Refusing Patriarchy

Ambe Refusing Patriarchy

I’m re-releasing this episode for a couple of reasons, the transcript is finally finished and the anti-trans directive in Texas has made parenting a trans child reportable. People have said that it is only the medical interventions that are reportable, but that’s not how mandated reporting works. Mandated reporting does not require you to know that abuse is taking place, it only requires a good faith belief or suspicion. And having framed medical interventions for trans children as child abuse, if the child you knew as Emma is now Ethan that’s all you need.

And if you aren’t in Texas, you should consider how your state or province is watching this. How they define abuse and neglect in such malleable ways that allow for bigotry to result in reports to Child Welfare and to police. These reports, and the mandating of these reports, is violence.

In this episode you will hear from Black, White, and Indigenous people. They are queer and straight, cis and trans. They are all talking about the various ways in which they refuse patriarchy and assert space, but also about the cost of that refusal. The violence, both emotional and physical, that happens and the concerns about how they are able to show up in places where they should feel safe.

This is an important consideration for those of us who consider ourselves to be friends, allies, or accomplices. Are we willing to let them carry the entire burden of that cost just because it isn’t “our fight?” If they are our friends, it is our fight.

You're listening to Aambe: a year of Indigenous Reading

All right, so we are going to be talking about refusing the patriarchy today. Um, I started off thinking about Mother's Day, and thinking about mothers, and then thinking about, well, what does it mean to live in this world as a mother, when you don't necessarily fit that mold. Because lots of people take on mothering roles, right, without necessarily, you know, kind of being what we might think of as a conventional mother. You know, so lots of people taking on mothering roles, lots of people living outside of what we, you know, we would think of as a gender binary, you know, and so I'm, and we often talk that way about, you know, women and LGBTQ people, like we're all kind of lumped together into one group. And so then I started doing that, and I'm not sure that that's really okay, either.

Then I started thinking, Okay, well, how are we all navigating the patriarchy, we're all kind of working our way through it. And then I didn't really like that, because that sounded too much like patriarchy is legitimately in charge of everything, and it really isn't. So, then I thought, okay, we're resisting the patriarchy. And still, that sounded wrong. That sounded like, they're still this big authority. And then I remembered a conversation I had with Brianna, Urena Revelo. We've had her on the pod a couple of times. And she talks about refusal and the politics of refusal. And that's how I landed on refusing the patriarchy.

Because we are going to live our own lives, and our own terms, as mothers, as not mothers, as people who provide care in our communities. We're going to do that on our own terms, and the patriarchy can just do whatever it needs to do. So, yes, we’re smashing the patriarchy. Ernestine ended the Memoir conversation: “Decolonize and smash the patriarchy.”

So I'm gonna kind of go around and have everybody introduce themselves, and we're gonna start with Jenssa because she's, gonna leave us shortly to manage a chat room, which will probably be quiet today, because I completely forgot that this was this week. I thought it was next week. Oops. Thanks, Nick. Nick sent me a message yesterday, saying, hey, so there a link. How's this gonna work? And I'm like, holy ** that’s tomorrow. But that's okay. It will live forever on twitch and be released as a podcast. Everybody had a chance to hear our genius.

So Jenessa


It's just gonna be me talking to myself in the chat room. That's great. So I am Jenessa. Hello. I feel like I should have like a fun fact. Every time I come on here, because I come on here. Every, every, every month. And I'm like, Hi, I'm Jenessa This is the book goodbye. I don't have a fun fact right now. But anyway. Oh, I met Patty on Twitter. Fun fact. I feel like a lot of you probably did, too. I read Tanya Tagaq book, Split Tooth. And it was it was really good. It was really hard to read. I remember I got it. And I was like, super pumped. And I told Patty, I got it. And she's like, Yeah, it'll be a heavy one. I was like, Okay. And it was it was really heavy.

But it was it was really good. It was beautifully written. I'm really happy that I was able to read it. And some of the things that I was sort of, I guess, thinking about when I was reading it. Well, one thing is I feel like I need to reread it again to like fully like grasp. Like, I feel like there's some really deep themes in here that kind of maybe went over my head a little bit on the first read. But one of the things that I thought was like interesting was, well, there's two things. She has a poem in here that's written in her language. And I think it's really cool and powerful that she doesn't give, there's no translation for it. It's just there. And I'm like, that's, I was like, Oh, that's really neat. It's kind of like, I feel like when I read a book, I just want everything to be like, given to me, which is very selfish. Like I kind of center myself a little bit when I'm reading a book and I was like, oh, it's it's like, it's not about me. They're not giving me the translation. This is just here. It's beautiful.

And, and then the main character in the book is, she becomes a mother. She's a girl who becomes a mother. And I remember I was reading through it and I actually went back and like reread, because I was like, who's the father? She never says who the father is. And I don't know why. But for some reason that was really unsettling for me. And I was like, why is why is this so why is this such a big deal for me? Why do I need to like know who the dad is? Like, it's like, Oh, yeah. Anyway, those are just two, two thoughts that I sort of had about the book. But I was like, I don't need to know everything. I don't need to know who the dad is, and why I don't even know why that's why that's such a big why why? Why is that important for me? Yeah, okay, I've talked enough. There's a lot of you here, and I'm sure you'll have many more cool and exciting things to say, here.

Patty: Hey, Angela.


Hi, this is new. I've never done anything like this before. But I've been on her show before. So I'm really, really pleased. I read everybody's bio. So I'm very excited about all of you. Getting to hear from all of you. The book that I have been reading, and it's called um How We Fight, White Supremacy. And I've been reading it on and off for a year. And be for two reasons. I've been reading a lot of other books, but I keep coming back to this book, because it's written from all Black writers from the United States. And they're just connecting points for me, and how I live my life and raising my son on my own who's Black Indigenous, and feeling isolated. And probably from my upbringing being raised in a white family to being here and not having a community. So I have felt in particularly this last year, that real need for community and this book has given me that.

It there are there's points where I laugh, there's points where I cry. When this woman was describing her experience with a coach calling her Aunt Jemima, you know, I went back to my childhood and my white mother dressed me as Aunt Jemima for Halloween and just, you know, and feeling like, Okay, I'm not like the only one. And I think that with everything that's been going on this year and watching my son have some not great experiences with the police here in Vancouver. It's just allowed me to land in a place where a Black voice, it's Black art, like there's a really great comic strip in there, there's, you know, it talks about an all Black store that sells Black dolls, which I think and I had my first Black doll until I was like five or until I was 10 didn't even know they existed.

And talking also about the connection of Black hair. From from an African standpoint where it was really you know, hair defined what tribe you came from, it defined status, it was a way a means of communication. And, you know, I held the inceptions of hair that I've had from you know, my Tina Turner look to, you know, now dreads and Grace Jones for a while and that I'm really dating myself, there. So, all of that. It really explored that idea of identity and then watching my son who's you know, had the big afro and has cornrows and trying to figure out his Black Indigenous identity through his hair and those connecting points. So I just keep going back to this book. For those reasons. I read it and keep reading it and keep reading it and it was just a lovely gift from somebody that really felt would be good for me and so I appreciate when people give you books because it's it really is an act of love.


Well, gifts are the best gifts


Tansi everyone. [Cree introduction] So I'm Sean Kinsella. And I just introduced my clan, which is Migizi. I'm also you can't really see my hair, but I'm wearing little migizi earrings on tonight. And that's my adopted Ojibwe clan. Because I'm actually plains Cree and Soto and Metis. And we didn't necessarily have clans in the same way, although I hear whisperings that when we're speaking about the sort of refusing patriarchy that, you know, there's like some some oral histories there about clans we may or may not have had. But I've been on this territory, which is sort of around .. and I was born in Toronto, my whole life. And so over time, I've developed relationships with folks here and, and developed enough that that was honored with an adoption. So that's important, I think, to introduce myself, because it tells you who I stand with on this territory. And it tells you a little bit about who my family are.

My family is also folks who signed and relatives who signed Treaties four, six and eight. So that gives you some geographical representation, you know, where those treaties are just around sort of the Plains and the Battle River Cree, as well.

So that the I've sort of read two books on this list, Half Breed, which is a seminal Metis work. And, and The Two Spirit Journey by Ma-Nee Chacaby. Both of them, I think are, you know, speaking of Split Tooth, so just sort of like an aside, I am also still reading Split Tooth, but Split Tooth is one of those books that is so beautiful, that I can't bear to finish it. And similarly, I know he's been on this program before, there's a fantasy trilogy by Daniel Heath Justice as well, that is the same that I just I read it so slow, because I don't want it to end because as a work, it's just so beautiful, and something that when I was younger, I really wished that I had more access to you in terms of that kind of literature and that kind of thinking and world building really.

So I think within both Half Breed and Ma-Ne’s book, you know, they are difficult reads, they are folks who have experienced a tremendous amount of violence, due to patriarchy, and finding a place in the world. In a world that doesn't want them to exist, you know, and so for road allowance people, you know, for, for folks who have that history, and that's a pretty hidden history, like a lot of people, I think, when they read Half Breed, and Maria Campbell's work, you know, I mean, that's maybe the first time that they've ever even heard of the fact that, that that was a thing, that that was a policy, and then it hopefully makes you dig into some of the history there around what created sort of road allowance people and why, Metis, and you know, in our bigger kinship structure of like Metis Soto Cree, people were removed from our territories. So that's a piece of it.

And I remember, I work at Centennial College, and I was part of a textbook that we put together like an Open Source Textbook. And one of the chapters that I wrote was a Two Spirit chapter. And we had the privilege of interviewing Ma-Ne as part of that chapter. And so I remember, you know, part of that interview was her really defining Two Spirit, which was really cool to be in the room for because I had read the book, right, so I'm like, Oh, this is really neat to see how that reflects. But I remember Ma-Ne’s words of just that have always stuck with me of, of her grandmother, you know, telling, telling her that, you know, this, this idea of being Two Spirited of not fitting into those very easy boxes and binaries, that, that it's going to be hard, it's going to be a hard life.

And I think about particularly for myself, am I introduce myself, I told you that I was a agueo, which is a Cree way of saying sort of, one who kind of sits between those genders. You know, I can empathize with that idea that it is a hard, it is a hard life. And so I think it was really important for me, you know, and I also like, know Ma-Ne, from sort of, like, circles and sort of like in the Two Spirit community in Toronto, when she comes down to visit with us.

So, you know, I think that as a representation is critically important. And as a book was, was really important, you know, and I think it's also recognizing to you that, you know, there aren't a lot of there aren't a lot of Two Spirit elders around or people who are talking about about that in that way. And I think so. So I think Ma-Ne is such a treasure and then I also think, you know, that what Ma-Ne talks about in your book because I know a little about about a her is a person like those things also have an ended, right. So it's not like the book ended and it's like a happy ending. It's also like, you know, Ma-Ne is a person who right now actually needs community support around that. medical stuff and we're seeing calls that go up for that. So I think, you know, it's also I think I think about, it's this interesting thing of getting to read these amazing Indigenous authors who are such pillars in our community, but then also recognizing that they're humans, you know, and they’re people who, who also have experienced a lot of a lot of, you know, refusal of patriarchy in lots of different ways. So, that's what I'll say about those for now. But yeah, those are, those are very, very powerful books.


I haven't read, I haven't read Ma-Ne’s book yet. I shouldn't have to thank Nick for putting that one on the list. Nick is here because they kept recommending books. For the list that it was great because they recommended really good books, the recommended Ma-Ne’s book, and also Reproductive Justice, which is not written by an Indigenous woman, but is written by somebody who spent a lot of time on the Pine Ridge Reservation building relationships initially going to you know, uh, you know, to be a helper, the way a lot of church and academic university and college groups will go to be helpers, and she wound up forming relationships and going back again, and and again and again. And using her position and she actually she, you know, she is connected to them now, because her child is, the father of her child is from Pine Ridge. So, you know, she even has that connection there now. So she wrote this really good book called Reproductive Justice, which was the one that I read most recently. But yeah, so many Ma-Ne Chacaby's book is on my list. I'm really glad that you read that and can talk about it. So Nick, why don't you introduce yourself and talk about the books you read or partly red?


Hey, my name is Nick, I use they them pronouns. And I am a white Jewish settler on Karankawa, Coahuiltecan, Atakapa-Ishak, and Sana land, which is Houston, Texas, and I am non binary, transgender, and I use they them pronouns, and I'm also bisexual, and in a queer marriage. So that's kind of where I, that's kind of where I come from, and where I, you know, my position in life, and a lot of the work I do is actually around abortion access specifically for transgender people, but just abortion access in general in Houston because it can be kind of hard to access.

So that's kind of my connection to like refusing patriarchy, I read, Split Tooth, and I read part of Reproductive Justice. And what was interesting about reading them together, is that as Patty talked about reading books in conversation with one another, I kind of accidentally did that, because I was just kind of switching back and forth, because I have ADHD. And it actually ended up dovetailing really, really well. Because at the end of the Split Tooth near the end, you have the birth scene, which I thought was one of a just a really hauntingly beautifully written scene. And like that scene, like several scenes, but that scene in particular, like, I just could see it, you know, and like, so her birthing experience, like she called the shots, right, like she made a birthing experience for herself. That was, you know, that was right for her and for her children. And, you know, it was kind of the spiritual, traditional, you know, the spiritual traditional birthing experience she wanted. And she had both the emotional and familial support, but she also had like this supernatural support of like, the Northern Lights and like the supernatural element there.

And I contrasted that with, I read the chapter in Reproductive Justice, about people talking about their birthing experiences. And, you know, like, people had different things to say. But, you know, one, one kind of theme was deprivation, with the Indian Health Service, cutting costs and frankly, cutting corners with what they weren't offering, like they weren't offering epidurals at their hospital. And so they didn't have all of the options and the the very nearest hospital didn't even have the ability to do a C section. Um, so you've got this you've got this issue where like, people are being prevented from doing the birthing experience that would be absolutely best for them by this government entity that, you know, this settler colonial government, that this kind of ongoing, you know, ongoing colonization and ongoing oppression.

So, reading those two things in conversation with one another were were it was actually really powerful. Um, and now, one thing in that chapter in Reproductive Justice that I want to say is that a lot of people, like had some positive things to say about their birthing experience as well, it wasn't all negative. A lot of them referenced here, a lot of the people interviewed did feel like they got what they needed. But it's just the background of knowing, the background of knowing that they are prevented from, from some things that would be really beneficial to them.


So So reading those two things together was really cool. Going back to Split Tooth. So normally, I don't mind marking up books, but I actually put sticky notes in this instead, which I do sticky notes on books that I mark up as well. But I put sticky notes on here, because I want other people to read this. And I don't want my thoughts to be on the page for them to like, Oh, Nick thinks this is important. I'm going to focus on this thing that they underlined, I want people to approach this book for what it is on their own terms and kind of get what it from it what they need to. And I will probably reread this book, it was a very difficult read, because of some of the violence that the narrator goes through. And that is difficult to read. But it's just it's just such a beautiful book. And I've read a lot of books in my life and I don't think I've ever read anything quite like this. So I would definitely I would definitely recommend it.


Yeah, that's crucial. There's a lot of very difficult, tragic stuff in Split Tooth, and yet just so poetically written that she just keeps pulling you along. It's a lovely book. And Tate who is the author of one of the essays in the book Fierce, and actually, I loved that essay so much because you go back to two beginnings, and the woman actually that I met on Pine Ridge, who took me to Wounded Knee. Her name is Pte San Win. So that's just kind of cool. If you could introduce, talk a little bit about yourself in that essay and whatever else you want,


sir, thanks for having me on. appreciate being here. [Introduction in Lakota] I introduce myself in Lakota. I am Mini Konju Lakota from Cheyenne River Sioux tribe in South Dakota, where I'm a citizen. But I live here in sunny Phoenix, where it's 100 something today I’ve been outside. I work for a local tribal school district. So we were out and about today, the last day of school and but in my spare time, I consider myself a storyteller. I should also note my pronouns are they them.

But as we talk about some of this like disrupting of patriarchy, things like that I they them pronouns have been around for a while, but I've been, as I learned more about my Lakota foundations I have been reclaiming a lot of the feminine aspects that I kind of pushed aside for a long time as sort of like, trying to disrupt some of those cis heteronormative notions lots of folks have, and sort of claiming the two spirits and then saying, you know, “no femininity.” But like I said, as I been learning more about my Lakota foundations, been sort of coming back to my caretaker role as ina or mother, and have really loved that part of myself as I'm getting to know it better and better, especially as my own child is coming to understand their own identity, and recently came out as trans non binary, and how femininity sort of in sort of inspires I guess, a lot of those decisions we've made in our family about queerness and, and learning about Two Spiritedness. So, happy to be here. I apologize. I didn't read any of the books but you mentioned my essay.

So, I, I've been a newspaper journalist for geez going on 17 years now, I guess, I feel old I have to keep adding numbers, but been more of a freelancer the last decade or so. And then, in addition to that been writing actual things in books, which is really exciting. And one of those was the essay that was was in Fierce and that was 2018 published. And we won several awards, it was pretty cool, very intersectional collection of writings, mine focused on Pte San Win, who is known as a White Buffalo Calf Woman, I think it's a story that's often told, by even non Lakota people. I've even met someone down here in the Phoenix Valley talking about how their southwest traditions have a similar deity. So that's interesting. But to Pte San Win, White Buffalo Calf Woman is somebody who I guess, inspired a lot of any success I would have in my life, whether it was storytelling, or just like overcoming challenges was from sort of those foundations. She's known in Lakota spirituality world more for the gifts she gave to, like our ceremonies. So like, the sacred pipe is a big one that a lot of folks know her for. Also, like the tossing of the ball or puberty ceremonies, wiping of the tears, things like that were lessons that she gave us a couple generations ago.

But one thing that's often lost in those tales is sort of this innate matriarchal power that she's infused with. Her first foray into human world really is essentially smiting down, a warrior who is sent to sort of investigate who she is. She's naked. And he has impure thoughts. That's depending on the storyteller, it gets more detailed than that. But essentially, he's like, Oh, naked woman, let's get it. And she's like, F you and totally just like smites him. He's nothing but bones and dirt and bugs. And again, people embellish, it gets fun.

And it was a story I heard when I was a troubled teen, if you will, I had just come out as, I didn't have language like non binary, or Two Spirit. I just knew I liked girls in addition to boys, but if you like girls in Bismarck, North Dakota, you were a lesbian capital L. And they put you into a religious camp to go hate yourself. Anyway, so I was in a group home, and they decided because we had a lot of native kids in this group home that we were, we should have native, native culture outings, if you will. So they brought us to a sweat lodge, none of us had really ever been to one in this story of Pte San Win was told. And that part was sort of brought out to the to, as highlighted, right. So guys, make sure you respect women because they'll just kill you one day. Not the right message. But it was funny and it lasted with me. And it's sort of just always stuck with me throughout my life. So that sort of feminist Foundation, if you will, is what sort of that's that's, that's I brought that with me through through my entire life. And Split Tooth is on my book list. So that's, I'm excited to hear more about it. Get all the spoilers.


I think it's gonna be on everybody's book list. I see a couple few people in the chat commenting on that as well that they're gonna have to add it to their list. It is it is an extraordinary book. Finally, Robin, Dr. Robin.


Tansi [Cree introduction] Thank you so much for having me back into space Patty. As you can see, this time I actually got dressed and didn't show up in my jammies like I did last time. So I'm just so glad to be on this panel with all of you. Where do I start? I am Cree from northern Alberta. My family is actually from Treaty eight territory. So Sean, as soon as you said that I knew where we're going. I have connection in a few different communities in that territory. I am also connected through my children to the Six Nations of the Grand River. So that is also a very important part of our family. I am by day, an associate professor in the Center for Women in Gender Studies at Brock but I recently was appointed our Acting Vice Provost of Indigenous engagement and so on I'm so glad to be talking about this.

And Patty, I hope you don't mind. I mean, I've read so many of the books that we talked about earlier talking about. And you know, I spent a lot of time with The Beginning and The End of Rape by Sarah Deere, like, I've worked with Sarah and I could talk about that. But I've been when I came to this today was thinking about what it's like to refuse patriarchy and what the consequences look like for people. Because I've been experiencing that a lot lately. I wrote an article last April where I took a pretty big stand, and maybe talked about white male terrorism, and ended up having my life threatened having my kids’ life threatened, having my job threatened, you name it. And it's come back now to haunt me, as the Vice Provost. And I recently been targeted by Jonathan Kay for challenging colonial patriarchy.

So, I've been thinking a lot about that, and what it takes, and you know, at an individual level, because, you know, I've done this, I've been an activist longer than I've been an academic, I started working on violence against Indigenous women and girls, like 20 plus years ago now, because I, myself am a survivor of the violence, I was sexually exploited in my late teens in Vancouver. And so I've been fighting this a long time on the ground, first of all, and now I'm in this weird academic institutional setting, where there's these big structural changes, and I'm facing off like I this is like, it just feels like a game, a constant game.

And so when I was thinking about refusing patriarchy tonight, I was thinking about the consequences of that, which I think show up in the books. So when I think about Maria Campbell, and I think about her refusals of patriarchy at times and the consequences that comes with, its, you know, that's kind of what I've been thinking about a lot lately. And how do we, how do we resist that? And how do we do that together, so that we're not leaving people out by themselves to fight this horrible system that really does bite back in a big way, like I you know, and just vicious and cruel, and through technology and threatening every aspect of your life, like I never imagined that would ever happen to me.

And so I've been thinking about that a lot, and how this connects and how brave we have to be as people to stand, take a stand. And, you know, for me, it's all about my Cree teachings, which actually say, you have to.  Right?  That if you see something that's wrong, and it's going to affect not only your children, but everyone's children. And it's going to affect us in a bad way, you have to take a stand. And so I'm always stuck in this limbo going, I have to take a stand. But also, you know, I'm going to get death threats, I'm going to be at a security level. So that's kind of what I've been thinking about, and what that means for disrupting all these systems of oppression. Because I just see so much how this keeps us all apart. Right? And how we don't link these things together and don't make those connections and then don't fight together. And so that's, that's where my head is tonight and thinking about the topic. And so I think I'll stop there, because I'm really eager to hear what other people have to say. Thank you.


Yeah, I mean, we briefly shared a troll on on Twitter, but he did not target me the way he the way he targeted you. I hope it has a good resolution, because it really, when you take a stand, you know, like you had said it kind of reverberates through all of these books in terms of you know, sticking up for yourself and standing. There's a price to pay. There's a price and sometimes that price lands on lands on other people lands on our children, it lands on other relatives, it lands on partners.

You know, I was just thinking, you know, there's, the three quotes that I pulled up from Sarah Deer, as I was looking for quotes coming up, where she talks about rape the lives of native women is not an epidemic of recent mysterious origin. It's a fundamental result of colonialism, a history of violence reaching back centuries. She says rape is a more fundamental threat to self determination of tribal nations than the drawbacks federal than than the drawbacks federal reform could ever be. You know, they trespassed her body like they trespass this land. She's quoting Ryan Redcorn in that,

And, you know, sexual violence and the violence that we are threatened with, because even when we're not, you know, deliberate,, you know, kind of overtly experiencing that transgression that, yes, all women, you know, and, you know, also, you know, also Two Spirited non binary people are also targeted in much the same way. The threat of that is all, that can be enough. Oh, we don't need to actually physically experience it, the threats that land in our email boxes that land in our Twitter DMs, you know, it's a very convenient way to threaten and, you know, so it was just I found her book really really extraordinary.

So what I know we've kind of talked about the books that we've read, but now that we've kind of heard what everybody has said, Is there anything in the you know, in the book that you read, or in what you've heard, that is striking you, as, you know, in maybe a different way, or that kind of surprised you something that was unexpected in in the book that you read, or what your, or, you know, the essay you wrote, as you approached to your essay and your thinking would go one way, you know, was it something that surprised you and what you read or what you. We’ll start with Sean, we're just gonna go clockwise around the new screen now that I've adjusted the size of my screen and rearranged you.


I don't think there was any, like, it was neat to see Ma-Ne’s story, I don't know that there was anything that surprised me in it. I think the I think the tenderness I think of her grandmother, I think, did. And I think in particular, like in the context of the story, and her life, her grandmother was a person who accepted her. And I will say, as a Two Spirit person, you know, that was actually quite heartwarming, because a lot of times, some of our most like, intimate rejections are from family members. And this was a grandmother and, and a knowledge keeper who, you know, just accepted Ma-Ne for who she was and how she was, and then tried to explain to her sort of like, what, what life was going to be like, and to prepare her.

And so, you know, I think so much of the rhetoric of traditional people is around a gender binary, so much of that rhetoric is around very cis normative, and, and, you know, mono normative pieces. So, you know, I think, something that that I really admire about Ma-Ne, and I think it goes into this sort of refusing patriarchy is just that, that she's a human who just lives her life and kind of refuses to do what other people say, and so carries on in the relationships that that she wants, and has a relationship with a variety of people and is like very clear about and frank about what that looks like, and sort of those relationships.

So I think that that was the thing that that that surprised me, and I think it reminded me, you know, because I think Ma-Ne is also someone who grew up with with folks who were quite isolated in the bush. So it reminds me of a little bit like how, you know, I think of folks in my own own family, like I have an ancestor whose name was a Ogimikwe, which translates basically, she was like a chief. And she was a self appointed Chief. So she just like, I want to be a leader now. And that's what she did. And her sons ended up being trading chiefs. And, you know, and I think there's this interesting sort of connection that I can talk about a little bit later to other other things that I'm thinking about. But I think, that notion of having relatives that accept you, of having a place, you know, I think, particularly for a Two Spirit narrative that that was not expected, because so many of the narratives that we have around Two Spirit identities, and I can think of other you know, even for lack of a better term, like younger, you know, Two Spirit authors that a theme often tends to be like rejection, and you have to create your own family, and, you know, no one on the reserves can accept you, like, no one a community can accept you.

And so, you know, I think it is actually why I think for those of us who are like older, not that I'm old, but older Two Spirit people why we have to radically accept youth, because you can see that really, and I don't think this is overestimate, like over stating the point, you know, I think Ma-Ne’s grandmother, like really saved her life. And I think that's the role that we have is a responsibility for for folks who were, you know, non binary and gender non conforming. And, you know, as I said earlier, agueo was how I, I identify, because really, like when we can play that role in someone's life, like it really is saving them. And so that's, I think, something that surprised me.


Angela, I know you didn't read one of the books on the list, but you read a book, you know, that speaks to you in terms of relationships, and, and safety. And as you're talking, Sean, I was thinking about something that came up in the Reproductive Justice book where she's talking about, I think it was in that book, I’m getting things mixed up. Tell because we often talk about cultural competency and it being contrasted with cultural safety. And, you know, a place where we can exist safely as opposed to around the experts that are competent and how to deal with that. So, as you were talking, that was kind of what I was thinking about. Creating these places of safety where we can be and Angela, you've talked a little bit about that with your son trying to create this place of safety. So what surprises you or tugs at you about about the book that you read?


Just, I didn't say much about myself in the beginning. So I'm just going to briefly do that, that I grew up in Ontario, Belleville, Ontario, and was adopted into a white family with four other black kids, my twin brother being one, and we were a product of being taken from our mother, who was a non landed immigrant. And were a part of a social experiment that was happening in Toronto, particularly in the 1960s. That carried over into the early 70s.

I'm now here in Vancouver, have been here for 22 years and have been had the pleasure of raising a beautiful boy who, who, who I see parallels in terms of our own struggle and isolation. So that has brought me to doing, I started out in human resources and now moving through, I studied addiction counseling and have decided I just want to write. So I think writing is an act of refusing the patriarchy. I really believe that and I think that this, and I think artists in general, and activism is that. And so this book speaks to me on that level, it surprised me in terms of the idea of writing as activism, because that's how I sort of I'm not I'm not necessarily somebody that goes out and, and protests. But I do. I think that what we're doing today, I think that, you know, speaking on a podcast, and and openly using the words white supremacy, is an act of refusing the patriarchy. So the title at first it that's spoke to me when it was given to me, but really, that is, it's about connecting with my people that I'm not necessarily connected to, who are fighting some of the things same things, even though they're in the States. We have been experiencing these things here, too, right?

There's a collectiveness around around trauma and lack of safety, but also resiliency. So it was just really great to see the resiliency of Black folks in this book doing what they what they are inspired to do, to support all other and not just Black folks. So that I think that surprised me very much of the book that it's not. It's all facing, it's all emotional facing and I appreciate that because it brings that up for me and allows me to be it's allowed me to be more real about myself and my experience. And I think that's why I keep going back to it.


What's the name of the book again?


It's called How We Fight White Supremacy.


I'm just gonna put it into the chat so that people can get it how we fight white supremacy. Yeah,


and so there's the author, the people that put it together Akiba Solomon, and can Kenrea Rankin and


you can send that to Janessa and she can get the author's and all that information. Absolutely. Briefly forgot that that's when we have Jenessa here.

Nick, what surprised you about the books that you read?


So um, I went into Split Tooth thinking that it was like a straight forward like memoir. And it was not um, it was really different from what I was expecting as far as like I wasn't really expecting like the supernatural element to it or not sure if supernatural is even the right term. But like kind of the other worldly sort of like, like communicating on you know, different planes with different you know, with with different aspects of the land in different you know, aspects of the environment.

And so, I definitely wasn't expecting that and I read some articles about it to try to like understand a little bit more and people compared it to Daniel Heath Justice’s wonder works from Why Indigenous Literature's Matter, the concept of Wonder Work that kind of defies categorization in like a colonial sense. And that truly like, I read that and I was like, Oh, that really explains a lot to me as far as like, just, it was so completely different from anything I had read before. Um, I guess I, I don't, I'm hesitant to say exactly what, what surprised me because I'm kind of hesitant to spoil the book, I think part of the journey of the book is being surprised by what happens. Um, but I was surprised, by the way that the way that she approached motherhood, and her motherhood journey, that was all very surprising to me, and I'll leave it at that.


Thank you, thank you, I think Tanya's comfort with the unseen and just how that was just such a, just another character in the book. Like, there wasn't. Yeah, and I find that with some, I think I'm finding that more with more Native authors now that it's not approached as this kind of weird spooky thing. It's just another character in you know, it's just, it's just there. But I think Tanya weaves it in in a really beautiful way and then maybe opens the door for more authors to be able to do that in in their own writing as well. It's, I'm gonna have to go back and read it. It's been a while. So it's been a while since I read it. I've had a couple of people had mentioned to me that they were planning on reading it and, and like I said you know, to both of you, it's like, okay, it's really raw. something you enjoy doing planned around the same time? I remember I remember being ..

Tate in your essay, what? What surprised you, as you as you wrote that, because we always have these ideas about the things that we're going to write, I'm in the midst of something myself. And really, it's kind of the book I picked. But now, there's a lot that changes.


Well, and that, like I mentioned, that Fierce came out in 2018. And since then, I've been writing while I finished my first full length, Thunder Thighs and Trickster Vibes: Storied Advice From Your Two Spirited Auntie. And I finished that and it was supposed to come out November 2020, the publisher got COVID. And it just got pushed back. And to the point where though, so I finished it like last February, and had all my stuff in there. And I'm, you know, was in love with it, you know, baby push it out. Um, but the COVID happened. And then, you know, Black Lives Matter, which had been happening, but I mean, just really, here in Phoenix, we got really into it. Mascots had a whole different trajectory. And then, you know, our my own family having some issues.

So like, several chapters in there were just, like, completely destroyed, and had to be like, reworked and I shouldn’t say destroyed, I think, you know, evolved, if you will, which, you know, is sort of life, right? We're sort of always in transition. And the book was just sort of more on that. So yeah, that's been rough. So with Fierce though. So I was asked to write on anything related to like Indigenous feminisms, or like, pick a, pick somebody you would you would you would claim, as you know, your hero who folks don't know about it sounds like well Pte San Win. And of course, the first thing was No, a real person. Like, well, they were, we have a pipe for proof of that one you gave us. And so that was that was kind of the first fight was like, she was real. Any questions?

You know, so that that was interesting. And, you know, like, “we need citations.” You know, how many white people have seen Pte San Win? We like, Well, none, but I have citations from several elders across generations. But the the biggest one was, to me was the pushback I received from editors on the sections where I wrote about the harms, inherent within white feminism, which is, of course, white supremacy in action in so many ways. And there was just a lot of like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, we gave you Pte San Win. We, you know, parentheses fake, but, um, you know, you were supposed to just talk about Indigenous feminism, we didn't want you to, you know, beat us all up, you know, I am a feminist and I am not, I'm white and I'm okay. And it'll became this sort of micro study of like, Well, what I'm talking about is actually what you're showcasing here and your editorial process, and so on.

Thankfully, we had a really great publisher who always had my back. And we were able to push through all my sections without any editorializing there or censoring, but it took a long time to have, you know, these nice white ladies nice white liberal ladies. Okay, you know, the discussion of things like, you know, the notion that being outside or being a caregiver, or you know, these things that we hold sacred, within, like, our ancestral stories in relationship with things like land or, you know, child rearing or just ideas and concepts of gender expansiveness, and how much those often fly in the face of, of white feminism of, you know, I don't want to be home, I want to, I want half a share in the, in the, the plantation, right? Like, I mean, that's white feminism in a nutshell, is that capitalist drive to own, if you will.

And that's just not, I mean, I'm preaching to the choir here. But so so my essay didn't, I wouldn't say it went super in depth into that stuff. But it was interesting to have the back, the back conversations with editors on, on how they were fitting into that model. And so then when we had like, the author readings and things like that, that conversation came up quite a bit, just in terms of, well, how does Indigenous feminism, you know, you know, isn't that an oxymoron, if you will? And no, I don't think it is. And I mean, I think maybe some people might start out with it being sort of, like, I'm an Indigenous person, and I'm a feminist, and I'm gonna, I don't know, advocate for, you know, corporations to hire more women in whatever, you know, and that's a bad example.

But essentially, like where we don't look at as intersectional a’la Kimberly Crenshaw, and how that can still harm sort of these movements that we've started with things like, oh, like the conversations, for instance, with missing and murdered Indigenous women, like that's been really evolving to talk about, like, missing and murdered indigenous relatives, and how we're, you know, we're just, we keep trying, right. And I think that's sort of the point. And again, when I go back to say, Pte San Win, we, and a lot of those teachings, it's always about change. It's always about how things are seasonal and evolutionary, right? I mean, even our language.

When I was a reporter, I did a story from Blackfoot scientist who was working on a Mars mission, and had his elder mother who was fluent in Blackfoot, Blackfoot create a dictionary of NASA terms. And it was really cool, because she was like, of course, we would have words for these, like, you know, people, like that's not traditional. You know, and we sort of get stuck in these like, has to be this way. And so anyway, going back to the Pte San Win teachings of just, you know, allow yourself to evolve and it happens. So, that essay, definitely, I think was a starting point to sort of my even own evolution of what it is to be Indigenous feminism, what that represents and how that changes and should change.


Thankyou you. Yeah, that's, um, I'm old. I read the Hood Feminism recently. And she talks about one of the quotes from her was for women of color, the expectation is that we prioritize gender over race, that we treat the patriarchy as something that gives all men the same power and that leaves us feeling very isolated. Because white feminism is arguably the patriarchy. You know, like you said, it's the it's the drive to own it's the, you know, 500 CEOs control all the world's wealth. Well, half of those CEOs should be women. No, that's not gonna save the world. That's not the kind of feminism that we need. That's not the kind of things you know, you know, that's not you know, that. That's not the redemption we're looking for.

Dr. Robin, what, in your research in your books because I think you said you've read we've read most of these and you've also done your own writing. What surprised you what what did you go into something expecting and then what gift did you get from it?


I don't think I don't ever know like as a writer, I don't think every anything ever turns out the way I want. But it turns out the way it should be. Although I really am glad Tate that you raised this because I just went through this horrible thing with a journal article about decolonizing #MeToo where I took on white feminism in Canada. And after two years of negotiating with the journal, I finally pulled the article because I'm not willing to go there.

And that's what I think, too, I want to share that same perspective, I'm always surprised by the backlash, even though I know it's probably like, every time, like, it's gonna be there, like, you can say anything about white folks, it's gonna come back at you. But I'm always surprised, and how virulent it is, and how forceful it is, and how, you know, vicious sometimes it can be. And that's always an interesting struggle when you're writing something like this, especially because I tend not to stray away from, I don't sugarcoat things. I don't have interest in that, you know, I've been really influenced by. I've worked with a lot of families of survivors, who've said, you know, we don't want you to exploit our story. But we also don't think people deserve like a sugar-coated version of what colonial violence is. Because we all have to live with it. So, so should everybody else and I find the resistance is stunning editors, publishers, audience, all of that students, faculty, you name it, is constant.

And it actually led me back to thinking about revisiting Halfbreed. Because I don't know about all of you, but have read was one of those first books I read. In fact, I think I actually have a first edition. And then to come back and realize, you know, it took what, you know, many years for them to actually release the version that was supposed to happen. And it had me thinking about the problematics of writing, especially for marginalized scholars, like, you know, the whole reason Maria Campbell is forced into the genre of autobiography is because the time publishers wouldn't print anything else, they directed all Indigenous peoples towards that category. In fact, that's one of the things that Emma LaRocque has written quite a bit about, right? We're not good enough to write academic books. We're not good enough to write even nonfiction. We're stuck in this category of autobiography, which makes some sense as Indigenous peoples, because we're storytellers. But then what are the limits of that?

So here's Mary Campbell telling this incredible story, and then ends up silenced for so long. And it's just like, you know, I, that's the kind of the challenge of this whole thing is what are the limits of what can be said? And what can't be said? And who gets to decide that? And then what are the punishments for the people who break those boundaries of what can and cannot be said? And you know, it that's I think that's really interesting. And it really revisiting Halfbreed made me think about that, how powerful that book was, but how it was also really, for so long, an incredible act of violence in many ways.

Because, again, Indigenous women were silenced. I just think that's so profound. And it's still happening. I mean, there's two examples in this conversation right now, of folks who are experiencing that, and I'm sure many, many more. So it makes me think about, you know, what is the world still go like, what are we facing? You know, how are our words to get to audiences, if we're being surveilled and silenced and surpressed? I think that's, you know, I'd hoped by the time I was 43, that the world might have changed. Maybe that's hopeful Robyn, who is an optimist, but I feel like we're still fighting this and it's not changing, and I shouldn't be surprised. And yet it still is this kind of violent assault again, and just a constant ache, I think, in terms of, you know, where are we going and the manifestations and how this switches and there's just so much there. So that I think, is what, where I headed with this.


I think you are referring to her story of sexual assault by the RCMP officer is because she, because she had her in her book, originally, the editors pulled it out. And then when she revisited it for the, for the 25th I think it's the 25th anniversary, or like, the most recent edition that came out, she's like, Hey, this is missing something this was this was supposed to be in there. And so she insisted to go back in. And that's it. That's the version that I have.

But yeah, the thing because that's, like, Who Controls the story, even when they’re our stories, you know, beyond editors, like the power of the mob, you know, to to force our employers to control us. You know, for a long time I worked in child welfare, and there were a lot of things that I couldn't talk about. Not so much because it would you know, it was specific to certain clients and you know, I obviously know better than tell their stories, you know, but because it but most of the time I went to HR it was because something I had said on social media was reflecting badly on the organization. And that's a way of silencing people, you can't talk about these things, because we have this image, you know, where, you know, and you know, and all organizations operate that way they have this image.

And, you know, I'm thinking of Nora Loreto, who got badly targeted, you know, by white supremacists, and is basically unhire-able as a journalist in Canada. And yet, she's done some extraordinary research on the COVID numbers, and where the outbreaks and now journalists are using her numbers, and they're making money off of it, but she's not. She's in Canada, in the US, you get some stuff, but she's a Canadian journalist, and all about Canadian politics.

So all these different ways that we're controlled in terms of what we can say, and even, like, I can have my independent media, you know, my, you know, my little podcast, you know, my book club, these things that, you know, that I do, and the things that I do with Kerry, but our reach is controlled. They you know, whether it's on social media, or, you know, wherever there's always algorithms, controlling reach, and those things are. We can refuse patriarchy all day long, but they still own access to everything.

So when we think about our communities, whether there our communities, you know, as Indigenous peoples, as you know, the places where we work our chosen communities, what do we want from them? What do we want from them that will help us, you know, to pick up on that idea of cultural safety and the ways in which we are silenced? What do we want from our communities? And maybe I'll start with Nick.


Um, I think, um, I honestly think the most important thing in a community is I think space to allow people to, to grow and be themselves and also a space where we can hold each other accountable while still doing so in a nurturing way. Like, I think restorative and transformative justice movements are really important when we're talking about community building. Because I see a lot of really hurt traumatized people hurting each other because, you know, somebody does something wrong, and it triggers somebody's fight or flight response. And, you know, I think we need to allow, you know, allow ourselves space to grow, and the space to hold each other accountable, to, you know, keep each other to keep each other safe or as safe as we can. So, you know, holding people accountable for messing up, but also doing so in a nurturing way so that people can grow back together.


Angela, what do you what do you need from your community?


I certainly like what Nick had to say about space, because I'm having this challenge around inclusion. It seems to be a part of the you know, diversity, equity, inclusion stuff, and I hear it all the time in my workplace, and it's driving me insane. So, I like the idea of space. Thank you, Nick. I think that you know, there has to be, I think that we can be, I find people of color in general, very forgiving, I think we have to be as part of our spirit, our spirit, Indigenous, Black. I just that is my experience, because of all the resiliency. And I think that anybody has been in a place of other, we naturally I this is my belief, I don't know. But we naturally have it just an openness to the mistakes of other because we have been suppressed and oppressed for so long. So if we are given a place of, of space to be who we are, there is that opportunity for transformation. The problem is that a system doesn't want to give up that space. It's too threatening for them.

And so what I what I would ask is along with space is is the opportunity for people just to be vulnerable? Just to say, you know what, I fucked up pardon my language I do that. So how do we work this out so that I'm not keeping I'm not continuing to do this and can continuing to activate your nervous system. I know that I have this in me I know you know, whatever it is, I know but let's let's have the space, the openness to to both be vulnerable in that. I think transformative transformation can happen in that space. And I, that's what I would like to see in all places


I read one of the books that I've read recently We Do This Till We Free Us by Mariame Kaba, and one and she's an abolitionist. And one of the things that she talks about is getting away from this consequence mindset. Because if we're thinking about being accountable, when we think about being accountable, if there's always consequences and punishment, nobody's going to admit to doing anything, because why would I? I'm going to deflect as long as possible because I'm worried about losing my , losing my friend, losing access to something, you know, losing followers, you know, I'm worried about punishment. But if we're thinking about real accountability, which is what rebuilds relationships, that's when we can move forward, that's when people are free to admit things and to acknowledge that they screwed up. Because we screw up. We make when we make mistakes

Tate what do you what do you want or need from your community?


I think the biggest thing that came to mind was a people need to listen. And that includes myself. We mentioned earlier, like young people, you know, they have so much to say. And beyond just like you know, our tick tock social media stuff. I think I think a lot of magic happens when we start letting them lead with these new ideas. And as a 40 something I would think I'm okay to say, you know, youngins have have something to say. But that includes, you know, folks that are often pushed aside and Two spirits, elderly, things like that, but I like this idea of space, and maybe want to incorporate that into, you know, the idea of land back. And how, you know, be unapologetic about the demanding of our Indigenous lands back. And what and however, that looks, there's been a lot of really successful initiatives to reclaim land, a lot of it has to deal with, you know, we're in a capitalistic society. So there's a lot of exchange of money for that land, but it's happening, and I just want to see it happen a lot more.

And when when when that land back happens, right, when when when it's returned to Indigenous caretaking? Because I don't I think, you know, much like we talked about with white feminism and ownership, you know, this, this concept of, you know, what, what do you do with the land when we go back to and how does that look, when I when you say give me the land back? Like, it's pretty simple, I think. But there's this element of relationship that goes into our ideas of land back that lead to things like language reclamation, right, like, when we start recognizing land as a, as a relative, that language starts coming back to us. And I'm thinking of someone like Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer in Breeding Sweetgrass, and how just, you know, the land has a language to it, and listening to that is there's often a lot of growth that happens.

And then, you know, so So reclaiming that language, land and getting getting the language back leads us to, you know, other relatives, whether that's a, you know, non human relatives or your family too. I think there's a lot of really great things that are possible when we encompass, you know, the land with with our community. Stop there, because I'm going to wax romantic now. And my name means the wind. Just kidding.

Patty: 1:09:05

Land back, though, yes. Because if we're going to have space, we need space. And you have to have safe relationships includes the land, and I just finished so yeah, Robin Wall Kimmerer. Yes. But I just finished a really extraordinary book by Mary Jorstad. She's a Norwegian, Hebrew scholar. And she wrote a book about the Hebrew, what Christians will call the Old Testament about how the whole the world is alive. You know, about how, you know, just kind of the life and the agency of the land, the agency of the trees and all of that and, you know, kind of this completely other worldview that has really been stripped out of it. Anyway, it's just it was just an extraordinary, it was really beautiful. And I think you know, you know, Nick mentioned that they were Jewish and that there's a lot of Tribal thinking, I don't know, maybe that's not the right word. But you know, in terms in terms of talking about, you know, with some other Jewish people on Twitter that we have a lot in common in the way we do connect with land, which is not to go all Zionist on you because freedom for Palestine means freedom for everybody. Right? Just like land back for us does not mean bouncing everybody back to Europe with the exception of maybe a couple I can think of. But for the most part, it means about sharing the land in a good way, living together in a good way, if the Haudenosaunee and the Anishinaabeg can live together in a good way, anybody can live together. I'm gonna say about that.

Dr. Robin, you have a lot of things you need from your community. Oh, my goodness.


Thank you for that. I think I you know, the best way for me to approach this actually. So think about violence, because that's what I think about every single day of my life. And in that regard, I need accountability. And let me let me unpack that for a minute. Um, you know, I still can't believe you know, what I'm thinking about Sarah Deer’s work. I’m thinking about what Maria Campbell goes through. I want people to believe survivors, I don't want to have to fight anymore to convince people that I've experienced violence enough, like enough. And then I want people to hear that, and I want them to be accountable. I don't want my community defending or protecting abusers, especially well known abusers. That is not acceptable. And it just perpetuates everything we're fighting against. It perpetuates patriarchy, it perpetuates colonialism, all of it.

And I just, you know, when I'm looking at the the work we do around violence, and that we still have to convince people every single day that we're being raped, that we're being trafficked, that we're being murdered, that all of these things are happening, and they're still happening at this huge level. And then our communities are like, No, yeah, no, this is just, you know, somebody who made a really bad mistake. Okay. But I still want you to be accountable.

And here's the thing though, I'm with Patty, I am not, you know, this is not the responses not the carceral system, like, at all, not even a little bit, you know, I really want us to think of new ways, because it is still true at the end of the day, that, you know, some of our Indigenous community who are inflicting violence on other people are is because of this history of colonial violence. And because of the way it's internalized, and the way it's manifested, and how, you know, violence at the end of the day gives us power, and when you're disempowered that sometimes can feel like power, right? And, and I struggle with that. And, you know, we're dealing with all kinds of problems.

So we need something other than prison to be the answer to this, we need accountability. And we need to ensure that our communities are safe. But there has to be another solution other than locking somebody up. And that's where, you know, I think we need to really think seriously about how do we respond as a community to these situations? How can we respond in a good way that first of all, always centers the survivors, like, if you are not sending this centering the survivors in your response, you are inflicting even more harm. So it has to be centered there, and then you have to work and think about this, and we have to do this in a really good way. And here's the thing, I think he's indigenous groups, I'm just gonna throw that out there that, you know, given our 100 years of justice in our own systems, we might have some ideas about how that might work. Right. You know, I'm thinking about Cree natural law and how that might work. You know, we do have to I agree with Sean, I think, you know, I can only speak for Cree interpretation of things. But I think we have to do a better job of just disrupting the gender binary, within some of the way Cree teachings are taught, you know, we're limited to male and female. And yet we know in Cree language, there's at least six or seven different gender identities. And that's just the ones we know of. Right.

So I think we need to fight against that a little bit, too. But I think, you know, this, the carceral system is not the answer is where I was going. And that we really need to think about what else could this look like, but I do still want accountability. And I do still want survivors to be safe. And I do want other members of the community be safe, and not have people protecting someone who's known, you know, a known predator, but just like Enough, enough, aren't our lives worth more than that? That's, I just I can't get over that. So I'm gonna stop there.


That's a frequent thing that people bring up in terms of countering abolitionist arguements. But what about all the rapists? What are you gonna do with them? And it's like, well, They're not in jail now anyway, they're walking around the streets anyway. Because you know what, you know, if you've got this many to keep it in the screen, and you've got this many sexual assaults happening, you've got this many actually being reported. And then you got this many who actually go to jail, and then they're only out in two years, less a day. So really, 95% of the sexual predators are already out on the street with absolutely no incentive to admit they have a problem?

Yeah, so if we find another way of dealing with things, a way that centers the victim that believes the victim, like my God, how many? How many things, would adults would be saved? If we listened to teenage girls, when they told us that somebody was dangerous? If we listened to young men, when they told us somebody was dangerous, how many future things? Oh, anyway, that's a whole other episode.

Sean, what do you need from your community?


Um, so I think I was thinking about, I think, firstly, the ability to be a whole and complete person. And that's in with its messiness. But also responsibility to kin right so the idea is that are especially for Cree and Anishinaabeg, folks. Kinship is our foundational thing. So the first question we ask is, where are you from? Which is not where are you physically from? It's who are your relations who are your relatives? Right? Because, you know, for like, in some ways, we are literally all related, because, you know, we have Migration Stories and may have come from from similar places. But we're always trying to find family and always trying to find, you know, who we fit in with and how.

I think that, that idea of being a whole and complete person, also comes back to that perpetual fear of violence, and rejection, which is his own kind of, which is his own kind of violence. And I think especially as like, for me as a disabled like mixed person who doesn't ascribe to a gender binary, there's a constant worry about how much I can show up in the various spaces I come into, right. So, you know, the mental thing is, okay, is this a place I can put lipstick on? Is this a place I could wear a ribbon skirt to, like, you know, or maybe I'm feeling like, I want to wear my ribbon vest today, right? Like it, that idea of being binary, of fighting that binary is very confusing for folks. Because, again, those are not necessarily teachings that have been maintained in the same way. When I think a lot about how the land, right, when we talk about the land, the land doesn't reject us, right? When you go and sit with creation, creation doesn't go, Oh, I'm sorry, you don't fit into my binary notions and colonial notions of gender go away, like the sun shines on all of us, you know, the grass and the waters embrace us like these are these are foundational things that we all have the right to, to go and sit with creation. And, you know, and capitalism is about separating this from that, right?

Like I spend, you know, like a lot of employed people, I spend all my day on a friggin zoom, you know, call right now, with the sun just outside my window that I can see. You know, and so, I also think about how, when we talk about that land back notion that we have to get rid of these categories that the government has put us in and created on our behalf that separate us, right. So you know, whether we're talking about, you know, status Indians, whether we're talking about Metis, or Inuit in these, like artificial categories that aren't really, you know, that don't exist, because ultimately, we were all folks who had relationships with each other, and like various communities where you know, all three of those people and kinds of people might have existed in one place, and how do you tell them apart, right language culture, like, all of these things, I think, for a really long time, were things that we managed, and we had control over. And then the government has decided for, you know, since the 1870s, like, how that works for us. And that hasn't worked for us.

So I think that could also be a whole topic of itself. And then also, allowances for other kinds of relationship structures. So you know, there's a history of my family, that's very confusing, because so many of my ancestors had multiple partners, and trying to map out who's kids are who and who has cousins. And that kind of stuff is very difficult. Partially because we were so far in the West that the church didn't get us for a while. So we weren't having church marriages until actually probably pretty close to like the early 1900s kind of time. So then before then, you know, their relationship structures of all sorts, and I myself am ascribed to a non monogamous relationship kind of structure. Kim TallBear talks a lot about this idea of critical polyamory. And so there's alternative relationship structures that we could look into. And I would appreciate if those were like recognized and valued in our communities, as opposed to again replicating these very colonial structures. And then, I think the other piece I was thinking of that Angela had said of writing as activism, like I like to write queer smutty erotic poetry, and that's one of the ways that I personally challenge patriarchy, and I challenged notions around gender and I, you know, I literally have a poem that's in my hallway right now that's that's framed because it was part of an art thing. That is about you know, being like a seahorse and getting pegged, right. So like, this is like, you know, I like that phrase like peg the patriarchy, right? Like there's this whole idea of this work can be sort of like trans, transgressive, but not really. Because you know you can you can pull with those pieces.

And I think again, it's about taking up space. Because patriarchy controls who we love and for indigenous people how we love and and who we should be. And we're storytellers, right. So I think about the truths that, that Maria talks about, that Tanya talks about, that Ma-Ne talks about, like, you know, that point of like, I always love the notion of like being careful what you ask for in our communities, because someone asked him, I want you to tell your story. And that's what they got. They got a full unfiltered, like, this is the story, right?

And so, you know, the question I have as a senior leader in an institution, because I think much like Robyn and I sort of have that weird, sort of senior leadership, Indigenous role doing Indigenisation work. I'm also like, how much can I show up in that space? Like, how much do I talk about my smutty poetry side, right? And who can I talk about that too, without discrediting myself as as being taken seriously as an academic or someone who's also talking about these things. And so all of those pieces, I think, are things that I kind of sit with around around trying to understand what I what I want for my community.

And I yeah, there's some there's some good, I don't know if other folks can see this chat. But there's a “talk about smutty poetry always.” So I Do I Do I enjoy it. And we actually have an event gladly regularly called Smart peddlers that started, literally, because we just wanted to tell a sexy story to each other. So, so I'm always down for that. And so I just, you know, having that be accepted, and not weird not weirding people out, because in our community sometimes because of all that colonial violence and history it does, right. We're not supposed to talk about sex, we're not supposed to talk about especially like, non heteronormative sex and especially not, you know, non monogamous sex. Actually, these are all things that we're never supposed to mention in any company. So I think, you know, pushing back on those things, because so many of our stories, our traditional stories are freaking hilarious. And so filthy, so filthy. So that's a good note, I think so I'll say miigwech then


Actually, I can confirm. I got a book a book, Patricia Ningewance is language teacher Ojibwe language teacher from Lac Seul First Nation. She pulled out a book of traditional stories from Lac Seul that she had heard as a child you know, these are things that she had heard as a child, and one of them is the skull the rolling skull, which is apparently also a Cree story. I'm reading through these stories and I'm like, these are naughty story for why penises are the size they are. Add massive life size and put it out on Twitter because it was just so hilarious. Anyway, so yeah, so Sean and Angela and Tate, if you guys have a website where people can access some of your work, if you could put that into our chat and then Janessa we'll get that out there because I think I think people are it's out people are here for smutty poetry that's so we're actually getting very close to our hour and a half which is bonkers these conversations go so fast.

So just by way of kind of a final trip around the circle, what book did you not read, but you've heard about today, and now you want to read it?


I want to read Halfbreed well, I knew about Halfbreed. I want to read that but I also want to read Split Tooth. So it's a it's a balance


I'd like to read Halfbreed and the Two Spirit Journey.


Tate just wants to read Sean’s poetry


I’m looking at Sean’s right now. Smutty’s poetry is coming. Actually, I'm gonna leave it at that. Yep. I'm gonna stalk your Instagram now, Sean.


I'm also in for smutty poetry. So just saying I will also be stalking but I'm Split Tooth. This is on my nightstand. But I've been warned and I have not ever felt strong enough yet to read it. But after hearing everybody today, maybe it's time. So thank you,.


I think I want to finish Split Tooth slowly. Like again, it's for me, it's really like, like almost like poem by poem. So I'll commit to finishing that at some point. It's also just a beautiful book like it's beautifully bound and like looks looks really pretty and I think Fierce is the other one that I'm really interested in. So, you know, I'm gonna see or, you know, the true answer is whatever I can get on Kobo, that's not going to take 12 weeks to come from the Toronto Public Library system

Patty: 1:25:18

For me, I think that'll be Ma-Ne Chacaby’s biography partly because I think it's the only one on the list that I haven't read. But also I know Maya and you know, so I, you know, I'm connected, you know, connected with I'm connected with my event and she's a really interesting person, I really like her. So I want to hear from another Chacaby. I want I want, I want to hear that story. I want to know, I want to know that story as well.

And anyway, I'm just so pleased about all of the things that we talked about. You guys have given me a lot to think about. And you know, you've given me smutty poetry, which is outside of my comfort zone, really. Three years of talking to Kerry, I think I'd be more comfortable with it. But no, I'm was raised white. And do my best doing my best. So just any last words from anybody I've really, I've really enjoyed all the contributions that everybody has brought, and given me and kind of the way you guys kind of play off of each other. And, you know, anyway. Yeah, you guys, as always, these panels give me so much to think about. So any last words from anybody, I'll start picking on people.

Angela: 1:26:38

I, I just want to thank everyone, I just really want to thank everyone for your just your openness and your honesty and your truth. I just, it just lit my heart. Thank you.


Um, I just want to say thank you, chi miigwech for that. I will, because we've talked about money poetry, and I would be remiss and not saying this, we were actually nominated for we're a finalist for a lambda. Because we did a glaad day 50th anniversary zine that a lot of my poetry is featured in. So we'll see if I can find the link for that. It's also got some very smutty photos in it. So just be aware that is a definite sort of, like, draw the shades and not for kids kind of situation or for kids, you know, depends on your parenting relationship, I suppose. So anyway, so I will throw that in the chat also. But I'm just really grateful to to be able to have this conversation and to chat about all this stuff. It was a really good time, miigwech

Nick: 1:27:54

I also just want to thank everyone, thank you for inviting me to this space, Patty. I've really enjoyed hearing from everyone and getting to know everyone just a little bit. I, I do some abortion storytelling work as a transgender person who had an abortion. So if anyone's interested, I was in a documentary called Ours To Tell about abortion access in the United States. And I kind of followed four abortion storytellers. And we kind of did a retrospective of our abortion stories and what that means for abortion access in the future. So it's called Ours To Tell, and it's on YouTube. Just if anyone's interested.


If you could drop the title in the chat for Janessa she'll get that out to everybody Tate?. And then we'll give the last word to Dr. Robin.


Yeah, wopila tanka, Thank you for having me on. So interesting. Love it. I want to leave you with a quote. It kind of follows what what Angela had mentioned about writing as activism or writing as sort of like your expression and outlet. And as somebody who considers himself a storyteller, I like to think of myself as living by this quote. It's from a tweet of Taizhou Cole. And I'll drop his link there in the chat later. But in 2014, he wrote, writing, as writing, writing, as rioting, and writing as righting as R IG H T -ing, and on the best days, all three. And so I really like this concept of how writing really is all encompassing, and plays into a lot of the work that we're just constantly doing almost inherently right. Especially when you consider yourself or consider the work you do like as a form of storytelling, which I think most of what we do in life, especially if you're a caregiver is right, just that passing down of knowledge. So you're doing a good job, Angela, and all have you. So I appreciate the being part of this space. Thank you so much.

Robyn 1:30:03

I think you should have just ended there. Because I'm not going to come up with anything that eloquent at the moment. Oh, I love that. I just want to say thank you so much. We've had a really rough couple of days at work it, it's been really nice to come and sit in a room full of people and talk about books. I mean, that's what I love. And all of you are so brilliant that I've learned so much from each of you. And I just, you know, thank you for asking me to be part of this. And I just, I can't wait to come back.


We will have you back. And I would be remiss in saying that, thanks to a relationship with the Vice Provost of Indigenous engagement at Brock University. Aambe does receive some financial support. And we really, really appreciate that because people are worth their labor, right? So yes, so yay, thanks to Brock University. Somehow, I'm gonna have to put that logo on the webpage because y'all have given me money and not get any credit for it.

So anyway, so thank you, everybody. And thank you people in the chat next month is Richard Wagamese Month. So we're going to be talking about coming home. That is a really, when I was developing this list, I'm gonna blame Kyle, because Kyle had just asked for a couple of indigenous books to read. And then I wound up going month by month and I wasn't planning on doing this. I was just going month by month. And so I made June because I was thinking about fathers and made June, Richard Wagamese baa mine. And, you know, now that I'm doing panels is really challenging, because unless I have a seance I will be able to have him with us. But the theme is going to be about coming home. And we're really fortunate that Sheila Rogers, who is a close friend of Richard Richard baa’s is going to be with us to talk about her relationship with him and his books and the themes of coming home. We're also going to have Dr. Raven Sinclair, who has done a ton of research on the 60 Scoop. And then Daniel Delgado who has been on the podcast before, he's a Jewish Quechua writer, living in the Southwest, and, you know, and, you know, being a father and we had talked with him previously about being Indigenous on land that wasn't, you know, being a long way from home.

So, you know, so those are the three and really, if anybody is a big fan of Richard Wagamese Ba and wants to come back and talk about coming home and his books, hit me up, because I got two more spots that I need to fill for this conversation. So yeah, so come back in June and I promise I'll get the information to everybody out sooner.

Thank you guys so much for being reminded at the last minute and not standing me up.

Refusing Patriarchy

re-release from Aambe: A year of Indigenous Reading