Starblanket eBook available now!

Starblanket: A Mother’s Gift to Her Son available at Amazon and Kobo!

What happens when a Mother’s biggest worry is that her son will bear the burden and blame of a society who do not know how to Respect, or Honour Indigenous women?

“Starblanket -A Mother’s Gift to Her Son” – is a collection of stories about Spiritual Awakening, Motherhood and Healing.
When family bonds are grown from traumatic events a child-of-trauma is born. Starblanket follows the journey of an Indigenous woman facing herself as a child-of-trauma and seeking identity, self-respect, and self-love. A single-mother, she struggles to raise her son alone in one of the biggest cities in the world. Her small family faces ever-encroaching societal pressures of Capitalism, Materialism, and Conformity which contradict the Indigenous values she tries to instill.

“Starblanket” honours the Indigenous child and the family as ancient teachings of love and understanding are slowly reclaimed. As the Morningstar guides us from darkness into light, Starblanket guides readers to self awareness, one story at a time.

Print copies available at the Cedar Basket Gift Shop

Je suis une langue française tuteur AKA IEP Parenting and LD homework helper

Thank goodness for translation applications and tools. These days are positively cringe worthy. It feels a little like I’m in middle school again, and how DID I become a French language tutor? I have some appreciation for the language this time around. I am doing my best to encourage my son…who abhors writing by the way, to write out his French homework assignments.

A double whammy is his IEP. For parents out there that have children with LDs. This stands for Individual Education Plan, and Learning Dis-ability. Not only does he need help with the language part of things, but we are also transitioning away from dependency. Until now he has had the full support of a teacher to help scribe for him or spell words out for him. I am approaching these next two years as a transitional years and preparation for independent work that he will be doing in highschool.

Much of the homework that we are doing has to be broken down into easy to understand chunks. And as often as I can, I incorporate three dimensional models. (For his math homework I wrote out the problem on cards that we were able to then manipulate individually until we arrived at the solution to the math puzzle)

I also illustrate the process of “chunking” so that he understands when he has to break the problems down, and then how to go through the thought process behind “chunking”. As his langue française tuteur, we take the work in steps. This week’s homework consists of writing out large numbers like 569,205 in words. (Painful…for my non-writing son) We tried a couple of work arounds with technology. Unfortunately, the dragon dictation software that I have doesn’t understand French language. So when I said “cinq cent soixante-neuf mille, deux cent cinq” the program wrote the number “569, 205” instead of typing it out long form so my son could copy it long hand. I’ll copy the link to the app here.

I also looked for a French numbers chart that could help him but the search was frustratingly awkward and I ended up making him a customized chart of numbers to use. I’ll add the link to the chart here.

Honestly, he already hates the language. Since the process just to get to the answer is super complicated, long, drawn-out and boring. We spend hours just doing one page of homework. I’m appreciating his world a great deal more, and grateful for the extra patience I’m finding at the bottom of my well. I’m not known as the most patient parent ever, and this process is very new for both of us. Vive la France! *forehead slap.

Is it still colonization if the dominant language is technically your birthright too? Just because…here is the Ojibwe language chart as well.

Experimental Theatre Movement – Journey of a Brown Girl

I recently had the opportunity to attend a performance of Jana Lynn Umipig’s Journey of a Brown Girl. Umipig and her cast mates made the journey from New York to perform for a two night stint at the Factory Theatre in downtown Toronto on August 28 & 29th, 2015
The first International production by the Kapwa Collective met with a resounding success, evidenced by two sold-out shows. The Kapwa Collective, describing themselves as a group of Filipino Canadian artists, critical thinkers, and healers who work across different academic and applied disciplines.” are mentored by Indigenous cultural leaders such as Lee Maracle (St̤ö:lo Nation) ,and Laini Lascelles (Lanaape Traditional Healer and Wolf Clan member), as well as Martha Ocampo a Filipino Canadian community leader.

Journey of a Brown Girl was birthed as the culmination of Jana Lynne Umipig’s Masters thesis which included interviews of a variety of Filipina women from across the United States, and had its first performance as a one woman show. Since then, Journey of a Brown Girl has performed in a number of venues including: New York University’s Center for Multicultural Studies “Ism Projects”- Pinayism; Da Poetry Lounge in Los Angeles, California; Wow Cafe Theatre in New York, and Search to involve Filipino Americans in Los Angeles,California.

A powerful, and emotionally charged production which showcased the history of Filipina women re-storying their collective history as teachers, healers, visionaries, and warriors. “Since July 2010, this collective of Pinay womyn from New York and New Jersey have been meeting in solidarity and sisterhood to examine the experiences, perceptions, struggles and triumphs of the Pinay body and spirit.”

An Experimental Theatre Movement, Journey of a Brown Girl was a whirlwind experiential teaching tool and highlighted numerous Indigenous and Filipino presentations as part of their pre-show line up. Community and partnerships worked together to bring together performers such as the EarthTALKER Water Project, Ester Dulawan Tuldague of the Ifugao Association of Canada, The Pantayo Kulintang Ensemble and Combat Science: Warrior Arts of Asia provided a vast array of teachings and wisdom from Indigenous and Traditional Filipino teachings and cultures.

This Toronto production witnessed the talents of Jana Lynne Umipig, Vanessa Ramalho, Lee Hubilla, and Karen Pangantihon. Audiences were riveted as our “Brown sisters” shared their stories on stage using their Malong, a garment known as a life cloth and the main tool of their storytelling which becomes an “extension of the spirits of the womyn to transform the characters and breathe life into the stories of all sisters, mothers, women, and girls whose voices fill the piece”. The combination of compelling performances and powerful stories shared in “Journey of a Brown Girl” resonated deeply with me, as an Indigenous woman fighting the colonial onset of the British and French, I empathized strongly with the dispossession and demonization of these women and their ancestors by Spanish colonizers. Sadly, there were also many stories that closely resembled the experiences highlighted by the Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girl’s movement here in Canada.

I encourage readers to join the Journey of a Brown Girl movement, and follow the movement online. It is an important experiential piece that invites the theatre goer not only to learn about Filipino history but brings meaning to the lives of Filipino and Indigenous peoples culture and spirituality in a way that is disarming, open, and respectful of the collective consciousness of their audience.


Surviving the cosmos

So, this year was the first year I’ve heard of the Lion’s gate a term used in Astrology. Something that happens every year, on August, 8 apparently this year was extra special 8/8/8 (2+0+1+5) Not only was the Lion’s gate opening but add a Venus retrograde on the heels of a Blue moon…and we’ve got some serious goings on in the cosmos.
IThis article isn’t going to explain those terms, but I will link them to the original article.
In my quest to stay grounded and more connected, I find myself searching skyward. I keep track of the movements of the sun, moon, receive notifications about earthquakes, and pay attention to what’s happening to our relatives the animals. Astrology seems a natural teacher. I’ve learned a lot about myself from those teachings.

I survived the Venus retrograde, barely. Finding myself releasing and encountering a variety of interesting meditations. I have begun to write in my recovery journal again, picking up my Yoga practice a bit more vehemently now that baseball is finished for the season.

Planning and strategizing most effectively during my Venus retrograde, I now move into the next project with an upturned face shining with abundance. It has, and is still very slow on the business side of things but I move forward with the greatest faith in Creation and the universe to attract light, love and the highest possible outcome in every situation.

As mercury retrograde descends, I do my best to pay attention to the moment. I’m looking forward to enjoying this next celestial event next week as the full lunar eclipse (Blood moon) and supermoon…this is said to be a special meeting between Mother, Father and daughter…in Anishinawbe teachings Mother Earth and her parents are working together on something very special. Its an important message from Grandmother moon as she comes close to her daughter.

What a sacred harvest season…I’m grateful for the letting go ceremonies I’ve gone through this summer…ready to welcome newness and ready for whatever awaits around the corner :)
Special Harvest Full Moon ceremony this month :)


What close affiliation to Humiliation, this Humility.

I find myself bowing in earnest.

Bowing but not scraping.

Meekness absent.

A Pride of Lions have killed the industrious Beaver.

Broken his most treasured possession.

He builds no more.

He starves…in abject humiliation.

His family watches and prays

the wild ones will not come back.

A message, oh so subtle.

A gift. A warning.

A signal wrought from the lion’s mane.

Eyes to the ground, a conversation

quiet. quieter. quietest.

Asking pity.

in humility…

MangaMom 2.0

So today started with a Japanese inspired breakfast, Octodogs, and rolled omlette. The day ended by discovering new comfort food called rice porrige and a nice long cry/rant/trigger over having one heir. A son who is so different from me that I wonder how the hell to reach him. Exasperation and crazed rants over wanting to spend quality time together doing SOMETHING but neither of us enjoys anything the other likes to do. (Mostly) We talked about the communication gap between us and agreed that while we are vastly different, we wil help the other do something they love. The first collaborative effort is inspired by our shared love of Anime and Manga. We’ve decided to start a Youtube channel together. I will post links here when we have videos uploaded.

I am struggling to find and express my fun side.
Someone once asked me what I love to do. I had to really think about it. She suggested that I find the answer. The problem I find is how to answer that question. It should be fairly straight forward right? I can rephrase it a million times. What brings you the greatest joy? What activities do you enjoy? When are you most yourself? Is there a time in your life when you were happiest? What was the happiest time of your life?

I may be over thinking things here. Ok I AM over thinking things here when I say that I cannot think of a time. Not a single one. I have been happy, and have enjoyed myself but to say that I felt most like myself or the most love. Isn’t something I can answer. At least not yet. With our MangaMom Youtube channel, I will help my son do something he loves, and just agree to enjoy the moments.

It’s interesting…the idea of a legacy crossed my mind today. Sharing things I’ve learned, without forcing them on someone who isn’t interested in the things I like to do and the gulf between us seemed a little bigger…just for an instant.

Mulling all of this over, I’m reminded of my discussions with my Buddhist friend when he talked about the middle way. Perhaps that is the lesson. Enjoy the journey instead of searching for the destination. Being in the moment, being present…to really BE there.
Just enjoy life…yeah. That.

Creative cycles driving me crazy AKA In the poor house

Ok. Maybe I didn’t think this through. I jumped. I didn’t look where I was jumping. I didn’t really care to look, or think about it, much less plan. All I knew is that I had some hugely creative projects that were slowly dying inside, and I needed an exit. Fast. So I jumped. Passion, and creativity have brought me forward. Unfortunately that’s not the only thing that you need. Eventually, you need a plan. A good one. It also pays to NOT have a chip on your shoulder where money is concerned. Ok. It pays to welcome abundance in any form.

One thing about the vast majority of choices I have made in the last year is that many of the choices come from a place of avoidance, disdain, judgment and just plain feelings of superiority which is interesting because I am dirt poor right now. Haha. I have noticed though that my creative cycles just keep coming. Mostly in waves. Constantly ebbing and flowing. Over the past year I’ve written, illustrated, and translated not just one, but two Anishinaabe Manga. I’ve written, and published my first book. I’ve released a 3 single EP dedicated to water. I’ve designed, and completed two full regalia. One for my son and one for myself. I’ve written many pieces now published online. I’ve also written another piece that is soon to be published. and I’ve established my very own Reiki studio. So…why am I still not making any money? Simple. You can’t look down your nose at wealth and expect someone to hand you a bag full of money.

There are so many more projects just waiting to be released from their place in the ether. If I could establish, and carry out these projects without cash money. I’d be so happy. The reality is, that creativity is expensive. There are some cost cutting and community building ways to get the job done, such as collaboration and partnership. But, in the end. You need funds to create. I have learned this the hard way. Always the hard way.

I come from a very large family. We aren’t very close, and last year I had a run in with a sibling. Actually a couple of them. The lesson? We’re not here to take care of you, or pick up after you, or dig you out of your messes. Get up and do it yourself. It was a hard lesson, but being the youngest, I think I found myself relying on them. On some family member or on someone to save me from myself. In the end, you’ve got you. And, I have had myself, this whole time. My creative self, and the stubborn one standing in the corner seeing generosity as a handout. I don’t need handouts thank you very much.

I don’t need your pity. Humph! (arms crossed defiantly)

I’ve confronted the history of communities and families constantly being on the run from government soldiers, never being able to rest. Finally, wearily and resigned…agreeing to settle on reservations. Agreeing to Treaty. I’ve confronted the slowly eroding sense of personal responsibility, self determination, and pride that comes from being self sufficient, and self sustaining to being dependent. I’ve confronted the fact that I don’t even know how to grow my own food to keep from starving should the economy every collapse. And I’ve done nearly everything I could to keep from going to the local food bank to feed my family. I could never stoop that low. Not again.

You see, my trust in the system was eroded after an experience that left me pondering  just how far the “powers that be” would go to protect their interests. After my account was frozen just to “get my attention” I began to mistrust. I began to equate power with money, and misuse of power with money, and corruption with money. But the thing I learned recently is that it is all intertwined with wealth and abundance. All of it. Judging wealth, and money is to judge abundance as well.

Ohhh. I always choose the hard path. I’d rather starve than risk taking a hand up. Such pride. I’m not sure why I’ve always taken the hard path. It seems that to me, taking the easy path is for cheaters, and low lifes. No. I don’t think the Creator had meant for life to be so hard. The teachings talk about Mother Earth continuously giving. That everything that we’ve ever needed is here. How then, am I supposed to partake of it?

I don’t know how to hunt. Nowadays, hunting and providing for my family means that I learn how to network really well and get jobs singing, or facilitating workshops. I have to learn where the game is, aka where do my skills fit? Now I gather at the local watering hole called “Employment and Training” until a big buck comes my way. Or many $$ bucks. So far, I’ve found that the younger, quicker hunters get the jobs. er. Bucks.

With all of the pressure to get out there and be a good provider, my creative cycle ebbs. Slowly my confidence wanes. I start believing I don’t know anyone that would hire me or refer me and the jobs dry up. Suddenly. Painfully aware that the hard way is once again the path I’ve chosen.

Well, here it is again. I’ve come around full circle. From a high, where there were lots of jobs and referrals to being very distracted by all the free time. I’ve spent this time praying, and asking for pity. Facing my prideful nature and standing in humility. In supplication. On the floor, I finally see myself that prideful, haughty wealthy person kicking the dirt poor. And I loved her. Completely. I have to release everything I ever knew about abundance, wealth and money. None of those things serve my highest purpose.

I see other people getting jobs, prestigious, honorable jobs and where I was once jealous, envious. I am now determined. One day. I will be there too. With abundance. Loving, kind, and generous as always. And a good plan, that includes the Creator. I still want to create. I’ve been searching a long time for my love. My passion. I also found that creativity requires discipline. The refinement that allows that passion to shine it’s brightest. I’ve come back around to the planning cycle. Faltered, fell, and now I share that journey. Slowly sauntering out of the haze. I reacquaint myself with the beginning of the cycle and I prepare my hunter bundle. Even hunters have to learn the lay of the land, find the deer runs, walk the trails before offering their saama and asking for Creator to have pity. Asking for that animal to sacrifice their life so the family can eat. I search. I learn the lay of the land. I find the bounty, walk the trails. I offer my saama and ask Creator for pity. In humility, I ask for wealth and abundance, for the kindness to share with me so I can feed my family…I create, shine and attract abundance in all forms.

Sense and Sexuality aka the transference effect aka what the H(#* happened?

Picture this. Five hundred years ago puritanical strangers happen upon an Indigenous village in what could be North or South America. They see half naked people stopping their daily duties to greet the strangers. Judged backward, having no shame in their bodies, the strangers commence teaching these poor savages that clothing and covering themselves is godly.

Fast forward to 2015, and I’m walking by the neighbourhood pool with my twelve year old son, and ten year old niece. I spot a couple of twenty-something women enjoying the pool time in their g-string bikinis and I’m surprised by the rage creeping up inside of me. I’m sickened by the display of naked bottoms, which is seemingly accepted by everyone at the pool, and I’m a little disgusted by my own reaction. I make some comment about the inappropriateness and my feelings of anger when my son pipes up “What are you jealous?” An interesting question. Am I jealous? I don’t know. I don’t know why I’m angry. It’s just a day at the pool isn’t it?

We leave the pool and head over to the park, and I’m confused by my reaction. Perhaps I am jealous. I don’t know. I don’t know why I’m angry with these women who seem comfortable to flaunt, er. enjoy a day at the pool in their underwear…um bikinis. I guess, I am confronting my own inability to express a comfortable sexuality.

After surviving molestation and confronting the emotions faced with that..self shaming, inability to welcome pleasure from a good space, carrying the negative connotations of that experience, I’ve just started feeling comfortable in my own skin, with my own body, and sexuality. There are certain influences that come along with molestation, a predisposition to hyper-sexuality. I’ve found my body reacting sexually to very innocuous acts…these are called triggers.

It’s been difficult managing these triggers in a world where sex sells.

I’ve been observing myself in the Indigenous community, and wonder when we started covering ourselves. DId we always wear long skirts for ceremony? Or was that the body shaming influence of the European mindset?

I observe this relatively innocuous act of going to the swimming pool as a reclaiming of body awareness and pride. Where then is the Indigenous pride in our bodies? If we review our collective history…both European and Indigenous, thrown together on these two continents North/South America the shame, the anger, the judgements are all energies directed at a certain population. Indigenous peoples were continuously told there is something wrong with them. Don’t be too free with your body, with your pleasures. The proof of this is a close as my facebook page where posts of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women are circulated regularly. Where missing posters are circulated almost daily. When Indigenous women assert their pride in their bodies, what are we called? Are we accepted? Or degraded?

Indigenous women are having a hard time just accepting ourselves, let alone thinking about walking around a public pool half naked. This experience was good for me. I confronted some judgments reserved for “those kind of women” and “those kind of experiences” we see ourselves now as “pure and right” with our powwow regalia, full length skirts, and proper ettiquette and judge women in few clothes a certain way. This is the tranference effect. We’ve taken on that puritanical way of seeing the world, and our own bodies.

That shaming energy has to go somewhere. Doesn’t it. That knee jerk reaction: “How dare you wear something like that in public”, “Have you no shame?”, “My God! There are children present!”

I’m not comfortable with seeing naked people. Naked bodies, so I don’t go places where there is a high chance that I will see these things. I know this about myself. Perhaps one day, I will be ok with this aspect of humanity, but in a world where everything is so hyper-sexualized, I’m not sure about that. There is such a thing as respect. But what does that mean in terms of expressing sexuality. Women can wear what ever they want, but not act like a sexual being? Women can want and enjoy pleasure but not express it openly? Women can have pride in their bodies and share them without having to worry about being accosted by degrading comments? What does respect look like? Our bodies are amazing things. Truly amazing. I’m just not sure I’d want everyone to see that much when I go swimming. Why would I? I don’t really see the point of it really. Boy, am I ever glad I never had a girl. It would be so tough to teach her proper body image, and pride in her body…when I’m not even sure what that is. I don’t even think society knows what that that is.

I’ve been needing to talk about this for sometime now, but there are few opportunities in community where one can discuss these things openly. Well, I’m making the space for that right here, right now.

Old Habits Die Hard

I’m lounging in my apartment this weekend. It’s quiet. I’ve been doing my best to allow the worry to subside.
I question a lot of my decisions lately. Nasty habits and messages that tell me that I am alone. That my family doesn’t care, that no one is around to help.
I’ve been hearing this relentless needling. I know it is just old tapes. Though, this time around I seek the source.
I’ve let a lot of things go. Things like indecision, non-comittal dithering, and immobility.
I’ve been thinking about the future…alot.
Maybe that one was right…maybe I didn’t know what i wanted…or maybe I knew…but was too afraid to commit. Commitment, means I’d have to work at it…it means I’d have to work harder than I ever have. It means I’d be responsible for picking up the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed.

So many old habits have come to call…making themselves known. I allow them space…afraid of what it will mean to change. Afraid of what it would mean to truly shine.
I know it is only a momentary fear…to allow myself time to believe.
I have mulled what I truly enjoy. To listen to that part of me that expresses joy…that finds joy…the one that can truly be joy.

These discoveries, journeys within have helped me to confront the parts of myself that I find difficult to love. Abuser, the pushover, the child, the people pleaser, the lazy leech, the addict, the bully, the irresponsible one.

I see all of the old habits rising. I allow them and wonder if I will ever be willing to let them go. I’ve found a comfort zone…a deep and long lasting connection to myself. I built it for a reason. It is my protection from the world.
I wonder if I am ready to give it up. Am I going to give it up without a fight? I wonder.

I feel a loosening of some sort. Getting ready. I have spent so much time alone. I built this space to keep the loneliness at bay. I think this time has been to build an awareness of this space. An exploration.

I have sought inspiration and found it. I seek a dream and determination to see it through. Finally, I seek the will to move forward through this discomfort. To do what I need to do to support myself and my family. To invite abundance into my life. Old habits die hard…but with perseverance they eventually give way to new growth.

Theory of a whiteman

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a stream-of-consciousness post. This isn’t so much about whiteman as it is about intelligent marketing, or at least a theory on the subject.
I enjoy watching anime and reading manga. My son was the one to introduce me to the culture (subculture) since I’m rather new (newbie) to the scene, my understanding of the language leaves much to be desired.
Early on in my introduction into the Japanese anime culture, I wondered why many of the characters seemed to have a host of non-japanese features. I watched as many fair haired, blue eyed and indeed pink, blue and green haired characters streamed across my television.

I am getting into the thick of anime, having watched and enjoyed (most) of the shows we’ve sampled. Naruto seems to be the favorite for both my son and I. The blonde haired, blue eyed boy has won both our hearts with his unfailing determination. As I enjoy anime, a separate creative war is playing out here in my own backyard.

In my own culture, we have the newest fusion music brought forward by A Tribe Called Red, with many articles extolling the wonders of this creative phenom. One of the latest articles mentioned how many non-native (looking) individuals pack the electric powwow scenes. With our history of exclusion, this article mentioned, having a space front and centre on the music scene is great.

I have read so many articles the past couple of years with people (mostly non-native, non-indigenous) traipsing around in front of a variety of camera lenses in full war bonnet, and wearling little to nothing else. I’m not sure if these people are doing this for attention (albeit infamy) or if they are staging some sort of protest at having been asked NOT to do something they clearly feel entitled to do.

So, here is the thing. As a non-Japanese fan of Japanese anime, why is it I feel it appropriate to allow my son (also non-Japanese) to dress up for halloweeen in a fully Japanese-inspired costume? How is this not appropriation? Probably because they have seen the non-Japanese, mostly caucasian affinity for taking things of other cultures and incorporating it into their own expression of identity or exoticism at the very least.
Why is it that fans of anime find dressing in Japanese-inspired costumes something that is allowed and encouraged? Because it is. Cosplay. Full grown versions of dress up. Ok, so it seems to be a sub-culture, and a certain section of people that enjoy this game of dress up. But it is also internationally reknowned as a legitimate past-time and many big celebrities are jumping on board the cosplay/ superhero band wagon and making movies in green, blue and pink haired characters (Scott Pilgrim, Ultraviolet, etc)

The point here, is that cultural sharing has been orchestrated by Japanese artists in a very clever manner. They’ve created a mechanism whereby Japanese culture can be celebrated, shared, and learned by non-Japanese individuals in a non-threatening, and enjoyable way. I’ve learned a lot about Japanese myths that have inspired some of the characters, the meanings of some of the names of the characters, and certain types of foods characters enjoy.

Witnessing the popularity of a country that has learned how to market their stories in such a clever way. Caucasian populations, indeed their empires have spent a millenia doing their best to make every other ethnicity resemble their own. Even going so far as to outlaw original languages, cultures and traditions.
Whoever thought of it first, whether Japanese artists and business owners may have noticed this narcissistic tendency, this love for their own image, and catered to it. Genius. Absolute genius. Non-Japanese readers the world over seem to have gotten used to the caucasian image (fair, light coloured, round eyes) and don’t seem to be detered by a lack of imagery denoting their own culture in Japanese manga (this is often an argument for social scientists who say that by virtue of seeing themselves reflected in books that they read encourages children to read books, thus increasing literacy rates)
At any rate, Japanese anime, and cosplay seems to be a huge industry. I am new to the scene but I’m amazed at the variety of opportunities to engage with Japanese culture and clothing. I hope one day our Indigenous artists will come up with something equally interesting and engaging that can be shared by the whole world.

Although, as Indigenous peoples we have the added journey of first obtaining equal footing, or at least a just place in society; rectification; and restitution before we can even think about sharing culture and community with our non-Indigenous neighbours. Because when they are not defacing social justice artwork and memorials, many troll us in the comments sections of popular newspaper articles and dismiss us out of hand. Well, if anything, our Indigeneity is becoming more visible and vocal. Musical fusions the likes of A Tribe Called Red help our cultures to continue to be shared in any number of places in the mainstream. WE are also making strides in Video games, and comic books (Assassins Creed’s Connor, DC Comics) Read more about Shannen Koostachin here.

Anyway, it is very likely many other writers have written on this same phenomenon. If I come across any, I shall link to the articles in the comments sections. I enjoy a good story whatever the manner it comes across. In this current culture of denoting differences via race, denial of the existence of racism, and the many very interesting discussions going on about race, I thought I’d have a go at an observation of race. My non-Indigenous, caucasian friends I know I’m generalizing here quite a bit these are observations…not judgments, thanks for your understanding.

Indigenous academics changing the landscape of civil discourse PART TWO

The second of a four-week series on Indigenous scholars that are changing the landscape of academics in their various fields.

Indigenous experience in Canada is fraught with a long line of policies intended to “civilize” the Indigenous community by outlawing ceremonies, traditions, language and culture and absorbing them into the mainstream of the country.[i] This article does not provide a history on Indian Act policies, to learn more check the source links below.

It wasn’t until 1951 that many Canadian policies concerning Indigenous peoples in Canada were abolished due to a number of factors including Canada’s participation in World War I & II, and a new awareness about the importance of Human rights, thus after 1951 Indigenous peoples were finally allowed to practise their customs, to hire legal counsel, and leave the reservation in ceremonial attire without permission of the Indian Agent[ii]. Many Indigenous people were also forced to enfranchise if they wanted to attend a Post-Secondary Institution.[iii] (Enfranchisement for Indigenous peoples in Canada meant that individuals had to “give up” their Indian status, and all the rights contained therein). Indigenous peoples were given the right to vote after 1955.[iv]

Two more Indigenous scholars changing the landscapes of civil discourse in Canada and the US

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, PhD
Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg, Alderville First Nation

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a well-known author in the Indigenous community. She has written three books: Dancing on a Turtle’s Back, The Gift is in the making, and Islands of Decolonial Love.
According to her online biography, Ms. Simpson was named the RBC Charles Taylor Emerging writer in 2014. She hosts an array of talents from traditional storytelling, poetry, spokenword, critical analysis, literary, and social activism.

Eduardo Duran, PhD
Italian, Apache, Lakota

Mr. Duran was born in New Mexico. He has a Navy background and was deployed during the Vietnam War. Shortly thereafter, he changed fields from Engineering Psychology to Clinical Psychology. He has worked in Indigenous communities for over thirty years. Mr. Duran’s latest book: Healing the Soul Wound was published in 2006. According to his online biography, he has toured extensively sharing insights into Soul Wounding – an idea that began as a description of a “spiritual injury, soul sickness, soul wounding, and ancestral hurt”[v] caused by vast trauma, possibly over generations. His approach is designed to act as a bridge between cultures. Mr. Duran is also the author of: Native American Postcolonial Psychology, and Buddha in Redface.

Works Cited

Canada, Elections. 2012. A History of the Vote in Canada. July 13. Accessed July 14, 2015.

Crey, Karrmen. 2009. Enfranchisement. Accessed July 14, 2015.

Duran, Eduardo. 2006. Healing the Soul Wound, Counseling with American Indians and other Native peoples. New York: Teachers College Press.

Hanson, Erin. 2009. Indigenous Foundations. Accessed June 26, 2015.

Further Reading:

[i] Hanson, Erin. 2015. Indigenous Foundations. Accessed June 26, 2015

[ii] ibid

[iii] Crey, Karrman. 2009. Enfranchisement. Accessed July 14, 2015.

[iv] Duran, Eduardo. 2006. Healing the Soul Wound, Counseling with American Indians and other Native peoples.

[v] Canada Elections 2012. A History of the Vote in Canada. July 13, 2009. Accessed July 14, 2015.