CCIQ Press is proud to acknowledge the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation which is covered under the Williams Treaties. We are situated on the Traditional Territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, which includes Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi.
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Over the month of June I’ve decided to acknowledge BIPOC 2SLGBTQ+ humans whose contribution to the world could not go unnoticed. The first person that I’ve selected is Writer & Playwright, American Civil Rights Activist James Baldwin. Anther perfect example how intersectionality comes into play, Baldwin spoke of his culture & sexual orientation which back then was a VERY taboo subject. Love is ANYONE’s birthright.
i am me! you see BIZZAR! i see a human!
you see, regardless of the age
humans have fallen for their choice
individuals can not control
who they adore
moments of solace
spent in the arms
of the one you relish
should never be a crime
my body is gone
however, there is an endless
echo that resides
tragic to say life in some ways
in a rewind fashion
Colonisation, Genocide, Stolen Culture In order to cohesively understand, one must first listen to the origin of racism and systemic discrimination with regards to colonization, and the impact on Indigenous communities. When colonization first occurred, stifling of Indigenous culture was commonly practised by the settlers. This concept prospered by mandating the First Nations: not take part in their ceremonies, wear traditional garments, or even speak their Native language. When one’s origin is not permitted to be shared and constantly silenced, that would tend to breed a resentment in anyone, and in turn take out the frustration on their families. Colonization, ruined the First Nations beyond compare for centuries after the fact, it was the genesis set into play that predestined the level of destruction which currently continues to haunt First Nation communities. The levels of intergenerational trauma within the Indigenous People’s is beyond extreme, and commonly transpired to substance abuse as a result of contending with personal and painful histories. Which would in turn lead to a legacy of family violence, as not just one individual is impacted in that scenario but the entire family. My first semester of Victimology found me in Diversity & Victimology: Indigenous Peoples, so much from that class is still seared into my mind. My teacher introduced our class to Monster by Dennis Saddleman; the words in this recording and expressions behind them say it all. This is authentic emotion as a direct result of the genocide that took place via the process of residential schools. The manner in which the residential school was written about in Saddleman’s poem is nothing short of raw brilliance. He transforms the residential school into a persona of its’ own. One that was relentless, filled with desire to terminate an entire culture and not only one generation but multiple generations as well. The trauma is so evident; how does one heal from something so traumatic? This is a manifestation of living breathing torture; not to mention how many children ran away from the residential schools and died before making it back home to the elements or even murdered by the caretaker of the residential schools. I would invite my readers to listen to the recording of Monster here – brace yourself and listen with a box of tissues. The message conveyed throughout this poem is one that would genuinely shame anyone that has any dealings with the residential school and its’ infinite legacy of abuse. HATE I can appreciate why a human who would desire to scribe a piece based on the abuse endured by children Cultural genocide propelled on The First Nations earth The pain brought forth by the residential school legacy is one that never should have occurred in the first place No human should have power over others greed and fear forced the Indigenous beings off of their land -- Who resided here for nearly 15,000 years prior to being kicked off Native lands nothing about this feels right I am not Indigenous to this land however am to another distant land the screams of the children can still be heard Listen to the wind which howls as it engulfs with love those who’ve disappeared You are not forgotten You will never be forgotten
215 children’s bodies were discovered this past week at the site of a former “Kamploops Indian Residential School.” You can read all about here – that being said my poem this week is a continuation of last weeks! I DARE YOU! I double, triple, dare you to tell me that residential schools was not an act of GENOCIDE... Rewind a minute please please find genocide below as defined from he Oxford dictionary I received decades ago:
I don’t know your thoughts however mine are cemented in the fact that is it genocide After that words no longer take their shape
For an open-minded individual there are a myriad of possible ways to not only educate ourselves but all society through first understanding the impact that the Residential Schools housed with regards to intergenerational trauma, cultural genocide, and forced assimilation. The Residential School system being a catalyst for First Nations trauma experienced as a method of severing familial ties, spiritual beliefs, and language. Our modern-day world affords us an endless amount of information. The Seven Sacred Teachings of: Love, Respect, Courage, Honesty, Wisdom, Humility, and Truth. Each teaching brings forth with it an integral component that allows the one learning about First Nations culture such a rich scope to appreciate. Buffy Sainte-Marie has caused quite the rightful ruckus throughout the course of her life on behalf of protecting the First Nations. This woman still continues to fight for the rights of murdered and missing Indigenous Women. I know, I’ve brought up this subject on numerous occasions; because it is essential that the First Nations have everything that is owed to them. Buffy always spoke out about the atrocities that her people had to endure. The legacy of genocide made possible with the creation of Residential Schools can still be felt through the echoes of First Nations ancestors. Victimization: Indigenous Peoples The plasma seeped into the earth has resulted in crimson grass tips ancestors’ bones coat the earth’s layers with each shattered treaty and the appointment of residential schools There are those who deny the genocide of the First Nations who state this deplorable time in Turtle Island’s history is false One question keeps its persistence why? WHY was this body of Earth’s organic beings treated in an inhumane manner – culture in itself is remarkable?! To be constantly stiffed where is the equity? where is the improved quality of life? where is the acknowledgement of stolen Indigenous women?
Please note Week X brings with some changes. I started this BIPOC Women’s Exploration with Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw Founder of Intersectionality; that being said I am altering my project to be not only a permanent fixture of CCIQ Press but also one that will include anything and everything BIPOC. Once again, I began to think about the Theory of Intersectionality and how a true study must incorporate every single angle on the axis for it to be impactful. I am not being true to myself by limiting the scope that impacts and cross references a myriad of magnificent cultures. I want to thank Emma at DRCC for the appreciation of my vision. Now, that being said this week my poem is going to be about the land of Palestine. Written from the perspective of the hot desert earth; the story of an anonymous girl who is an anomaly. One that is mixed with both Ancient Hebrew & Palestinian blood. And the fountain in the garden waits... Ancient civilizations merged together love forged behind enemy lines crimson ties that bind sorrow for both Damien: Do your parents know that you went out? Amani: No! Of course they don’t know! Ya Allah, are you out of your mind? Damien: Well, last time we almost got caught don’t you remember? Amani: Yes, I remember! I thought my father was not going to believe my lie. Damien: I hate that we have to remain apart like this – why can we just go somewhere and get married? Amani: You know why – the minute we try to leave my father is going to have the police out for a ransom on your head. Damien: I love you, nothing else at this point should matter. Our days are numbered, they will soon find out anyways. A little girl born into a battle cry pyres row upon row Culture is blasted people die, casualties scatter upon ash riddled streets genocide occurs everywhere to stand as a biproduct of love yet be pulled in too many directions there are 360 degrees in a full circle – we should afford humanity the right to peace – end the plasma river – the earth no longer needs to absorb
Facts about the Highway Of Tears - 724 km is the length of the Yellowhead Highway 16 in British Columbia. Tragically this space now referred to as The Highway of Tears is where most First Nations women have vanished or discovered as murdered (Sabo, 2016, 2019). - 12-16% of missing or murdered Indigenous Women; make up 4% of Canada’s population (Kameir, 2014). - E-PANA defined: Spirit Goddess who tends to the souls before they are reincarnated or go to Heaven in Inuit the “E” portion comes from the Division of Criminal Operations requesting review of the murders on Highway 16 (Royal Canadian mounted Police in British Columbia, n.d.). - Project E-PANA, which is the RCMP’s investigation into the murders that occurred on The Highway of Tears began in the fall of 2005 (Carrier Sekani Family Services, n.d). In the Voice Of A Murdered Indigenous Woman *content warning I am unable to feel warm the earth crusted to my skin my hair is all tangled I wish my mom was here she would hate my onyx locks being all matted and dirty beautiful fuchsia nail polish now scratched and bloody I tried to fight off this man who basically took me as I walked home from work What's worse is that daylight was at the point of a faded sun I screamed -- no one heard me Trapped and tied up in the trunk of one of those old-fashioned jeeps; with plastic zip bands my hands and feet both bound I am not safe, I want my soft yellow and green floral comforter to hide below I am no longer able to feel my tears they have dried to my face -- brittle drops -- the moisture that was once on my body has now diminished into a pile of buried bones positioned face down I can never travel to the land of where my ancestors reside Canada's Highway of Tears and the Women We Forgot: Rawiya Kameir https://gawker.com/canadas-highway-of-tears-and-the-women-we-forgot-1579002464 Carrier Sekani Family Services https://www.highwayoftears.org/about-us/carrier-sekani-family-services Highway of Tears By Don Sabo https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/highway-of-tears Project E-PANA http://cb.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=1525#cont
Turtle Island; Why Indigenous World Views Matter As a human being who has no Indigenous blood, I feel that Indigenous worldviews matter for a number of different reasons. For one the genesis story of Turtle Island is seared to the forefront on my brain as it clearly illustrates the desire for: love, peace, appreciation, and resilience. Take the muskrat for example who sacrificed his life in order to grasp some earth in his paws to assist with the concept of scope via a wider lens. The interconnectedness between not only the elemental components of: fire, water, air, earth but also the interaction with all creatures: flora, fauna and human. There is a certain type of environmental sensitivity that is practiced which honours and respects the land, culture, and community. Humanity benefits so much from Indigenous worldviews that validate the purpose of why these specific worldviews and ideologies matter so much. There are so many things we could learn from Indigenous Peoples such as: smudging and understanding the true purpose of a cleanse and how that purification doesn’t just impact the person who is smudging but also their environment and ancestors. To have the constant connectivity to not only the elements but also the ancestors who have come before makes these worldviews so essential. I must also add the oral tradition of sharing and teaching I feel solidifies the learning process as it is done in a manner that is conducive to facial expressions and understanding to those who sit and listen to all the elders have to offer. We live in a very ugly world, humanity has taken so much for granted and has stolen so many resources from the First Nations. However, they are still here!!! Speaks of immense resilience... To teach humanity about the importance of not only grounding, but also being open to sacred medicines that work and ceremonies used to open the soul. Turtle Cove’s Island Fear response of the lack of knowledge with regards to uncertain futures a body of people who occupy the pure elegance of the GREAT Mother Earth In her hands she holds the ideologies of protectors sentries born in order to sacrifice for the good a microcosm the efficiency to thrive – to observe that each life held is immense yes, however, means nothing absent of the macro purpose that awaits our micro beings all elements course through the crimson blood of The Indigenous People choices are made everyday What may be right for one may not necessarily be best for everyone a mentality which is part of the problem Turtle Island, occupies a plethora of Indigenous tribes each one of them has a valid story that must be heard please listen with all your senses, which includes true light riddled intuition
As someone of Palestinian descent my teita used to always ululate, the sound she would make would be so immensely loud and booming. It reminded me of the First Nations chants; which still move me to tears every time I hear them. The first time that I heard the consistent drum beat from First Nations ceremonies I wanted more. The sound would absorb into my entire being -- I stand motionless to ensure that I miss nothing. It is how I feel when I listen to Uuliniq Susan Aglukark when O Siem was first released in 1995. The impact of that song pursues a message of love and unity. Something that the First Nations of Canada were truly not afforded. The lyrics adhere to my frontal lobe "O Siem we are all family..."I remember, how thrilled I was to be an audience member at the Juno's that year to watch Susan win for: Best New Solo Artist and Best Music of Aboriginal Canada Recording. Even as I write this, I still feel the goosebumps radiate throughout my body. It makes me wonder why this ideology has not been adopted and fostered by the greater society. We house the proclivity between us to rise to be there as an ally for a desperately underserved body of people, who reside all across Canada some of which are under water boiling advisories. In fact currently there are "54 long-term advisories in effect as of March 31, 2021 (Government of Canada, 2021)" Our earth is one large dysfunctional family however, no one sees that. All they see are how individuals do things differently and fear it. In 2021 the time for unity should prevail. There is a kind of anger the surrounds the globe! For how many millennia has the planet been engulfed in flames? The level of inequity is deplorable -- why fight? Why fight it at all? injustice occurs everywhere at the hands of greed and inequality gender and race bias takes over a manipulation tactic that should never exist -- to never come to fruition! -- when did society simply surrender to its authority? Did it always? In secondary school plenty of poems were written with regards to immense dominion over civilisation I do not subscribe to the one size fits all perspective there is purpose Human beings should not be classified as garden variety cookie cutters! Is that what people want? To be normal? To blend the shades of diluted hues? If strength is not maintained in anything saturated -- inconsistencies will spread through the bowels of humanity The choices are numerous however, the only one for me stands with those who feel compelled to go to war for a simple yet valuable concept FREEDOM! Ending long-term drinking water advisories. (2021, March 31). Government of Canada. https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1506514143353/1533317130660
There is something about the quality of a good song that can genuinely bring me to my knees. As someone who relishes the concept of music, impeccable song writing skills are never overlooked through my boring brown optics. This week I have selected Singer/Songwriter, Breakthrough Artist of the 2017 Juno’s Ruth B. As someone who gravitates towards anything and everything fantasy related – Lost Boy struck a chord with me from the first time I heard the simplicity of Ruth B’s voice as she accompanies herself on the piano. I relished Once Upon a Time as well, which inspired her song Lost Boy; it is incredible how art always feeds more art and throughout the various media genres throughout artistic impressions. Travel back in time? What the hell for? I’ve never been in search for the fountain of youth and don’t think I ever will be Unlike some my youth was most unpleasant it took a lot of energy to simply remain alive What I seek is the sage wisdom of age to be able to comprehend there are things in life that must occur for resilience to emancipate itself from the confines of shackles that bound a spirit that simply desired to fly into the infinite strata – to discover far off worlds through the scope of an imagination that has always felt a sense of a stifled echo a fear that control essentially must always be exhibited loss of creative maniacal structure adheres to the verity of self
First Nation’s history in Canada does not paint of picture of equity; it is one that infused pure blood into all the rivers of Turtle Island and every single treaty broken. Treaties like the Two Row Wampum Gä•sweñta’ which established that the First Nations and the early European settlers came to an understanding that each go their own way and none of the two shall interfere with each other’s lives, business, or community affairs to govern as two separate entities. Two Row Wampum Gä•sweñta’ is one of the many treaties that did not do what it promised – EVERY SINGLE TREATY WAS BROKEN and not in favour of the First Nations. If this breaks my heart and fills me with PURE RAGE -- I can only imagine how the First Nations of Turtle Island sense all of this unwarranted devastation. For this week, the individual that I have selected Anishinaabe Artist Rebecca Belmore; I’ve written about Rebecca Belmore numerous times over the years. The work that is created recognises humanity with a fine-tuned level of intrinsic awareness worthy of exploration. My favourite aspect from the work I’ve watched – is the incorporation of not only environmental elements also included are powerful cultural elements steeped in statement. Rebecca takes all the pain, injustice, and ignorance to be the architect to something truly advocacy based. How A Parchment Can Be Rendered Null & Void When promises are written upon a parchment it is an oath between all parties involved to render into the abyss of desolation each tree afforded by Mother Earth should be used to chronicle various artisanal expressions of verity and honour for words to be written on a biproduct f a forest, a part of nature should reflect an small amount of respect lies have no business being written on an authentic document which dishonours the treaties from the days of old it ought to have an ounce of respect those who have suffered on the basis of proper acknowledgement of humanity More specifically the First Nations of Turtle Island who bring with them such a rich appreciation for culture and maintenance of sacred customs
Whenever I think of the legacy that Nina Simone has left our world; I am completely overwhelmed with such a sense of joy, and appreciation. This is a woman that used her voice to leave a long-lasting impression; this post is going to be a little different. As Nina Simone is a Singer/Songwriter this week’s presentation will be a video of my favourite song by Nina Simone with an accompanying piece by me! I feel it would honestly be a disservice to share my thoughts in this instance; the legacy that was left by this beautiful soul speaks beyond any intro that I could potentially scribe. Birthright I’ve always been fascinated with the space in between especially when it comes to eight and quarter notes as they travel so quickly across unaware keys they communicate a symbiotic dialogue that reigns the ugly truth stitched into visible elegance decades after the revolutionary would be devastated to witness the state of our world freedom still does not exist in life there must be a dash of tenacity if we are to truly survive – there is a quality in relation to a bold essence that only desires to stand why not rise? why not ask life for all the impossible qualities that are heavily marinated in equity clearly individuals know bigotry and ignorance does not lead to a path that will bloom at the feet of those who deny the truth one that should forever not be ignored
As a placement student at the Durham Rape Crisis Centre; I am afforded certain opportunities that I genuinely want to take advantage of. Our world houses a myriad of subjects with relation to women that I would relish a poetic study of; BIPOC women more specifically, and enough content for a layer cake extended latter to the moon. As with everything in my life, it always comes back to poetry for me. I find the language to allow for more lush imagery that regular articles do not tend to support. This 52-week study will begin today March 11, 2021 and will end March 10, 2022; the purpose of this journey is to highlight the unsung BIPOC women who continue to inspire me.
“Intersectionality is the concept that all oppression is linked. More explicitly, the Oxford Dictionary defines intersectionality as “the interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage”. Intersectionality is the acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression, and we must consider everything and anything that can marginalise people – gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc. First coined by Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw back in 1989, intersectionality was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2015 with its importance increasingly being recognised in the world of women’s rights (Taylor, 2019).”
For the first week, I have selected the Theory of Intersectionality Founder; Kimberlé Crenshaw who also happens to be an: American Lawyer, Civil Rights Advocate, prominent Philosopher of critical race theory, and a full-time professor at UCLA Law School. Kindly note my preceding list of all the various facets of Kimberlé’s life, how they all tie in so nicely with the theory she tenderly cultivated. Theory of Intersectionality allows us to view humans from more than one lens, no cookie cutter components all organic fabrications of our makeup. Perspective makes this theory important; this knowledge allows us as human beings to understand that we are truly multilayered beings; which is equally true in a clinical environment with clients. As a Social Service Worker and future Behavioural Scientists; I appreciate this theory on a myriad of levels. Not only does it focus on the individual traits that create a human; also their mannerisms and habits. Think about this way, start with a macro point, there are many humans on this earth, each being has characteristics that overlap on top of themselves individually, and tie that into the micro dissection of a human’s essence.
As a woman, I am a: wife, mother, Lebanese born Palestinian, student, poet/writer, first language as French with a bit of Arabic; all of these individually are plain Jane. However, if we bring them together not only do you have a complete human; moreover, there are various perspectives of thought according to those roles. Each one requires study; as a multidimensional being. There are of course other things that require consideration: age, gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion/faith or spirituality/philosophy, physical appearance, height, weight, disorders, addictions, and caste. Crenshaw’s Theory of Intersectionality puts a name to something so simple; that houses the potential to make a huge difference in someone’s post-trauma recovery life. To be considered a full human being by workers in all Medical and Mental Health fields allows for a genuine study; in order to gain a better understanding with regard to potential courses of treatments and post-trauma-safety-plans. How well would we be able to empower our clients; a one-dimensional linear view does not condone a course of action that is authentically conducive to a better life.
It’s brilliant really; a big picture down to the small micro detail that could make the big difference between truly helping another human being and possibly re-victimising them. The Theory of Intersectionality should be studied by all students in all caregiver roles as this knowledge is incredibly important.
Pinwheel Sunburst Is saying I am worthless? various factors identify the tattered edges that bind our intimate tapestries a cross on a page two simple lines intersect now for the whimsy another cross placed on the previous and shifted 45 degrees multiply by a Googleplex it’s there look can you see it? a pinwheel, magnificent windmill that cycles with each of Luna’s phases now, imagine all the arms out stretched each extended appendage into the abyss of sky ocean or earth roots have the capacity to house wings – individually all feather points around the circumference not only a different hue also characteristic millions and millions of traits await any terrain References Taylor, B. (2020, October 15). Intersectionality 101: what is it and why is it important? Womankind Worldwide. https://www.womankind.org.uk/intersectionality-101-what-is-it-and-why-is-it-important/
The REDress Project was established as a direct result of the missing or murdered Indigenous women of Canada. This installation is one that has travelled throughout North America to showcase and add visibility to the Indigenous women who’ve had their lives terminated before their time. The reason that these dresses are placed in very open public places is to raise the awareness of the mass numbers of Indigenous women who have been massacred as a result of violence against women. To provide an infinite voice to those whispers who’ve been bound tight with wire thread (Black, 2020). Roots-Highway-Cry why is there a dress on my branch? my roots have started to tingle i can feel the agony of their representation although these branches are above ground the ache below is a startling reality embers burn through the splash of crimson that elegantly hangs on my branch a string of plasma induced hues for a necklace of humiliation the fabric brushes against my trunk and my roots stretch through the land in communication with other trees to comprehend the definition of why it is genuinely necessary to acknowledge all the murdered Indigenous women whose disappearances have been ignored this loud battle cry can be heard right through to the tip of the last centimetre as they stretch below our glorious terra firma the levels of compassion rise with mother nature’s claim on this earth made for women annihilated and diminished by society i’ll never forget i will always rise regardless of those why attempt to bury my shell a spirit to haunt forever References Amnesty International https://www.amnesty.ca/sites/amnesty/files/iwfa_submission_amnesty_international_february_2014_-_final.pdf “Newsworthy” Victims? Exploring differences in Canadian local press coverage of missing/murdered Aboriginal and White women By: Kristen Gilchrist https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14680777.2010.514110 About the REDress project By: Jamie Black https://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/home/