Welcome! I love to write, and I love sharing what I write with my readers. I vary my style as much as I can-posting events, creative non-fiction, prose and poetry and the occasional video. Enjoy!



Monday, February 27, 2012

Poetry: Distance Separates


By: Christine McFarlane


pulls us apart
at my heart


pulls us apart
brings tears
to my eyes

and leaves
words unsaid



Friday, February 24, 2012

Poetry- I Travelled A Road- By Christine McFarlane

Photo Image courtesy of Yahoo

I Travelled A Road
By: Christine McFarlane

I travelled
A road
That I thought
No one knew
Except me

A road
With challenges
Dips and curves

No one
Should ever have to encounter
Their lifetime

suicide attempts

you name it
the challenges
were there

Of who I am
And what I wanted 
To become

Yet I turned
The corner
And ran into

I travelled
A road
That I thought
No one else knew 
Except me

There you were
With open arms
And these wise words
To impart

I am here
To tell you
You are going
To be okay

As I stood before you
I crumpled
And broke down

I travelled
A road
That I thought
No one else knew
Except me

Yet I turned
The corner
And ran into 

And you
Told me
You are going 
to be okay

Its these words
And your actions
That helped me
To believe once more

And I know now


I will be okay.

Thank you



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Guest Post: Kiera-Dawn Kolson

(Kiera- Dawn Kolson: Photo By: Christine McFarlane)

Kiera-Dawn Kolson (pronounced Ki-air-ahh) of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada has a natural talent for music and creating lyrics for songs. She first stepped onto a stage at the age of four years old reciting a thirty-two line, four stanza poem winning her first trophy at the Territorial Metis Talent Show in 1990. Since then she has performed at local events such as the Seniors Christmas feasts, at the Raven Mad Daze and Bush Whacked Festivals, at the local Arts and Cultural Center, has sang her songs at the DreamCatchers Youth Conference in Edmonton, Alberta encouraging youth to be the best they can be, and during the past four years, at the White Bear Reserve in Saskatchewan and at the Yellowknife National Aboriginal Day events.

Ms. Kolson sang songs she wrote when she attended the International Youth Parliament in Sydney, Australia, at the Earth Ling Environment Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia and for the after-party at the Aboriginal Achievement Awards in 2006 at Vancouver, British Columbia and at the 2006 after-party in Winnipeg, Manitoba at the Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards. Ms. Kolson was chosen to attend the Artist’s Mentoring Program for the Canada Summer Games in 2005 in Regina, Saskatchewan and was chosen to represent the Northwest Territories as a cultural ambassador at the March 2006 Arctic Winter Games in Kenai, Alaska where she sang for the athletes, staff and guests.

In 2004 Kiera sang back up for her cousin Aaron Perez of Victoria, British Columbia on his first CD, received an N.W.T Arts Council grant to produce her first CD Demo featuring five songs, and in November 2006 collaborated with Nasty North Productions from Regina, Saskatchewan on a single song. Kiera began writing songs when she was thirteen years old and at age twenty-five has written over 100 songs. Kiera’s goal is to produce a full-length CD featuring 12 songs in rhythm and blues as well Hip- Hop and a mix of Aboriginal traditional music of the Northwest Territories. She is interested in helping youth and speaks words of encouragement in many of her song pieces.

Political Prisoner 

Written by Kiera-Dawn Kolson

Political Prisoner
Spends your last winders, springs, summers and falls
Behind bars, enclosed in a box, 6ft above the ground
Enclosed in Territorial boundaries, on reserve land
For our rights we do stand tall
And we demand justice for all the wrong doings
Political Prisoner
I am him and he is her
Guilty not for murder, or for taking a life
But for raising awareness to understand and see
Believe in equality, unity, justice for the wrongs done to you and me
Political Prisoner
I will clench my fist for you and throw it up into the air
For your injustice, I will share...your story
And make the ignorant aware
I will not live to regret
What still today has not been said yet
Political Prisoner
I will remember you, you stood up against
The red, the white and the blue too
Your words forever etched into my heart, my mind, my soul
Through your strength we will regain control
I am on the outside and you are on the in
But Political Prisoners we are two of a kind
Both living in an enclosed world, run by enclosed minds
A mind which thinks that by shutting us away from the world, will not make them hear
Make them care, but the thing about words with truth
They make you AWARE
So to all the Political Prisoners out there who speak the truth
Our truth, your truth.
Continue to do so, motivate our people, our youth
Keep fighting the system, not the people
Their will come a day when this will all pay off, we will be recognized as equals
This is not our last stand
Not until there is justice across every indigenous land
So Political Prisoner Mahsi(Thank you) for your strife
Until justice is served and our voices heard
We are all political prisoners serving life.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Guest Post- Verne Ross

(Verne Ross-Photo By Christine McFarlane)

Verne Ross is from Cote First Nation in Saskatchewan and he belongs to the Saulteaux Nation. His Anishnaabe name is Mino Giizgaad Ginaajwi Bineshii. He graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours B.A, and is now a MSW Candidate from OISE at the University of Toronto.

This story is a children's story that is currently part of a larger work in progress.

The Willies:
By Verne Ross

It was the early part of a cold winter morning I woke up needing to “pee”.  Sleepily I tried to convince myself that I could wait it out, but once I started to squirm around under my covers I knew I would have to get up.

The house I was living in had an eerie presence, or so I thought. The house did not have an inside toilet.  Instead you had to go outside to a little house called an outhouse. This is where you had to pee. That was the part I hated the most.

I was always afraid to go outside when it got dark out. I imagined the ‘bogey man’ was waiting outside to get me. I was afraid of this, even if I did know that he didn’t really exist. The bogey man always controlled my mind, and it indeed made me afraid.

I looked around the room to see if anyone else was moving, but everyone was fast asleep.  I thought about asking my Aunt to come with me to the outhouse, but I knew she was not feeling well, so I did not want to disturb her sleep. I could not wake up any of my older cousins because I knew that I would run the risk of being made fun of. This meant I was on my own.

I slowly put on my brown checker coat, and my black winter boots and headed towards the door. I first had to pull out the knives from the door frame that my uncle used to keep the door locked. To me, it was cheap security, like knives in the doorframe really felt safe. After I took the knives out, I slowly opened the creaking door and took a peek outside.

Brr….. It was sure cold out there. I could feel the cold air hit  as the front door opened. When I stepped outside, Duke, our German shepherd came out of his doghouse. I could tell he was glad to see me. I felt badly for Duke because he was not allowed to come into the house when it was cold like this. Duke was not even allowed to sleep on the porch. If it was not for his thick dark brown fur coat, I am sure Duke would have frozen to death.

As I walked with Duke towards the outhouse, I stopped to look around. I noticed the whole village was silent. I was hoping that Duke would not bark because if he did, that meant things were not safe and  I would have to high tail it back to the house.
I was always told that dogs could see things that we (humans) could normally not see. I believed it because I knew that Duke would not bark for nothing. Sometimes he would bark and I would have to tell him to keep quiet! Duke was my “be on the alert” button, especially on night trips to the outhouse.

I loved Duke, he made me feel so safe. I was finally at the outhouse, and peeing, when all of a sudden I head Duke start growling outside of the outhouse door.  I asked him

“Boy, what do you hear?”

As I sat there peeing, I started to get more nervous. The more nervous I was, the more I peed. I heard Duke growling again, and then there was silence. Duke was no longer outside of the outhouse. He had run back to his dog house.

I found myself alone and I could feel the silence crowd in on me. I started to get even more scared because I did not know what was outside of the hothouse and Duke had run off. Then I heard the frozen ground crunching. The bogey man was there! I tried to call for Duke, but he didn’t respond. I remember saying to myself

“this is the end for me. The bogey man is going to take me away.”

I decided to call out one more time for Duke. This time he responded and boy was I glad! He came back to where I was. As soon as I heard him, I stepped outside the outhouse and nervously knelt down to hug him. I noticed again, the silence that surrounded me. I wanted to get back to my house and no longer think about the sounds I heard outside the outhouse. All I knew was that the crunching of the snow outside of the outhouse did not sound like a person. I started to make my way back to the house and I took my time going back.

When I reached my front door step, Duke went to his dog house. I looked back at the outhouse one more time. No one was around. The only thing I could see was my own breath sending smoke signals into the air. It was time to get back inside. I tried to be quiet, but my Aunt had heard me come in.

 She said

 “what were you doing out in the cold night?”

I said to her, I needed to go to the outhouse.  I was so cold I was answering her in a language that was hard for her to understand.  I was talking a cold language.  I began to tell my Aunt what I heard at the outhouse and all she said to me was that I was not to ever go outside alone at night.  After when she said that to me I was spooked even more.  My Aunt told me to get to bed and cover up and go to sleep. 

That same day later in the morning I was back outside playing because there was no school. Apparently when the temperatures drop, the buses cannot run properly. I did not mind this at all. This gave me the opportunity to go and see my friends. I met up with Ernie, who was one of my best friends. We decided to go sliding because that was where many of the other children were. We had to dress warm for sliding or else you could freeze in no time. To have frostbite on your ears is not pleasant. For sure, my Aunt would be mad at me for not wearing proper clothing. In fact, I knew she would stop me from going sliding. Before I left home, my Aunt said

"You must be home before its dark"

She said it looked like it wanted to snow, so I could not be gone long.

While I was walking with Ernie, I decided to tell him what happened in the early morning. After I told him, he told me that it must have been the ghost of William. I asked him, who was he? There was a pause and silence. Finally Ernie told me he was not allowed to talk about him and that he was dead. I said to Ernie that, that was ridiculous. Who was he anyways?

“Come on tell me Ernie I need to know”

Then he finally gave in.  He told me that William had been found frozen to death when he went missing in bad weather. The whole village had gone out looking for him but he was not to be found. This gave me the chills. Ernie told me that William was around our age and that he was always going away from home.

By this time we had arrived at the hill so we started to get the toboggan ready.  I soon forgot what we were talking about. I was having so much fun. I did not realize that the time was starting to pass by fast. I did notice that bad weather was moving in on us. I told Ernie we had better go home before it got any worse. Ernie said not to worry because we would go soon. He told me to hang on and that he wanted to go down the hill just one more time. I said just one more and that we better get going or else my Aunt was going to kill me.

I was getting tired and hungry but Ernie was so full of energy that I could figure out where he got all his energy from. When we arrived at the top of the hill for our final run, Ernie positioned the toboggan and told me to get on first. Before I got in, I noticed that the wind was picking up and I was getting nervous.

I told Ernie,

“let’s get going”,

but the only answer I could hear was Ernie, laughing and hollering.  While he was
doing that I was getting a snow wash job on my face.  It was too bad I did not
have a pair of windshield wipers on my glasses.  When we arrived at the bottom
of the hill I noticed that the wind was picking up even more and that it was
getting near dark.  I said to myself, “Oh no”.

As I watched the sun slowly going down I grabbed the toboggan and started heading home.  It started to snow hard and the wind was starting to blow more.  I told Ernie that we better hurry up.  We both started walking faster pulling the toboggan but the wind was getting the best of us.  It became a tough job pulling the toboggan.  Ernie was telling me he had never seen such bad weather come so fast.  I noticed that Ernie was getting scared so I told him we must keep moving.  The weather was starting to get really cold and I was starting to get really tired.  I told Ernie that we must ditch the toboggan and come back for it later.  He told me I was crazy to do that.  It took me awhile to convince him that our lives were far more important than that old toboggan.  At this point Ernie had no choice and he agreed to leave the toboggan behind.

By this time we had wasted valuable time.  As the weather got progressively worse Ernie and I got colder, so I told him we had to keep moving. Then all of a sudden, we were not able to see anything in front of us. I knew then we were in big trouble, in fact doomed.

I told Ernie to hold on to me and not let go no matter what. My face was so cold but I was still putting up a fight struggling through the snow. Ernie was barely moving and then he started to cry. I told him to hang in there. We were both still moving but then it became completely dark.

I did not want to believe that we were lost and that we just could not move anymore. The path was no longer a path for us, so we huddled together and shivered. I figured if we didn’t move, someone would come to our rescue, but no one came. I sat there with Ernie and started to pray. I was telling the Creator that I was too young to go, and I prayed. 

"please Creator, help me and Ernie to get home, I promise that I would be a good boy and listen to my Aunt.” 

Ernie just kept quiet.

After I was finished I noticed this tiny little light in front of us.  It looked foggy at first but then the light was getting closer and closer. When it came close enough, I noticed it was not a man but a little boy that was causing the light. You could not see his face. He told us that he would see that we found our way through the storm. He pointed us toward the village. Then the little boy told me to call out to Duke. I yelled his name really hard.


I was answered by his bark. I told Ernie that Duke was coming.

“Do you hear him”

He said no. I asked him if  he could see the little boy? He answered  yes and then he said he could hear Duke. The little boy said we must wait for Duke and then he must go. When Duke arrived at my side, I was glad. Ernie was so glad that he started to pet Duke. Before I could thank the little boy, he was gone.

Ernie asked me “where did he go?”

I told him “I guess he had to go.”

Once again, I told Ernie that we must go.  I grabbed Duke’s collar and I had Ernie hold onto me as we struggled through the snow and wind. Ernie and I continued the journey home. Duke kept pulling us towards the village, and as we got closer I could see some lights. I did not let go of Duke until I knew that we were really close.

When we arrived in the village we headed toward towards the village centre.  I tell you, it felt so good.  My hands, feet and ears began to thaw out. Ernie was warming up but was still shaking. We were not the only ones in the centre; there were other people already there.

 Apparently they were in search of our whereabouts. The people from the village asked us where we were and how did we wind up in the storm. I could not answer them. I had my head down. I asked one of the people to let Duke in and they said

“There is no dog around.”

 I thought maybe Duke went on home.  Later my Aunt walked into the centre and she grabbed a hold of me. Ernie’s mother and father grabbed him when they saw him also. They asked if we were alright and I said 

" I just want to go home."

The police called off the search and community members all went home. When I arrived home with my aunt, I filled my frozen belly with nice hot rabbit soup and scone. My other cousins were glad to see me and the next thing you know I fell asleep on the couch.

The next morning I went outside to check on Duke and there he was just wagging his tail. I went over to give him a hug. My Aunt came outside too and started to take down some of the clothes off the line. They were all stiff like cardboard. She told me to not go very far. She asked me how I was able to get through the storm. It was impossible for anyone to see where they were going. I told her that it was the little boy that had shown me the way and that it was the little boy who had told me to call out for Duke. I told her that I did, and he came and led us to the village. My Aunt was silent, so I asked her

“what’s wrong?”

There was no response she was very quiet.  Later she told me that the little boy I saw was probably the missing boy in the snowstorm many years ago. I told my Aunt that it must have been him who saved Ernie and I. My aunt told me that I should not  mention this to anyone because it might upset the family. I did what she wanted.

That evening when I had to go outside to the outhouse I was not afraid. So when I heard the footsteps and Duke was not with me, I called to the spirit and I thanked him for saving our lives and for showing us the way home. To this day, I am no longer afraid and I do not get the willies anymore. That noise at the outhouse I believe was the 
spirit of the missing little boy and he taught me not to be afraid anymore.

Copyright 2007                                                                             

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Short Story: You Are Not Wanted: By Christine McFarlane

I feel like I am taking a big risk by posting this personal story, but its a survivor story. Writing my stories have been a huge part of my healing, and through sharing this story, I want to believe that by sharing one of my many stories, that others will feel that they can share their stories too. No one is alone, and though it took me a long time to realize that, I am happy about where I am today, and I continue to work towards health and healing by writing what is true to me.

You Are Not Wanted
By: Christine McFarlane

I'm sitting at a long brown table; a table scratched and worn by god knows how many people that sat here before me. My feet barely touch the ground. An older lady sits beside me. She leans over and tells me

"I am your lawyer, my name is Helen Carefoot."

I look at her as if to say, "I really don't care,"

 Deep down I am frightened. My heart is thumping and I silently nod my head. Before me, I see a huge expanse of brown-carpeted floor, and a large desk where the judge is sitting.  Where the judge sits, I see two sitting areas-one where I later find out is where the court clerk sits to type up her notes and the other where the plaintiff or defendant sit to tell their story. I glance up briefly to see my adoptive father, stride across the floor and raise his hand. He tells the court clerk:

" I swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth."

He looks ahead, careful not to look over to where I am sitting, and then sits down at the court officer's request.

 My heart goes into my throat. I want to be sick, because the fear inside me starts to consume me. I take a huge gulp, willing my heart to slow down. I tell myself

 "I can't cry.  I need to be brave."

I don't know how long I am sitting there. For a ten year old, court is pretty boring. Everything that was being said just went over my head. I mindlessly sat at the table with paper and pencil before me, just in case I wanted to doodle.  I don't really remember hearing what was said. I do know that I did come alive when I heard the judge say

"Sir, you need to speak louder!”

When I heard the judge say that, inside I smiled and thought, it’s about time that someone yelled at him!  It was then that my world as I knew it came tumbling down upon me. I heard my adoptive father say

"Christina is not wanted and we give her up to the care of the Children's Aid Society."

After I heard those words, things became a blur. I do remember the court session ending, and walking out of the courtroom to the elevator. My lawyer was with me. We were both quiet. I wanted to cry but I couldn't, I kept it inside. My head was spinning, my little fists clenched at my sides. My insides were in turmoil, and all I could think of was

I don't have parents anymore: I am an orphan.

The enormity of what had just happened minutes before in the courtroom didn't quite hit me until much later, even when I was in the elevator about to leave the courthouse and my adoptive mother said

"see ya,"

On some level I knew that my adoptive parents were going to give me up, because I would not have been missing school over and over again just to go to court, or to hear months later that my grade six teacher at my brand new school told the class while I was away at one point that

"Christina needs to be kept in our prayers.” 

On another level this was when I began to shut myself down, and from those around me. I knew that was the only way I could keep myself safe because I did not want to go through such pain again.  But the pain did continue and at ten years old, the pain turned into an all-consuming anger. An anger that had me running away every chance I got, not caring that I would get caught and brought back to the group home I was living in to face more punishment. Punishment that had me lying on a mattress in a time out room, a room especially made for those who acted out. The room was at the end of a long hallway in the basement of the cottage we were assigned to. While I lay in the time out room, I had nothing to look at but the bare walls and no contact with anyone, unless it was a staff bringing me a meal. This was reminiscent of what my adoptive parents had been doing to me for a year before I landed in the care of the group home. The mattress I laid on was thin and lumpy, the blanket that was given to me barely kept me warm.

Going back to when I was given up.... I remember it was almost the end of the school year and I was sitting in my grade five class.  I excitedly told a few kids that were around me that I was going to a boarding school, and that I would be moving, and wow I was "going to a boarding school... it sounded exotic. It was something even in my ten year old mind that I understood only the rich had access to. I didn’t know that I was going to a home for troubled kids, and that the kids would be much older than me. They were kids that had long since been cast aside.

When my adoptive parents gave me up, they also separated me from my sister. A sister who was my friend and my ally through the abuse we suffered, at the hands of our adoptive parents. Except for one brief visit four years later at the local mall with parental supervision, I did not see my sister again until I turned seventeen. By that time, the toll of what had happened to me became more and more evident. I was wise beyond my years yet still a little girl at heart. A little girl who wanted love, wanted acceptance and didn't care if she died in the process.

Fast forward to today... I am an adult now far away from those who hurt me. I rebuilt my life, I had to for the sake of my sanity, and to become the best aunt I possibly could to my nieces.  I learned to surround myself with people who believed in me and encouraged me to not only keep up the fight but to stay strong. Most of all, I got sick of being sick and tired, and wanted my past to no longer define how I was to myself and the world around me.

Today.... I am alive and I am strong because I am a survivor. I am a survivor in a sea of thousands of other First Nations children, First Nations children who were put through the child welfare system through no fault of their own. I know that I am not alone, and I would like to believe that the more we speak and tell our stories, the stronger we will become.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Have A Heart for First Nations Children

(Dr. Cindy Blackstock) Photo By: Christine McFarlane

Have a Heart for First Nations Children:
By: Christine McFarlane

I recently attended a talk by Dr. Cindy Blackstock who is the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. She spoke candidly about her advocacy work involving First Nations children. She maintains that her vision is to have a generation of First Nations children who are given the same opportunities to succeed, celebrate their culture and be proud of who they are, just like other children in Canada.

Blackstock has served for over 20 years in the Child and Family Services sector and speaks all over the world and throughout Canada on First Nations issues, specifically with regards to First Nations children, who are considered one of the most vulnerable members of our society.

A new initiative that she has started is titled "Have A Heart" In support of this initiative and Dr. Cindy Blackstock's work, I am posting information about this initiative so that in one way or another we can all get involved and spread the word! 

The Have a Heart campaign invites individuals to support culturally based equity for First Nations children living on reserve. On February 14th, 2012, Valentine’s Day, show your love, unity and compassion by engaging in respectful activities that support equity for First Nations children so that each and every child in Canada is treated fairly and can grow up happy.

Take action! Send Valentine’s cards to your local Member of Parliament, to the Prime Minister or the Premieres to show your support. The Caring Society has cards on their website to print or to send electronically or you can purchase packages of 5 in either English or French – 3 for $25 or 1 for $10. All proceeds support I Am a Witness, Jordan’s Principle and Shannen’s Dream. You can also show your support by spreading awareness through your networks or through social media sites like YouTube, Twitter or Facebook. If you cannot attend the hearing and take part in the fun activities in Ottawa, host a Valentine’s Day party! See­‐a-­‐heart for more information.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Congratulations to Maurice Switzer (Director of Communications at the Union of Ontario Indians)

Photo By: Christine McFarlane

Congratulations to Maurice Switzer of Alderville First Nation and who is the Director of Communications at the Union of Ontario Indians and Editor of Anishinabek News for receiving the Friends of Ontario First Nations Public Libraries Honour Program Award at the 2012 Ontario Library Association Awards on February 2. The Friends of Ontario First Nation Public Libraries Honour Program recognizes and conveys respect and appreciation to individuals who and organizations that have actively demonstrated significant understanding of and support for the establishment and ongoing development of public libraries in First Nation communities.
The Program, initiated in 2004 for first presentation in 2005, is coordinated annually by a member of the Ontario First Nations public library community. Members of the First Nations public library community nominate candidates for the Honour Program based on specified criteria.
The Program honour is a handcrafted, stained-glass friendship feather presented in a frame with an engraved plaque.
The first Friendship Feather presentations took place at the 2005 First Nations Public Library Week Launch hosted by Bkejwanong First Nation Public Library, Walpole Island on February 14. Since 2006, Honour recipients have received their Friendship Feathers at the annual Public Library Awards Dinner that takes place at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference.

Poetry: By: Christine McFarlane

cold cold

bracing yourself
against the winds
that howl around you

cold cold 

teeth chattering
wearing thick

all bundled up

cold cold

winds howling
bracing yourself
against the winds
that howl around you

Winter is here

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Poetry: By: Christine McFarlane

Dark skies
Heavy heart

Tears glisten
At the corner
of my eyes

To spill

Around me

Dark skies
Heavy heart

Tears glistening
In the corner
of my eyes

But I fight
And hold them back

Because I know

There's no reason to cry

 The skies
Can change tomorrow

With darkness

And my heart
Growing light
Once more