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How many of us have to to die, go missing, be raped before justice listens? The blood our people have spilled have wet the ground for centuries. Our children have been stolen, our families shattered and our land taken all due to the arrogance of white men.

To this day our people have been made to live in fear, a fear that has been driven, beaten, shot, stabbed and raped into our very bodies. In the last 500 years our identities have been bombarded by men who are called pillars of our history. Their statues litter the land, a reminder of the atrocities they committed and fawned over by their ancestors.

The schools tried to erase us, the men with white collars, callous hearts and empty souls, the sting of their violations like ripples in a pool lasting generations. They taught hate in schools, they created Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier and thousands like them. They created ignorance that we feel even today.

Our two faced politicians who shed tears, kiss babies and at the same time deny our children basic human rights. Their tears buying our votes with empty promises and back room deals, selling away our children, our land and our souls.

We never forgot, the generations of genocide would not let us. “A good Indian is a dead Indian” the man on the radio says, his words are like the stones thrown at women, children and elders during the Crisis. The violence we experienced that day was just another chapter in the long history of massacres, land theft, stolen children and degradation.

The change that our two faced politicians talk about is the trickle down economics of social change, I say trickle down because like every other promise it doesn’t exist. I grow tired of the fight but I know that we must continue. We are the symbol of the voice yet to be born. The words of our elders continue to lead us, guide us like they always have on the path towards growth.

We must continue to educate and fight the ignorance that permeates every corner of our society. It’s the idea that must be destroyed, the idea of white supremacy which has plagued our land for centuries. Growth cannot happen without truth and that cannot happen without honesty. To have true honesty our society will have to look in the mirror and acknowledge that of which most of them cannot, that hate exists.

We must acknowledge that white supremacy helped Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier commit and get away with their horrific crimes. Change will only happen when we no longer allow fear to hold us back, to keep our mouths shut. Change will happen when we look at each other as equals and help one another to heal, to grow and to teach.

We are not defined by a stereotype, we are not the alcoholic, the drug addict, the sex worker, or the homeless person. We are teachers, doctors, social workers, lawyers and Chiefs. We are actors, writers, poets, singers and Djs. But most importantly we are nations of people, people that have been the stewards of this land for a millennia.

The Gas Lighter

You came into my life wearing a mask, with this mask you covered yourself in lies and manipulations. You were loud, obnoxious and charming, you called yourself a Queen.. but you were anything but. You pretended to be my friend, helped me when no one else would. Made rely on you, made me trust you and when you had your claws in me only then did your true colours begin to show.

You started hitting me but I wouldn’t defend myself, like the bullies of old I had become a man filled with fear and anxiety. When I asked you to stop you began using words to belittle me and cut me to the bone. Still I did nothing, paralyzed by the mistakes of the past, mistakes that you used to keep your hold on me.

When you started to touch me, I did not know what to do and every time you did I was 8 years old again being assaulted by my neighbour. I did not know what to do, you controlled the information. So I stayed silent, too afraid of what you would do. Belittled by your words I became further lost and just when I thought it couldn’t get worse….you raped me.

It began when you threatened to hurt yourself, that you would do something crazy if I didn’t let you have me. I wanted to say no but I knew if I did I would lose friends and my anxiety, my fear made me say yes. You would use that excuse to rape me again and again, it got to the point that I would cringe every time I saw your name come up on my view screen.

Whenever I started dating you would get mad, call them whores and various other names. You hated what they represented, they were a barrier between you and me so you did your best to dehumanize them, call them names, try and make me feel the same way. You wanted me for yourself, what was it you said to me. “All the work I’ve put in to you and you choose the whore.”

That was the moment, the moment I saw a crack of light and the light was freedom.

You began to make mistakes, your lies became more transparent and I became stronger. The abuse got worse as did your lies until one day a war between us broke out. But this time I had words of my own, years of pain broke free and like a mighty river I broke out of the prison you put me in. Every time you tried to deflect my words it only made my resolve stronger. Until you blamed me for everything, making it out to be my fault.

That was the moment I woke up, like a prisoner in solitary confinement I was finally free. That crack of light became a gaping hole and when stepped through I felt my sins wash away, I was wounded but I was free.

I ended my connection to you that day and now nearly 4 years later the scars have begun to heal. You are a simple afterthought and empty person who loves only himself and who needs a mask to hide his shame, his insecurity, his cowardice.

Today I breath freely knowing that you cannot hurt me. Though the damage you caused still prevents from allowing love into my life I have at least learned to love myself and those around me. And even after all the pain you caused me I feel that I can say this.

I forgive you.

I say this not for you but for me. I know now that it was never my fault and I refuse to carry this pain for another day. You can’t hurt me, you don’t scare me and you never will. My life is filled with people who love me and who treat me with dignity. That breath of fresh air that passes through me every morning is me knowing that I am on the path the Creator set out for me, a path of forgiveness, dignity and most of all….love!

The Old Man

 

The old man sits and waits, staring at an empty canvas. A canvas that awaits his thoughts, his fears, his pain and his love.

The old man drifts from thought to thought. At first he sees his cold mother and distant father, he sees the train station being leveled by the bombs of a madman.

He sees himself running through the fields where bodies have fallen. The ground wet by the tears of those who survived. He sees himself taken away by those in black with white collars, he remembers the sting of their violations.

He tries to escape but the scars remain, spreading through his body like a plague, it denies him speech and it fills him with hate. When the madman’s bombs cease to fall he is allowed to leave but part of him remains in that building of shame.

He is not the same when he sees family again, for the scars remain as well as the shame. The old man stares at the empty canvas, remembering everything stolen from him, his love, his beauty, his voice.

He falls down.

Until love reaches out and extends her hand to him, she helps him find his voice, his beauty and his love. She helps to stand and for a time the canvas is filled with love and beauty. But the scars remain.

Love is not strong enough, she soon becomes overwhelmed. His pain, his shame forces her to flee. He is alone once again, his canvas is empty again.

His voice starts to die, he starts to cry. He falls. He cannot heal for he knows not how, years go by and his canvas remains dry. The scars remain. Until one day…

There is a knock at the door, it is the old mans son with scars of his own. The son tells his father that he forgives him, that he may have scars but they do not define him.

The father begins to cry, for no one had ever told him that forgiveness was allowed. The shame had taught him that. The son tells him that he can heal once he begins to forgive himself.

How says the old man

Speak! Says his son, speak until the scars have no power. He begins to speak, and colors begin to appear on the canvas, soon fields of green meadows and blue sky’s explode across the canvas.

All the while the man is speaking, he talks about the mad man and his bombs. The men in black with white collars and the soldiers weeping for their lost friends. About the love that tried to rescue him.

Soon the canvas fills the room with images of beauty and color, the beauty that was trapped in his soul, the beauty that is now free.

Old man begins to cry and his son asks why? These are not tears of pain says the father but of disappointment. I’m an old man he says, I’ve been a prisoner for so long. But today you are not says the son, today you are free.

The father smiles, what is it asks his son. I need another canvas for tomorrow he says for there is more to say.

 

Featured image by Will Beljaars

Living the Dream

Inspired by Tina Fontaine

Living the Dream

I’m living the dream, the dream where women are are free, free to explore themselves, be themselves before the vicious white patriarchy cuts them down for sport.

These women are beautiful, these women are fierce. They laugh at the inevitable violence every one of them will face. They laugh because they know that it cannot last.

One by one their beauty is carved up for the masses to consume, thier spark swallowed by the holy violence of their male oppressors. The never ending cycle of youth taken away from the breast of life to be fed to the machine.

These beautiful women of colour where society discards them like trash, sold like slaves to white families with picket fences that hide atrocities that no woman should face.

Soulless, loveless the machine knows what it wants, it wants our young beautiful women, our future.

The ones who survive are the ones who beat the machine, they become the teachers for the ones taken away to live the dream.

Respect is four letter word.

Inspired by the Colton Boushie verdict.
Respect


Respect is four letter word.


There is no respect when one of us is shot.
There is no respect when our children are taken away.

There is no respect when one of us goes missing or is murdered.

There is no respect when we have no drinking water and live in 3rd world shacks.
There is no respect when the RCMP break down our doors and throw our elders to the floor.
There is no respect when it is okay for a white man to kill us and the media tells everyone we are to blame.

There is no respect.
There is apathy.
There is ignorance.
There is violence.
There is death.
There is silence.

But


There is a voice born everyday.
A community that continues to grow.
There is an elder who continues to teach.
And there is a path we must continue to walk.

There is a fire in our hearts that will never go out.
And those voices born today will teach those born tomorrow that we will never fail.
Because together we will have justice in this life or the next for this path never ends.