Four years ago today I launched my memoir "Voice in the Wild" in Yellowknife. Imagine doing readings and having live jazz at the Fat Fox (I miss that place), eating, laughing, so much moist speaking, so much unexpected change since then...Thought you might enjoy seeing what my talented future daughter-in-law Angelique embroidered for me, based on the drawing by the talented Jessica Gowling that appears in my book. If you'd like to buy a signed copy DM me. I bought some for a book event that was cancelled due to COVID, I'm very much one of those artists now. But grateful for every new day. Hoping to launch a new digital book project in the spring! Working on my thesis. Stay tuned, stay safe and well. Practice radical acts of kindness to keep your spirits up. xo #iamwriting... See MoreSee Less
I loved being part of a very low-key live music event this summer in Yellowknife on what would have been #folkontherocks 40th anniversary weekend in July. I played an acoustic set from my new EP Middle World on a houseboat dock while the audience social distanced in boats. Here's a little sample of what came a bit later as the performances, folk, comedy, and eventually rock, progressed onto different docks. Thanks to all the hosts and organizers. ... See MoreSee Less
I'll be moderating this free Northwords panel discussion on addressing social issues through literature. Check out the incredible panel of authors! Jesse Thistle, David Alexander Robertson, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair and Tunchai Redvers. Please sign up and join us online. ... See MoreSee Less
Much has been said and written about the role of white people during this global wave of civil rights protests. How can white privilege be used to amplify the voices and efforts of people for whom systemic racism is a daily and often brutal reality?
In Canada, allyship needs to start with an understanding that this continent was governed with balance and equity by matriarchal Indigenous societies before colonizers arrived. Women literally ruled. "Where are your women?" Cherokee Chief Attakullakulla, surrounded by powerful women, said upon meeting a colonial United States delegation (for more on this see the paper Introduction to "Indigenous Women: The State of Our Nations" by Indigenous scholars Bonita Lawrence and Kim Anderson). The colonizers refused to recognize Indigenous female authority and systematically (and violently) eroded it, a pillar in their strategic push towards total colonial-male domination.
So...today white people need to listen to and respect the depths of wisdom Indigenous societies, and Indigenous women in particular, have to offer as a "way out" of this current morass. Listen, amplify and support their voices. That wisdom is what has brought us, and future generations, the most amazing gift...Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve. Clean water, wildlife, fish, food security.
The Łutsël K'é Dene should not have had to jump through so many hoops to gain official reassurance that Thaidene Nëné, the Land of their Ancestors, will not be sullied. Its stewardship has always been their responsibility. Multi-layered bureaucracies are not of their making. To help navigate the complicated process of gaining national park status with co-management, they were aided by some dedicated, mainly non-Indigenous groups and individuals. That's what allies do. That's using white privilege to help reconcile the wrongs of the past.
I wrote this story for Canadian Geographic understanding it was a great privilege, one that came with responsibilities towards Grandmothers of the ancient past and future. I hope you read it and give thanks to the people who made this possible and share this message widely. Photography by Patrick Kane. ... See MoreSee Less