Featured Image: waniskâtân nîtisânitik by Erin Marie Konsmo
Issue 1: Creative Nonfiction
Guest Editor: Molly Swain, Black Indigenous Harm Reduction Alliance
Girls Like Me, Gwen Benaway
pichiw, Samantha Nock
”i am hoping to help this city heal from its trauma.”, Billy-Ray Belcourt
untitled, Amanda Lickers
red river, Brandi-Ann Bird
The Intimacies of Global Colonialism, cera yiu and Lindsay Nixon
Decolonial Gestures or Doing it Wrong? Refaire le chemin, Sasha Simmons
Disrupt Archive, Lindsay Nixon
Thunderbird 1, Thunderbird 2 and Thunderbird 3, Fallon Simard
Black Indigenous Kinships on Turtle Island, rosalind hampton
In the summer of 2014 Molly Swain and I received a grant from QPIRG Concordia to create a research project with our collective, the Indigenous Women and Two-Spirit Harm Reduction Coalition. We were hungry for the kinds of research that we desperately wanted read. We are part of a generation of Indigenous feminists who feverishly read writers like Andrea Smith, Leanna Simpson, Joyce Green, and Paula Gunn Allen, who spoke to our realities in profound and affective ways. Yet, we still yearned for specificity, words that described our embodied experience outside of a sterile academic analysis of colonial violence. We wanted to know more about our ancient kinships with Black and East Asian communities. We wanted to talk about sex work in ways that respected the agency of youth sex workers. We wanted to be able to talk honestly and openly about our own experiences without fear of stigma.
As we started having conversations with other Indigenous folks, we began to reconsider our reasons behind working on a research-based publication at all, questioning the legitimacy of the so-called divide between the academy and our real lives. In September 2014, Molly and I received funding through the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia to put on an Indigenous feminist gathering called waniskâtân nîtisânitik. After a weekend of sharing deeply personal experience, I left this conference with one feeling above all: the personal/academic divide is non-existent for Indigenous peoples. This also led me to considerations around the apparent divide between fiction and non-fiction. The Indigenous artists and writers among me are part of a lineage of Indigenous creators, one that draws specifically from our own trauma, love, and resistance. In fact, the very act of putting to words and visual cultures our histories is an act of political warfare, survivance, and community care.
This inaugural issue of mâmawi-âcimowak, on the theme of Creative Nonfiction, acknowledges this divide between the academic and personal, the political and personal, fiction and non-fiction. Truly the making of this issue was a labor based in love, kinship, and community.
Full waniskâtân nîtisânitik by ErinMarie Konsmo.