Time for a pro-choice and reproductive justice poem! With all of the attacks on reproductive rights occurring across colonized United States, I have to speak.
First I wanted to share some awesome links!
The Next Seven Generations: Reclaiming Healthy Sexuality for Native Youth by Jessica Yee
Reclaiming Choice for Native Women by Jessica Yee
Indigenous Women’s Reproductive Rights
Beyond Pro-Choice Versus Pro-Life: Women of Color and Reproductive Justice by Andrea Smith
Read the Reproductive Justice Agenda by the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center.
Check out the blog of Erin Marie Konsmo and her amazing art - Discovery Is Toxic : Indigenous Women on the Frontline of Environmental and Reproductive Justice, Honor the Balance of All Our Rights and Indigenous Womanhood and the Prison Industrial Complex.
Pro-choice, reproductive justice photography by - Liora K Photography.
On Etsy, if you have an extra $20 bucks order this awesome shirt - Keep your Rosaries out of my Ovaries Tee.
Now onto the poem! Just a few months ago I posted a poem titled - Shame in Birth. This poem is about the ways the dominant culture shames and guilt's women for all of the choices we make around our reproductive health. The aim of this poem is to shed light in the way we are denied reproductive rights and freedom, particularly as women of color and Native women.
She put her hands on the earth,
There was a sound that she could hear across the land,
The ships neared the shore,
Was injured in the name of "Christ,"
I became "Christianized,"
So did the land,
People began praying for me,
As I was torn from my family,
My uterus was hurt,
My children were no longer my children,
My body was no longer my body,
My hair was cut,
I began to cry tears,
But they told me not to cry,
But to pray,
As it was "God's will,"
I wanted to move my fingers through my beautiful black hair,
My hair was gone,
Reservation internment camp,
Reservation prison camp,
The land was bought and sold,
Divided and contained,
Same was done to my body,
As they prayed,
They prayed for my assimilation,
To forget my culture,
Forget my land,
I could not cry anymore,
Because they would abuse me,
Tell me not to speak in my Native tongue,
I was silent now,
Rape of the land occurred,
Rape of me,
Unable to birth children if I choose,
Denied my own life,
"Gods will," meant I was to be invisible,
Who is Shkakaamik Kwe?
Who is Anishinaabekwe?
I had no voice,
Reproductive rights denied,
Traditional communities destroyed by force,
The prayers kept coming,
Beautiful Native women,
The prayers didn't stop,
Colonial reproductive policies,
They would rather have me dead than pregnant,
They prayers continue,
The hurt continues,
The injustice continues,
Shkakaamik Kwe is about reproductive justice!
Anishinaabekwe is about reproductive justice!