Poem: Shkakaamik Kwe

She put her hands on the earth,
Listened,
There was a sound that she could hear across the land,
The ships neared the shore,

The land,
My body,
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 community,
My uterus was hurt,
Pain inside,
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,
I cried,
My hair was gone,

Reservation internment camp,
Reservation prison camp,
Treaty,
Treaty,
Treaty broken,

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,
My territory,

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,
My Mother,
Sister's,
Aunt's,
Daughter's,
Forced sterilization,
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,
No land,
No home,
Reproductive rights denied,
Traditional communities destroyed by force,

The prayers kept coming,
Mixed blood,
Mixed race,
Beautiful Native women,
Two-Spirit,
Healer,
Visionary,
Alone,
Crying,
Poverty,

The prayers didn't stop,
Colonial reproductive policies,
Reproductive injustice,
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!