mīkiwām

i’m beginning to learn that home isn’t where your heart is. i still have the key to my kokum’s old house, the one she lived in for years before my grandpa walked on. the house was old, held together by laughter and fights and loud Cree shouted through the telephone. the table in the kitchen,…

sīpiy

so i guess this is where we’re at. i’ve stretched your fingers apart for miles trying to see what rivers flow through them but instead all that exists in those spaces are wastelands. you can’t catch water with gaps like yours. i’ve followed the lines on your palm like traplines looking for something that i’m…

pipon

kisēpīsim – the great moon – january i’ve had this dream more than once. i’m standing where the rivers meet  i’m surrounded by faces that have features like mine they speak our language and point with their lips. i can’t understand what they’re saying mikisiwipīsim – the eagle moon – february you told me. i…

a letter to Joseph Boyden

tan’si Joseph, My name is Samantha; I am a Cree-Metis woman. My family comes from Ile-a-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan, but I grew up in Treaty 8 territory in Northeastern British Columbia.  I am writing this letter to you while I live on the unceded, ancestral territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. I am constantly humbled…

āstam

come here. apih (sit down). it’s winter time now we can tell stories the spirits are resting they won’t follow us home. tell me yours. rest your head on my lap. i’ll braid your hair like wihkask. i’m trying to be open with you but you don’t understand how hard it is when your mother…

ceremony

  hold the braid like this. here use this to light it. we’re not supposed to use a lighter? shit.uh. just use it anyways. is it going? ok. so rub your hands together like this. now push the smoke down your body. are we doing this right? how can we tell if we are doing…

nihtawikiwin

ask me – what is your origin story?   i think i was created from my mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s anger   let me tell you – the stories of struggles lost in this bed in the streets beneath street lights in the middle of winter when the sun only rises for three hours a…

Learning the definition of unrequited;

Step 1: Wash your hair; Stand in the shower and turn the water as hot as your skin will take; Pause. Stay until the water is cold.   Step 2: Accidently let your hand brush theirs. Count the seconds until you have your first intrusive thought. Count the seconds until you have your second. Third….

wanisinowin

here are some lies i’ve told you today: i’m fine it’s ok   you don’t understand what I mean when I say “but they’re my kin” maybe it’s because you grew up kicking anthills you were brought up with generations that don’t know what it feels like to run your hands over stretched hide but…

kiyam

you should be more than pretty you should be resilience and resistance and infinite; you should be huckleberries and canned moose meat 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 my name is rugaroo. my name is…

niso

pichiw 1. i am constantly chasing a feeling that i think i felt once before.  i feel it in the wind sometimes. 2. my body is my biggest enemy, and yet it is where i look inside for protection.  i want to tie cedar boughs to my ribs for a roof, line my spine with…