1. you should be more than pretty
  2. you should be resilience and resistance and infinite; you should be huckleberries and canned moose meat
  3. a lesson i’m learning is that comparing yourself to moniyaw iskwewak is an inevitable means to an end when you were raised with survival instead of sweetness
  4. my name is rugaroo. my name is wihtikow. somewhere along the paths’ of my mothers’ these stories got intertwined and i think they meant them as a precaution and not a guide on how to find yourself
  5. “the skill set you need to survive is not the same skill set you need to love and be loved.”(1)
  6. i’m hoping to write myself into existence but my existence is lost in words that i can’t translate into akayasimonwin so i guess i exist in the space between here and there and maybe in every mispronounced syllable of my stolen tongue
  7. let me dive into your bones and watch our spirits dance
  8. acceptance and admitting defeat are not med’cines i’ve been gifted
  9. you’re sitting across the table and i guess this is the last time i’ll see you and that’s ok just remember that my memories will exist in my daughters’ DNA and their daughters’ DNA and their daughters’ DNA just like my mothers’ exist in my DNA and somewhere in our blood memories i remember this particular vulnerability across generations and i am reminded that being vulnerable is what got us into this mess and i hope generations from now our blood memories will remind our daughters that their strength will come in walking away before they have to wait for apologies.
  10. i will sew porcupine quills onto my hands to stop history from repeating.

(1) Leanne Simpson, Buffalo On, “Islands of Decolonial Love.” ARP Books (Winnipeg) 86.


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