Thursday, 3 December 2015


"Our Annual Christmas Fundraiser for Children in Need will feature music by Patsy Thompson and readings from The Revolving City Anthology (Anvil Press, 2015). 
Thursday, December 10, 7–9:30pm, 
at The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street. 

Cash donations accepted at the door. 
For more information or to make a donation:
Featured Readers:
Miranda Pierson
Heidi Greco 
Juliane Okot Bitek
Daphne Marlatt
Susan McCaslin
Renee Sarojini Saklikar
Joanne Arnott
Catherine Owen
Dennis Bolen
Fiona Tinwei Lam
Daniela Elza

Here is the FB event page with more information and details. "

Friday, 9 October 2015

BookFest Windsor + Rampike Super Launch

Journal finale at heart of literary festival

Rampike Super Launch!

Date and Time: Fri, 16 October 2015 08:00 pm - Fri, 16 October 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Capitol Theatre Windsor
Celebrate with local writers and publisher Dr. Karl Jirgens as Rampike magazine launches its final edition at BookFest Windsor 2015. Admission free. Cash bar.  

Welcome to BookFest Windsor - Southwestern Ontario region's only literary festival

Poetry Cafe

Date and Time: Sat, 17 October 2015 11:00 am - Sat, 17 October 2015 12:20 pm
Location: Capitol Theatre - Kelly
The ever-popular gathering of poets for a celebration of words and insight with Elizabeth RossDeanna YoungJoanne ArnottSouvankham ThammavongsaBeryl BaigentModerator: Stephen Pender

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

AFN Townhall + Land You Love

I enjoyed watching the livestream of the AFN's Town Hall, and the conversation between Thomas Mulcair and those who came with questions & comments. Still listening... Perry Bellegarde... informed decisionmaking...

Land You Love - Hey Rosetta! & Yukon Blonde from Phil Maloney on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The Revolving City launch

Register now for The Revolving City launch party and reception, September 23, 2015 (doors open 5:30pm, formal program 5:45pm). Highlights will include celebratory cake, book signing opportunities and readings by Joanne ArnottGeorge BoweringDaphne MarlattGeorge StanleyFred Wah, and Betsy Warland.

Room 1400
SFU Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings St.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Embracing Interconnectivity: Nature and the World

Embracing Interconnectivity:
Nature & the World

Saturday, September 5, 1 to 3 p.m.

Art Gallery at Britannia Branch Library,
1661 Napier St. Vancouver.  


Welcome:  Ariadne Sawyer 
Co-hosts: Wanda Kehewin and Elaine Woo

Presentation:  TBA:  Christine Leclerc
Presentation:  The Environment and Legal History: Grace Woo

Poets: Anita Aguirre-Nieveras
           Isaac Yuen
             Joanne Arnott
             Jonina Kirton
             Nasreen Pejvack
             Synn Kune Loh
           Rita Wong

Open mike & 

info: 604-526-4729

Sunday, 23 August 2015

new blogs

Two new blogs to bring to your attention: 

the first, a celebration of our local collective, the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast. Watch this site for a review of past accomplishments and occasional updates, showcase of work from collective members, and links to the blogs and sites of participating artists.

second, a new blog for my own whimsical thoughts and artistic impulses, joanne arnott too.

Here I am at Queen Charlotte City library, posing beside a poster that features a book that i wrote, another that i edited, and two more by friends: a happy find!

top, logo by Russell Wallace
below, A Campbell photo

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Aaron Paquette: real, positive, and lasting change

Art work by Aaron Paquette | Image source: Aaron Paquette
MM: Why should Native Peoples vote or get involved in Canadian politics?
AP: The Original Peoples are involved in politics from the moment they first draw breath in this world. As we saw with the Idle No More movement and the government’s refusal to even talk about Bill C-45, we can shout from the sidelines all we want but will not be heard. There are a few ways to get around this. One is the slow and careful process of lawsuits, petitions, protests, appeals, and so on. Another is what we see happen in moments of frustration: roadblocks, sit-ins, sabotage. But it’s the third way that holds the most hope – that we engage in the process. Look, you can get involved in Canadian society, still retain your culture and identity yet have the opportunity to make real, positive, and lasting change. Personally, I like the third way. Get involved. Be the legislator instead of the perpetually legislated against.
Aaron Paquette, Edmonton-Manning, photo: Amanda Freistadt
full list of indigenous candidates:

Sunday, 2 August 2015

here we go again

As one of the +1400 Canadians who made formal complaints after being targetted for fraudulent misdirection at voting time in 2011, I'm disappointed the media allowed the story to become solely focused on Guelph, overlooking those of us at home in the other 246 electoral districts.* I am not sure how many more Canadians received robocalls, without formally registering protest/indignation.

Given that I do not belong to any political party, the only way my personal information might have arrived on the "voter kill list" that Conservative backroom strategists employed in making the calls would have been by writing to my duly elected representative, Alice Wong, and/or other MPs and ministers with whom I engaged in correspondence. 

The profound hostility I experienced had a definite chill on my willingness to engage in public discussion or debate, although thankfully the misdirection did not disrupt my household in voting.

Although I wrote to Ms Wong, Stephen Harper and others to request clarification (how my contact information ended up in Conservative Party lists, how I became marked as a public enemy/sub-citizen ripe for target practice), I did not receive any assurance that the elected politicians would work to prevent the misuse of the electoral list in future elections.**

With the new electoral boundaries, I am no longer involved with Ms Wong's political future. But I still do have questions unanswered.

*The Commissioner has received complaints from more than 1,400 electors in 247 electoral districts, who report having received calls misdirecting or misinforming them with respect to their correct polling station, or calls they described as rude, harassing or annoying, received at an inopportune time of day or on multiple occasions. This includes 252 complainants from the electoral district of Guelph.

**A code of conduct for political entities

In order to increase electors' confidence in the electoral process and in political parties, consideration should be given to the development of codes of conduct applicable to political parties, their officials, candidates, other affiliated entities such as electoral district associations, and active supporters. These codes would be developed by the parties, with Elections Canada's assistance if required.

Another means of increasing Canadian electors' confidence in the political process and political parties (particularly as regards political entities' use of their personal information), which garnered a broad consensus from the panel of experts consulted by Elections Canada, is the development of a code of ethics or code of conductFootnote 49 for political parties – one to which they would either voluntarily adhere or that could be mandated through legislation.

more info: 

2011 Canadian federal election voter suppression scandal

Friday, 3 July 2015

Shoal Lake 40: Road to Reconciliation

Rick Harp
Personal campaign All or nothing  Winnipeg, CA

To raise the $10 million Ottawa refuses to invest in new access road essential to Shoal Lake 40 First Nation's future, a road that'd finally make it possible to treat and enjoy their own water—the very water that's nourished Winnipeggers for 100 years. See the whole story

What's the goal?

The goal here is to collectively raise the $10 million Ottawa refuses to invest in the all-weather access road essential to the survival and viability of the people of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation. It's a road that, if built, would help make it possible for them to finally enjoy what generations of Winnipeggers have had for a century—access to clean drinking water.
Winnipeggers past and present are asked to consider the true source of 'their' water, and the costs to those displaced by its diversion to the city roughly 140 kilometres away. For there is no way we in Winnipeg should get to readily drink, cook and bathe with that water while the people of Shoal Lake cannot, a sad and unjust state of affairs the Free Press recently described as "an indictment of [our] indifference."
That is why what the federal government won't do—unlike other levels of government, who, to their credit, say they will contribute to the road's construction—it seems we as individuals must collectively step forward and do ourselves. Think of it as an opportunity to perform a true act of reconciliation, one with the potential to give life to the recent recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. An act that would help honour a debt one hundred years in the making.

Monday, 8 June 2015

three sketches ~ TRC

CTV National News: Inside a residential school
A look inside one of the last remaining residential schools, which was reclaimed by a First Nations community. Jill Macyshon reports.

On a day when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released a report into residential school abuses, survivors remember a painful past.

Two woman bound by their connection to a N.S. residential school react to the report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Monday, 18 May 2015

Unsettling Canada

Unsettling Canada is built on a unique collaboration between two First Nations leaders, Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ron Derrickson.
Both men have served as chiefs of their bands in the B.C. interior and both have gone on to establish important national and international reputations. But the differences between them are in many ways even more interesting. Arthur Manuel is one of the most forceful advocates for Aboriginal title and rights in Canada and comes from the activist wing of the movement. Grand Chief Ron Derrickson is one of the most successful Indigenous businessmen in the country.
Together the Secwepemc activist intellectual and the Syilx (Okanagan) businessman bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to Canada’s most glaring piece of unfinished business: the place of Indigenous peoples within the country’s political and economic space. The story is told through Arthur’s voice but he traces both of their individual struggles against the colonialist and often racist structures that have been erected to keep Indigenous peoples in their place in Canada.
In the final chapters and in the Grand Chief’s afterword, they not only set out a plan for a new sustainable indigenous economy, but lay out a roadmap for getting there.

·         Thu, May 21st, 2:00pm–4:00pm
Edmonton, AB
·        May 21st, 2015, 2:00pm–4:00pm
·         Athabasca Hall, Room 227 University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada (map)
·         Thu, May 28th, 6:30pm–8:00pm
Vancouver, BC
·         May 28th, 2015, 6:30pm–8:00pm
·         Vancouver Public Library - Central Location (350 West Georgia Street), Unceded Coast Salish territories, Vancouver, BC, Canada (map)

  • Paperback / softback, 320 pages
  • ISBN 9781771131766
  • Published April 2015
Unsettling Canada is a breathtakingly beautiful story of Indigenous resistance, strength, and movement building. Unsettling Canada echoes the power of George Manuel’s The Fourth World, centering the heart of the narrative deep inside a kind of Indigenous intelligence rarely shared outside our communities. This is the critical conversation that Canada and Indigenous peoples must have because it is centred on land, and, therefore, it is one of the most important books on Indigenous politics I’ve ever read.”
– Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back

“This is the back story of both grassroots and backroom struggles that created the context in which we find ourselves today, one in which a new generation of First Nations leaders is demanding sovereignty and self-determination, and more and more non-Indigenous Canadians finally understand that huge swaths of this country we call Canada is not ours—or our government’s—to sell.”
– Naomi Klein, from the Foreword
“Pragmatic and helpful, this is a timely book for our fraught and political moment”
– Quill & Quire
“For me, Unsettling Canada is the most recent addition to a relatively short list of resurgent, grassroots contributions to Indigenous decolonization. Written by one of our most respected and incisive leaders and thinkers, this is a must-read for anyone serious about radically transforming the colonial relationship between Indigenous nations and the Canadian state.”
– Glen Coulthard, University of British Columbia, author of Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition

Sunday, 10 May 2015

mother's day in canada: in thanks for your bouquet


A knife, an axe, a rope, a fist, and harsh words
These are the things that my child has reported

finding along the river
and in the gardens of the neighbourhood
at dances
at bus stops

so many Friday nights have passed
she dresses fine and then decides
to stay in the safety of an apartment that has
only family in it

So many years I bade her:
rise and shine,

10 May 2015



Transgender rights bill gutted by 'transphobic' Senate...

By Janyce McGregor, CBC News Posted: Feb 27, 2015

Advocates for Canadian transgender rights legislation were set back and frustrated with what they say is a "transphobic" Senate committee amendment that limits the effectiveness of the bill.
NDP MP Randall Garrison's private member's bill, C-279, seeks to fight hate crimes against transgender individuals by adding gender identity provisions to both the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act.  
NDP MP Randall Garrison
Randall Garrison, the LGBT critic for the NDP, introduced private member's legislation to strengthen anti-discrimination protections against the transgender community. (

"We still want to support the bill, because it's important for the trans community, but if it's going to have the amendment in it that restricts our use of washrooms and public facilities... no," said Amanda Ryan from the advocacy group Gender Mosaic.
"It's a bad bill with that amendment in it. We want to fight as hard as we can to have that removed," she told CBC News Network's Power & Politics on Thursday.
The bill passed in the House of Commons almost two years ago, thanks to 18 votes from a divided Conservative caucus. Even cabinet ministers were split on the issue.
On Wednesday at the Senate committee finally tasked with reviewing the legislation, Conservative Senator Don Plett introduced three amendments. 
Garrison told reporters he didn't have a problem with two of them:
  • One is a tactical amendment to make it correspond to other legislation, like C-13, the Tories' cyberbullying legislation.
  • The other removes a definition for gender identity not included in his original bill, but added by Commons Conservatives to clarify its application before passage. 
The third amendment, however, exempts places like prisons, crisis centres, and public washrooms and change rooms from the bill's provisions. That, Garrison says, is "transphobic."
"That particular amendment is deeply troubling to transgendered people," said Independent Liberal Senator Grant Mitchell, who had sponsored the bill in the Senate and led senators from his party in voting against the change. 
"I want to acknowledge here, on the record, the deep pain that it causes ...