Friday, 29 November 2013

Finding Dawn comes to Richmond

I am looking forward to witnessing again this tender film by Christine Welsh, Finding Dawn
and to hearing the words of speakers Cherry Smiley 
and Chris McDowell.

I will present a poem,
"She is Riding,"
as part of this gathering.

"Finding Dawn illustrates the deep historical, social and economic factors that contribute to the epidemic of violence against Native women in this country." (source)

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Dialogue on the History and Legacy of the Indian Residential Schools

Chief Bobby Joseph addresses the gathering (Thane Bonar photo)
"On November 1, 2011, in collaboration with 
the First Nations House of Learning at UBC hosted 
a shorter edited video of this event: 
(follow links to read in full, view videos, and explore the many other informational streams)

Louisa Smith (Haisla) and her daughter Susan Lizotte are two of the moving speakers who shared testimony; some of the other speakers are noted in the labels below (limited to 200 characters). Megwetch to all of the singers and speakers who gave permission for the videopresentation of these dialogues.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Resonating Reconciliation

This series of radio documentaries is ongoing, til the springtime: my understanding is that while some 25 documentaries are completed, and more in progress, there remain 8 opportunities to fund an independent radio documentary:

follow the links to find out more, to listen to completed projects, to help you to decide whether to launch that first radio documentary project you've been brooding inside... truth and reconciliation, a community engagement enterprise...

The project, called “Resonating Reconciliation”, is a project that engages community radio to help reconcile all Canadians with the history of Indian Residential Schools, to help build grassroots skills among community-based broadcasters in respectful reporting on the ongoing legacy of Indian Residential Schools, and provide a lasting record of survivors’ experiences.
It does this by funding 40 community radio stations across the Canada to each produce a 30-minute radio documentary on the legacy of Indian Residential Schools in their community, with additional funding to recruit and provide training to local Aboriginal volunteers, producers, and trainees.
~ Resonating Reconciliation, NCRA

Gunargie O'Sullivan, RR co-ordinator, On Air

governance + reform

Canada has frequently discussed the concept of guaranteed aboriginal representation but has never acted on it.  Proposals for guaranteed representation in the House of Commons and the Senate were put forward during constitutional discussions prior to 1982 and again during the “aboriginal round” of meetings in the mid-1980s.  Senator Len Marchand – who had been the first aboriginal person elected to Parliament* – put together proposals for guaranteed seats in work he headed up for the Lortie Commission.  Lortie rejected guaranteed seats per se, but recommended a process for creating Aboriginal Electoral Districts using the existing framework of the Electoral Boundaries Act.  The Charlottetown Accord – defeated in a 1992 referendum – contained provisions for aboriginal seats in the Senate. 
... The number of ways in which aboriginal people could be provided representation within parliamentary systems is limited only by the imagination.  This is reflected in the large number of international examples and in the range of proposals that have been put forward from time to time in Canada....

Guaranteed Parliamentary Representation for Aboriginal Peoples, The Honourable Nick G. Sibbeston

*Correction: Louis Riel was the first indigenous person elected to Parliament:

We should take note that Louis Riel was a member of Parliament. He was elected three times to the Canadian Parliament and was never allowed to take his seat, although Métis lore has it that he did paddle his canoe to the foot of Parliament Hill with his Métis colleagues, climbed the cliff, entered his name into the permanent record and took his seat one night in 1871.~ Pat Martin, Louis Riel Act, Bill C-302 Oct 16, 2013

Electoral Justice for Aboriginal People in Canada, Trevor Knight [pdf]

Meet Len Marchand a man of many firsts and a great Canadian.

Monday, 11 November 2013

words, war, earth

A successful infantryman must look at nature 
only from the standpoint of necessity. A gentle 
hollow in the ground is nothing but a shelter 
from the artillery fire, the beautiful green fields 
simply dangerous terrain that must be crossed 
on the double … nature in all her sundry aspects 
is essentially meaningless. 

 Shōhei Ōoka, Fires on the Plain (Nobi)

“To no man does the earth mean so much as to the soldier. 
When he presses himself down upon her long and powerfully, 
when he buries his face and his limbs deep in her from the fear
of death by shell-fire, then she is his only friend, his brother, 
his mother; he stifles his terror and his cries in her silence 
and her security; she shelters him and releases him for ten 
seconds to live, to run, ten seconds of life; receives him 
again and again and often forever.” 

― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

Nothing has changed. 
Except for the course of rivers,
the lines of forests, coasts, deserts and glaciers.
Amid those landscapes roams the soul,
disappears, returns, draws nearer, moves away,
a stranger to itself, elusive, 
now sure, now uncertain of its own existence,
while the body is and is and is
and has nowhere to go.

― Wislawa Szymborska, Tortures

After the battle, many new ghosts cry,
The solitary old man worries and grieves.
Ragged clouds are low amid the dusk,
Snow dances quickly in the whirling wind.
The ladle's cast aside, the cup not green,
The stove still looks as if a fiery red.
To many places, communications are broken,
I sit, but cannot read my books for grief.

― Du Fu, Facing Snow (对雪)

follow links


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Canadian Dress Code

Winnipeg student says she was kicked off bus over sweatshirt saying: Got Land? Thank an Indian



‘Got Land? Thank an Indian’ shirt designer speaks out on bus controversy

Montreal Museum Pulls Luxury Line “Inukt” After Backlash Over Appropriation

— Joseph Henry, Blouin Art Info blog

Being a mum, I've heard a lot of stories about young people being denied bus service, being endangered by the sense of entitlement of some bus drivers, mainly here in the Lower Mainland, and in suburbs not known to be especially dangerous.
The word for #upsettlers:
"Got Power? Abuse An Indian!"

I am not at all surprised to read that the designer of the "wear an indian" line was overseas for two decades. Who in their right minds~ who has been on this continent for the last twenty years~ would dream up such an offensive potpourri? 
Where were the checks and balances at the museum, 
to educate the returning citizen?

Why leave it for the Beat Nation artists to receive offense and respond?

There is something pretty horrifying about encouraging people 
to wear little ndn girls as a hip-level garnish. 

(all images via google image search)

Saturday, 2 November 2013

no paper no pen

Somehow this Haiga Collaboration, published on kuni-san's see haiku here captures the autumn perfectly. It calls up the days when i was small and scissors were very big. It calls up the autumn when I was old enough to notice all my elder sisters heading for school, and my mother made a great gift to me and my younger sister-- scissors of one's own, plus pots of glue and-- what was the third item? Possibly paper, probably pencils. Maybe both.

Any who have been watching the Senate unfolding, and the so-called leadership of the prime minister, will have had some new thoughts and entertainments, giving all the news channels a run for further updates, one of those rare manyminds moments where a substantial number of people are all focussed upon the same drama, broad enough and deep enough to spin off in manifold directions, day after day.

For those who took in the prime minister's speech to his collected, with an ear for the Senate specifically, we have learned what we needed to know: the prime minister is inflexible in this matter. He cannot see or hear that he is misusing his power, that there might be any other response than driving the wedge in with greater and greater gusto. He has no respect for the minds of others, no matter how great and vast the experience of those others. He has no understanding of the words "due process," he can only say "I." He puts it like this:

That is the whole of him, the fatal flaw, the inflexibility, the human limitation. That is all he can say or do. That is why he appointed who he appointed, flying over the heads of more experienced and solid thinkers to pluck those who would be a good fit for his hands. That is why he has rounded upon the Three Accused Senators with such vengeance, and those who came (and went) before: the sting of betrayal has goaded and blinded. His capacity to listen, if ever there was one, has disappeared. One by one, his allies of old are forced to make a distinction, to publically differ. 

In his rousing calls for obedience from the senate, he is flagrant in his continued misuse of all branches of governance, perceived as his arms and his puppets. He cannot perceive himself as an aspect of a collectivity. This is why he can damage himself, and then sing for the people. He is driving the wedge straight through all of the ties that bind, and all his relations.

These senators [This Prime Minister] have [has] shown little or no remorse for these actions. And, friends, while we do not know whether these actions were criminal, that is not relevant’

Harper speech a parody 

The haiku (top) was writ in France, the photo was taken in Turkey, the haiga made in Japan. As a child in a family of nine children, I learned how to listen.

Friday, 1 November 2013

fall fivefold launch ~ tues nov 5

Joanne Arnott
Jeff Beamish
Dennis E. Bolen
Adam Pottle
Andrea Routley

~ launching new fiction & poetry ~

Tuesday, November 5
from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Cottage Bistro, 4470 Main Street, Vancouver

event on facebook