Speakers for this event
Bevann Fox is a member of Pasqua Nation, originally from Piapot Nation, Treaty 4 Territory. In 2012 she received her Bachelor of Arts in Arts and Culture and in 2018 her Master in Business Administration, Leadership from the University of Regina. In 2014 she was honoured with the YWCA Women of Distinction Award—Arts, Culture and Heritage. She received the Indigenous Voice Award 2021- Creative Non-Fiction Life Writing for Genocidal Love. Genocidal Love was also honoured with a Saskatchewan Book Award 2021.
Darrel J. McLeod
Darrel J. McLeod
Darrel J. McLeod is Nehiyaw (Cree) from Treaty 8 territory. Darrel’s first memoir, Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age (Douglas & McIntyre), won the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award and was a finalist for the RBC Charles Taylor Prize. The sequel, Peyakow: Reclaiming Cree Dignity, was released in March 2021. Darrel holds degrees in French literature and education from UBC. Darrel has been a teacher, School Principal in Yekooche First Nation, Director of a provincial curriculum center, Executive Director of Education and International Affairs at the Assembly of First Nations, and Chief Negotiator for the Government of Canada. Darrel is also a jazz singer. He lives in Sooke, BC and spends winters in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
David A. Robertson
David A. Robertson
DAVID A. ROBERTSON is the author of When We Were Alone (2017 Governor General's Literary Award), The Barren Grounds (2020 Governor General’s Literary Award finalist), and Back Water, winner of the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. He is a member of Norway House Cree Nation and currently lives in Winnipeg.
jaye simpson is an Oji-Cree Saulteaux Indigiqueer writer and activist from the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, with Scottish and French settler ancestry. Their poems and essays are published in Poetry Is Dead, THIS Magazine, PRISM international, SAD Magazine, GUTS Magazine, Room, Today’s Parent, Grain, and SubTerrain. simpson is also published in Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers’ Poetry, as well as Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction. simpson is currently resisting, ruminating and residing on xwməθkwəyˇəm (Musqueam), səlˇilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations territories, colonially known as Vancouver. it was never going to be okay is their first book.
Every day, Indigenous people across Turtle Island are building a more hopeful future, through community initiatives, storytelling, and more. Join us as we hold space to grieve the
Every day, Indigenous people across Turtle Island are building a more hopeful future, through community initiatives, storytelling, and more. Join us as we hold space to grieve the losses of this year, honour the struggles and successes of those dedicated to Indigenous resistance, and discuss the role that writing has in decolonizing our world: how do books and storytelling contribute to healing? How do we celebrate and protect Indigenous storytellers? How have current events changed the way we write?
- Black Water by David A. Robertson (ebook / paperback)
- it was never going to be okay by jaye simpson (ebook / paperback)
- Genocidal Love: A Life After Residential School by Bevann Fox (ebook / paperback)
The son of a Cree father and a white mother, David A. Robertson grew up with virtually no awareness of his Indigenous roots. His father, Dulas—or Don, as he became known—lived on the trapline in the bush in Manitoba, only to be transplanted permanently to a house on the reserve, where he couldn’t speak his language, Swampy Cree, in school with his friends unless in secret. David’s mother, Beverly, grew up in a small Manitoba town that had no Indigenous people until Don arrived as the new United Church minister. They married and had three sons, whom they raised unconnected to their Indigenous history.
David grew up without his father’s teachings or any knowledge of his early experiences. All he had was “blood memory”: the pieces of his identity ingrained in the fabric of his DNA, pieces that he has spent a lifetime putting together. It has been the journey of a young man becoming closer to who he is, who his father is and who they are together, culminating in a trip back to the trapline to reclaim their connection to the land.
it was never going to be okay
it was never going to be okay is a collection of poetry and prose exploring the intimacies of understanding intergenerational trauma, Indigeneity and queerness, while addressing urban Indigenous diaspora and breaking down the limitations of sexual understanding as a trans woman. As a way to move from the linear timeline of healing and coming to terms with how trauma does not exist in subsequent happenings, it was never going to be okay tries to break down years of silence in simpson’s debut collection of poetry:
i am five
my sisters are saying boy
i do not know what the word means but—
i am bruised into knowing it: the blunt b,
the hollowness of the o, the blade of y
Genocidal Love: A Life After Residential School
University of Regina Press
Genocidal Love delves into the long-term effects of childhood trauma on those who attended residential school and demonstrates the power of story to help in recovery and healing
Presenting herself as “Myrtle,” Bevann Fox recounts her early childhood filled with love and warmth on the First Nation reservation with her grandparents. At the age of seven she was sent to residential school, and her horrific experiences of abuse there left her without a voice, timid and nervous, never sure, never trusting, and always searching.
This is the story of Myrtle battling to recover her voice.
This is the story of her courage and resilience throughout the arduous process required to make a claim for compensation for the abuse she experienced at residential school–a process that turned out to be yet another trauma at the hands of the colonial power.
This is the story of one woman finally standing up to the painful truth of her past and moving beyond it for the sake of her children and grandchildren. In recounting her tumultuous life, Fox weaves truth and fiction together as a means of bringing clarity to the complex emotions and situations she faced as she walked her path toward healing.