the Lady and Halfling spring: an internet romance) engage with these complexities. How do we hold on to, or recover, our appetites as sensual beings, after walking the fiery road of growing to adulthood? How do we acknowledge scars and dangers, and decide to trust again?

Others have been reconsidering the lyrics too.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

archeology of respect: revisiting provincial and federal laws & current practice with an eye for human rights and dignity of persons

Map from Times-Colonist
"B.C. policies that do not give First Nations burial grounds the same protections as cemeteries are discriminatory and out of date, says Tseycum Chief Vern Jacks.

Jacks and other local aboriginal leaders have been fighting to protect a small island in Ganges Harbour where human remains and burial cairns were found in 2006.
Because the burial site dates from before 1846, it is managed under the Heritage Conservation Act — not the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act, which offers greater protection.
“The laws are racist,” Jacks said. “We’re tired of being ignored and we’re tired of being disrespected.”
Provincial archeologists in the 1970s marked Grace Islet as part of an ancient First Nations village. It later became privately owned and subdivided into a residential lot. "  ...

Cemeteries vs. burial sites: Disputes and practices

There are 38,927 archeological sites recorded in B.C. How many of them contain remains is unknown. Since 1976, the province has purchased nine for preservation.
There have been several disputes over burial site developments on Vancouver Island. In 1994, the excavation of 147 graves for a condominium development in Nanoose Bay incited public protest and a court challenge to have the site deemed a cemetery. Though the challenge was denied, the province purchased the waterfront site for $7.8-million and designated it as green space.
In Ontario, cemetery law — not the heritage act — deals with aboriginal burial grounds, and landowners and First Nations resolve issues directly.
Parks Canada’s cultural resource management policy does not consider human remains as artifacts, stating: “Although they may have heritage value for their associated cultural groups or next of kin, and scientific value for researchers, to classify them as resources may be considered irreverent and may diminish their spiritual significance. All human remains should be treated with respect and dignity.” ...

~B.C. burial ground policies are racist, Tseycum chief says, SARAH PETRESCU / TIMES COLONIST  {follow links for more} 2014

Petition: Honour Grace Islet 2014




"British Columbia’s Archaeology Branch, after a year of deliberation, chose Reconciliation Week to extend a provincial heritage site alteration permit to an Albertan businessman so he could build his luxury waterfront vacation home atop this First Nation cemetery. ... Grace Islet, part of the large ancient village of Shiya’hwt waht at the head of Ganges Harbour...

"Yet buying back a burial site is what the Musqueam First Nation was recently forced to do at the Marpole village site in Vancouver—another ironic Reconciliation Week announcement. Wade Grant, councillor of Musqueam ... questions why “a 1000-year-old Viking burial site is declared a World UNESCO Heritage Site while a much older Musqueam burial site is declared an inconvenience.” For Grant, the Marpole site in the heavily urbanized Vancouver location is the “last undeveloped heritage site of our traditional Musqueam culture—as much part of Canadian heritage as Viking sites.”  ...

"The Musqueam purchase is the latest in a series of high profile burial site fiascos. The destruction of the burial site at Poet’s Cove on Pender Island in 2006 led to the first fines for altering without a permit, but still resulted in what was called by Robert Morales, chief negotiator for the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group, “one of the worst desecrations of an aboriginal burial ground by development in the recent history of Canada.” 
"A year later, the Snuneymuxw First Nation was faced with the destruction of the Departure Bay burial site. The site wasn’t issued a stop order until 80 individuals had been dug up and the premier was directly lobbied. The Province eventually withdrew the permit and protected the site directly by providing the $2.5 million in funds to buy it. 
"Archaeologist McLay says a chronic lack of political will and investment to uphold the principles of the provincial Heritage Conservation Act over the past decade has led to this crisis. The dismantling of the BC Heritage Trust in 2003 led to the current absence of any role for government to publicly invest in provincial heritage site conservation, research, education or heritage site stewardship across the province. 
"Despite strong legislation, the Archaeology Branch’s narrow interpretation of the Act has had the effect of aiding development of archaeological sites rather than conserving them. The lack of any provincial policy or guidelines on decision making over the issuance of alteration permits is of key concern and has led to what McLay calls a “morally-bankrupt” system: “they have no principles, policies, or ethics to responsibly ground a decision to ever say ‘no’ to development—site preservation is always an ad hoc political decision, often made after-the-fact of development.” 
~Bulldozing burial grounds BY BRIONY PENN 2013


The Non-Protection Of Canadian Aboriginal Heritage 
(Burial Sites And Artifacts) [pdf] 2005

Monday, 4 August 2014


Jamie Reid

Hogan's Alley Open Poetry Readings
~ 6 to 10 pm

  • 789 Gore St, Vancouver, British Columbia V6A 2A6
Jamie Reid is a long-time veteran Vancouver poet. 
His first publication was in TISH, the legendary Vancouver 
poetry newsletter, more than 50 years ago. He often writes 
about politics and language. 

He will be reading from his books 
and from a recent manuscript called Fake Poems.

Sign up for a six minute Open Mic set at the event. 

Food, coffees, teas, juices, pops, available from our 
sponsors: Hogan's Alley Café

Hosted by Timothy Shay.  

 (image via sfu lunch poems)

Monday, 28 July 2014


"I got a pile of about 500 submissions and cutting it down to 46 was merely time consuming, relatively easy. But I had headaches and hesitation every step of the way cutting those down to my best 15, and when 15 each came in as well from Kgafela and Joanne Arnott, it was almost as if some special gravitational field had stayed my scroll-read-appraise-delete functions. Choosing the very best 5 poems called up all the strength I had, for it takes strength to be brutal, to decide which is the fine poem of a lot of fine poems, which possesses the slimmest space between word and emotion, which should make it in because it better turns out the fresher metaphor, the more intriguing image, the pure emotion--to pick five of these from such a rich hoard . . . I wondered, at times, if God would forgive me!"
~ Richard Ali (Nigeria)

"Chopping down was hard. But I had to stop the heart from bleeding for my darlings and chop."
~ Kgafela oa Magogodi (South Africa)

Follow link to read short-listed poems:

THE CARPENTER by El Lazim Elbasha (Sudan)

L’ARUGE (PROMOTION) by Saka Aliyu (Nigeria)

insane living by Dorothie Ayebazibwe (Uganda)

Under the Guava Tree by Annetjie van Wynegaard (South Africa) 


THE NIGHT SANGO CAME TO UJAGBE by Suleiman Agbonkhianmen Buhari (Nigeria) 
THINGS THAT WERE LOST IN OUR VAGINAS by Nyachiro Lydia Kasese (Tanzania)     

DIALOGUE OVER THE TWILIGHT ZONE (Ebony & Ivory) by Moses Muyanja Kyeyune (Uganda)

Blood and Water by Elizabeth Muchemwa (Zimbabwe)

Orukoro Dancer by Benstowe Fubaraibi Anari (Nigeria)  


1. Blood and Water and Celebration (2 in 1) by Elizabeth Muchemwa  Zimbabwe

2. After The Rain by Moses Muyanja Kyeyune from Uganda

3. The Crumpled Up paper and The Smooth Elegant One by Willie Ng'ang'a from Kenya.

4. Insane Living by Dorothie Ayebazibwe from Uganda

5. Reborn by Brenda Kanani from Kenya

6. The Carpenter by Saba El Laziri from Sudan

7. Sun Visit  by Edzordzi Agbozo from Ghana

8. Piano and Gongs by Kelvin Opeoluwa Kellman from Nigeria

9. Our Oiled Rusty Shores by Attah John Ojonugwa from Nigeria

10. Beware by Richard Quaz Roodt from South Africa

11. Time Zones by Kyle Allan of South Africa

12. Dear Asabi by Mof'oluwawo Mojolaoluwa from Nigeria

13. Dialogue Over The Twilight Zone ( Ebony & Ivory) by Moses Kyeyune Muyanja, Uganda

14. The Things That were Lost In Our Vaginas by Nyachiro Lydia Kasese, Tanzania

15. There Was Once Something Special Here by Tom Jalio, Kenya

16. I am Still Here by Chiugo Veronica Akaolisa, Nigeria

17. L'aruge/Promotion by Saka Aliyu, Nigeria

18. She Could Hear God by Jennie Marima, Kenya

19. Smarty Phone by Nassolo Marjorie, Uganda

20. Biriwa was My Home by Kojo Turkson, Ghana

21. A Place Called Home by Dela Nyamuame, Ghana

22. If I Was by Achieng Odhiambo, Kenya

23. I am The Beginning by Oladele Noah, Nigeria

24. Greater Enemy by Emiru David Patrick, Uganda

25. The Conversation (2) by Tumelo Thekisho, South Africa

26. Why Must African men Not Cry

27. Between God and Man 1 and 11 by Oladele Noah, Nigeria

28. Half Filled Graves by Okwudili Nebeolisa, Nigeria

29. Orukoro Dancer by Benstowe Fubaraibi Anari, Nigeria

30. Moonlight or No Light by Nana Nyarko Boateng, Ghana

31. Under The Guava Tree by Annetjie van Wynegaard, South Africa

32. Two Sides of A Window by Damilola Michael Aderibigbe, Nigeria

33. It Happened to me too by James Yeku, Nigeria

34. A Weekend in Lagos by Isoje Chou, Nigeria

35. Paranoia by Oluwaloni Olowookere, Nigeria

36. Autshumato by Celeste Fritze, South Africa

37. Children Also Grow by Rasaq Malik Gbolahan, Nigeria

38. A Sudden Time by Solagbade Oyefara, Nigeria

39. Different Forms of Slaughter by Asante Lucy Mtenje, Malawi

40. The Night Sango Came to Ujagbe by Suleiman Agbonkhianmen Buhari, Nigeria

41. What Poetry Means to Me by Rasaq Malik Gbolahan, Nigeria

42. Mama Talks by Valerie Awo-Dede Okaiteh, Ghana

43. Indeed Beauty Full by Oludami Yomi-Alliyu, Nigeria

44. Celestial Sprouts (Twin-Tomato-Tree) by Moses Muyanja Kyeyune, Uganda

 With thanks for the +1000 submissions, and congratulations to the poets whose poems arrived on the long list, and the short list. Final prize-winners (first, second, third) will be announced at the awards ceremony, in September.

Sunday, 27 July 2014


HOMĀY ČEHRZĀD (or Čehrāzād), a Kayānid queen; she was daughter, wife, and successor to the throne of Bahman, son of Esfandiār (qq.v.), according to the Iranian traditional history. The length of her reign is given as thirty years in theBundahišn (ed. Ankelsaria, 36.8; tr., p. 308) and historical sources, and as thirty-two years in the Šāh-nāma (ed. Khaleghi, V, p. 511, v. 312) and Bahman-nāma (p. 603, v. 10,437). Only one Pahlavi source, the Bundahišn (ed. Ankelsaria 33. 8; tr., p. 275) has a report on her: during the reign of Vohuman (Bahman) “there was scarcity, the Iranians fought among themselves, and there was no man of the ruling dynasty who could rule; they seated Vohuman’s daughter Humāé [Homāy] on the throne of sovereignty.” She reigned for thirty years (ibid., 33.8; tr. p. 307). Islamic sources (collected and discussed by Christensen, 1932, pp. 149-51; Yarshater, 1983, pp. 471-72) agree in general with this report but vary in some details. Thus her name appeared as Ḵomāni (Biruni, p. 121; Ṭabari, I, p. 687; Dinavari, pp. 27-28), Ḵomāy (Ṯaʿālebi, Ḡorar, p. 389), and Ḥomāya (Masʿudi, Moruj, ed. Pellat, sec. 553), all various transcriptions of the Mid. Pers. Humāg (Yarshater, p. 471; cf. Arm. Hmayeak: Hübschmann, Armenische Grammatik I, p. 47), which derives from Old Ir. *Humāya- attested in Av. Humāiiā- (the name of a daughter of Vištāspa in Yt.13.139), Elamite (from OPers.) ú-ma-ya (Mayrhofer and Schmitt, 1977, p. 51). The meaning of the name is disputed (E. Benveniste interpreted it as “fortunate,” R. Schmitt as “possessing good thought,” and M. Mayrhofer as “with good skills”; see with literature Hinz, p. 125). Her epithet is given as Čehrzād (Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, V, p. 483, vv. 140, 146), which is a shortened form of Čehrāzād “of noble birth,” given by most authorities (Ṭabari, I, p. 689; Biruni, pp. 121, 123; Ṯaʿālebi,Ḡorar, p. 389; Ebn Balḵi, p. 15; Mojmal, ed. Bahār, p. 54). The form Šehrāzād in Ṭabari, I, p. 688 and Fārs-nāma, p. 15, represents a Parthian variation; see Christensen, 1932, p. 149, n. 2). According to Masʿudi (Moruj, ed. Pellat, sec. 553) and Yaʿqubi (Tāriḵ I, p. 179), Šehrāzād was the epithet of her mother, while Ḥamza Eṣfahāni (p. 38) gives her the additional name Šemirān (cf. Semiramis; Eilers, p. 59). (source/more)

Homai of Kianian was a legendary queen of Iran from Kayanian dynasty. She was daughter and perhaps also wife (sources vary) of Kai Bahman. She ruled Iran after the death of Kai Bahman until her son Kai Darab took the throne. (source)

Scheherazade /ʃəˌhɛrəˈzɑːd(ə)/, Šeherzada, Persian transliteration Šahrzâd or Shahrzād (Persianشهرزاد‎, šahr + zâd) (Arabic: شهرزاد ) is a legendary Persian queen and the storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights. (source/more)

A counter report:
One can not consider the storyteller of the Thousand and One Nights the same as the queen Homāy/Čehrāzād (cf. J. von Hammer, in JA, 1839, pp. 171-76), and one must reject as well the hypothesis of M. Buisson (Le secret de Shéhérazade, Paris, 1961, pp. 15-16), for whom she is none other than the Šīrīn of Neẓāmī (d. 599/1203), who also recounted tales to entertain Parvīz. The wisest position is that adopted by Mme. Laly-Hollebecque (Le féminisme de Schéhérazade, Paris, 1927, pp. 10-11), who denies all real existence to the storyteller and compares her with Plato’s Diotime or Dante’s Beatrice.
~Ch. Pellat, “Alf Layla Wa Layla,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/8, pp. 831-835; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/alf-layla-wa-layla (accessed on 18 May 2014). [source/more]

[I ran into some html trouble, so had to split the day's post into 2 parts: first part of this post immediately precedes this one:
http://joannearnott.blogspot.ca/2014/07/homay-o-homayun-2.html ]


Prince Humay Arriving at Princess Humayun's Palace. signed Junayud. from a Divan (collection of poems) by Khwaju Kirmani. 1396. illustrated manuscript
In follow up to my first post on this subject:

The main female character is named with a common male name, perhaps named after: 


, NĀṢER-AL-DIN MOḤAMMAD, (1508–56), second Mughal emperor in Kabul (1530–56) and northern India (1530–40 and 1555–56). succesor to Bābor. 
HOMĀYUN PĀDEŠĀH, NĀṢER-AL-DIN MOḤAMMAD, posthumously known as Jahānbāni Jannat-āšiāni (1508–56), second Mughal emperor in Kabul (1530–56) and northern India (1530–40 and 1555–56). The eldest son of Bābor (q.v.), the founder of the Mughal empire, born of Mahïm Begim (Begom) on 4 Ḏu’l-qaʿda 913/ 6 March 1508 in Kabul, he succeeded to the throne on 9 Jomādā I 937/29 December 1530 after Bābor’s death (Abu’l-Fażl ʿAllāmi, I, p. 121; Golbadan, fol. 20b). (source/more)

Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun (Persianنصیر الدین محمد همایون‎; OS 7 March 1508 AD – OS 17 January 1556 AD) was the second Mughal Emperor who ruled a large territory consisting of what is now Afghanistan,Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1531–1540 and again from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early, but with Persian aid, he eventually regained an even larger one. On the eve of his death in 1556, the Mughal empire spanned almost one million square kilometers. (source/more)

[Emperor] Humayun Receives the 
Head of Qaracha Khan
Ascribed to Burah, Indian, active 1580 - 1590.
 Faces ascribed to Miskin, India, active 1582 - 1596.

The main male character, of course, is named with a womanly name, perhaps after: 


according to Iranian traditional history, a Kayānid queen; she was daughter, wife, and successor to the throne of Bahman, son of Esfandiār. [more in next post]