Poem: We Talk About Reparations

How you deal with an ugly thing in the Native community,
We always talk about reparations in the Native community,
Bringing back what was rightfully ours,
But we don't talk about the ways in which the community,
Each other,
It's what the oppressor wants,

How you deal with an ugly thing in the Native community,

1. Bury it deep down in the Earth and expect growth,
2. Ignore lateral violence/bullying,
3. Pray to an absent Father -"God,"
4. Run away from your problems,
5. Deny male privilege,
6. Deny your heart/feelings,
7. Distort/lie/retort,

Not at all,
I'm not hearin' ya,
The solution is,
Restoring something lost or stolen to its proper owner,

No I said,
Turn around,
Face me,
I am not afraid,
I am not fooled,

You say I don't know you,
Or that you can't change this,
But I know you,

I lay the sema in the territory,
Shining the light inside the walls to see what needs to be removed.

Online book - Honouring Indigenous Women: Heart of Nations Vol .2

My poems - The Healing of the Women of Our Nations and Shkakaamik Kwe are included in this awesome book.  My poem And If We Cry was included in volume 1.

Following the success of Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations Vol.1, published earlier this year, the Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO) has now launched the second volume!

Sixty-two women and men from various nations contributed to this book. Indigenous women shared their lived experiences with regards to their relationships with the land, their birth mothers, families, communities, and themselves. Their Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies shared their thoughts on responsibilities to (re)build relationships with Indigenous women.

We are very grateful for the authors and artists who courageously shared their stories with us, and are honoured to publish their work. A list of our contributors is provided below.

We also would like to express our gratitude to Under One Roof Properties who generously donated us the layout by Nancy Reid from NR Grafix.

Download the book here: Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations Vol.2 (117-page PDF format, free of charge)

We are now looking for funds to print it in preparation for our book launch and to offer our contributors paper copies of the book in early 2013. We plan to have this book available for individual purchases, in local libraries and community resource centers, and for use as part of school curricula.

If you would like to help us with distribution, please us at ipsmo@riseup.net.

To make a donation to the campaign, please click this PayPal link or make a cheque to ‘Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa’ with ‘HIW-Vol.2′ in the memo line. Cheques can be mailed to: IPSMO, c/o OPIRG-Carleton, 326 Unicentre, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6.

The contributors featured in the book are:

Adelle Farrely, Angela Ashawawasegai, Angela Mashford-Pringle, Arlene Bowman, Belinda Daniels, Carrie Bourassa, Catherine M. Pulkinen, Catherine McCarty, Cecelia LaPointe, Cristina Afán Lai, Dawn Karima Pettigrew, Deanna StandingCloud, Donna Roberta Della-Picca, Dvorah Coughlin, Emilie Corbiere, Eva Apuk Jij, Faith Turner, Francine Burning, Greg Macdougall, Heather Shillinglaw, Helen Knott, Janet Marie Rogers, Janine Manning, Jodie-Lynn Waddilove, Lana Whiskeyjack, Leanne Simpson, Lesley Belleau, Linda Lucero, Lisa M. Machell, Lorri Neilsen GlennLouise Vien, Lynn Gehl, Marcie Riel, Margaret Kress-White, Mariel Belanger, Mikhelle Lynn Rossmulkey, Miranda Moore, Mona-Lisa Bourque-Bearskin, Nehi Katawasisiw, Nicole McGrath, PJ Prudat, R. Saya Bobick, Raven Sinclair, Robert A. Horton, Rosie Trakostanec, Samantha Elijah, Shauneen Pete, Simone Nichol, Susan Smith Fedorko, Tamara Pokrupa-Nahanni, Tamara Starblanket Neyihaw, Teresa Rose Beaulieu, Theresa Meuse, Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy, Yolanda Teresa Philgreen and Zainab Amadahy.

For more info: www.ipsmo.org

Porcupine Story

She is a tired soul.  Beautiful.  Too beautiful to hold and keep in one place.  Why she loved the darkness and speaking about oppression.  The ancestors surround and support her.  She can hear the pulse of the heart beat of Mother Earth.

She is a bourgeoisie woman.  She is a proletariat woman. She is a rich bitch woman.  She is a poor trailer trash woman.  She is a country woman.  She is a rural woman.  She is a ghetto woman. She is a rez woman.  All stigmatized in a white male patriarchal culture.  Never allowed to fully be herself.  

Porcupine sits outside her window and listens.

Lighting a candle.  The candle sits on her window sill.  No one listens to her story.  Instead they listen to the buzz of the street lights, car going by and the chatter in their own head.

The candle is lit and the story is about the ancestors who appear as others.  Who appear as a friend, a winged one or a four footeded friend.  They sit and listen.  The fly and listen, deliver messages to others.  Non-linear time.

Her story.  Her experience.  Her voice.

Slowly she can feel that she can rise above.  Society's structures bury her.  That is the goal.  Fire in her hands.  Fire to build.  Fire to tend to.

Porcupine sits outside her window and listens.

The medicine sometimes is no medicine.  Sometimes to sit and listen.  To feel the quiet and be uncomfortable with loneliness.  Medicine can make us sick to purge the old.

She was certain that the land was speaking through her.  The old systems were not of importance.  The land had a voice that not many people could listen to.  Only those who honored the land.

Write.  Write fiercely, furiously and feverishly.  Write as a revolution.  Write for survival.

Dimming streetlight.  Sounds outside are loud.

Her story is the story of the porcupine outside the window listening.

Interviewed by Ankhesen Mié

I'm back!  I was recently interviewed by Ankhesen Mié on her blog At the Bar!

Check out the interview...

Readers may recognize Cecelia LaPointe as blogger Anishinaabekwe and fellow bar patron, know for her soulful, haunting writing style and up-to-date posts on Native American news. It was a great honor to complete this interview with her.

You’ve commented at the bar a few times, and some of the readers know who you are and visit your blog.  But we get new patrons all the time, so tell us a few things about yourself.

I am a proud Anishinaabekwe of mixed heritage and I strongly identify with my Ojibway/Anishinaabe roots.  As an Anishinaabekwe I have a huge responsibility to the Great Lakes, water and land as a “keeper of the water.”  I am a jingle dress dancer which is a healing dance.  I identify as gender non-conforming and Two Spirit.

I am an author, poet, writer, and healer.  I am a lifelong activist.  Prior generations paved the path of activism in my family and this includes a union organizer, civil rights activist, and being raised in a union blue collar home.  My activism started at age twelve when I spoke out against gentrification in my hometown at city commission meetings.  Currently my activism spans Native American rights, preserving Anishinaabemowin (the Ojibway language), women’s rights (specifically Native American women’s rights), and GLBTQ rights.  I have participated in peace walks, take back the night walks and mobilized others in get out the vote in the 2008 Presidential election on reservations in rural South Dakota.  Personally I believe that there is always a way to “take action” whether it is advocating for yourself, attending a rally, signing petitions or calling your representatives.

In my leisure I enjoy running, hiking in the Michigan forests, writing poetry, reading, and drinking tea.