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, November 26, 2012

A Poem: What is Home?

What is Home?
By: Christine McFarlane

Home is the path
I have taken
To regain my identity

Discovering who I am
The place I take up in this universe
 And my very own body

Is the path
That is a long and winding

And rocky
Because its filled
With many challenges

Is the wind that whispers
Around me, yet screams
If I hesitate or question

Doubting my capabilities
And what I can

Is the path
I have taken
And still undertake
To learn about myself
And those around me

It’s being able
To sit in silence
Or be at home 

Knowing that it is okay
To be alone

Home is the path
I have taken
Knowing that I am where
I am in life
And that it’s up to me
To be the change
I want to see in life

In order to be


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Flashback to a Poem I Wrote in 1998- Lost Identity

Lost Identity
By: Christine McFarlane

Feeling lost
in the society
I've lived in all my life
never feeling
as though
I've truly belonged

Feeling lost
living on the fringes
of what society is

Feeling lost
My forefathers
came before me
I am Indian
I rightfully belong
here on this earth
I am lost
Lost to the western world

I don't know
my people, 
my language
or my heritage

To someone
walking by
I look like just another
person going through
their life
coping as best as they can

But little does
anyone know
I feel like an outsider
lost in the fringes
Questions go unanswered
I have feelings of deep despair
crying on the inside
laughing on the outside
when I can even manage that

Feeling lost
in today's society

Will I
ever find myself
my true identity?


(Personal Note: When I went and visited my mom this past month, she lent me a copy of a 28 page book of poetry that I made in 1998. I brought the book home, and made a few copies. I wanted to share this one, because I believe it is indicative of my healing journey, where I was and how I felt. I can now say I know who I am, its amazing what a few years can do after much hard work)

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Short Story: Visit With My Mom

(My mom-Anna Smith: Photo By: Christine McFarlane)

Visit with Mom
By: Christine McFarlane

I’m staying in a little town an hour out of my reserve-Peguis First Nation, in Ashern Manitoba. The houses are sparse and there is land as far as you can see.

I pull my jacket close. Securely shut the front and back doors, and set out for what my mom and her boyfriend Jim call ‘downtown’. The streets are empty, except for maybe one or two cars that sputter by.

There is no cell phone service, but by habit I bring my iphone and turn my tunes on. Music blares though the little buds into my ears, and I smile as I start my trek.

By memory from the day before, I navigate my way from the back door of my mom’s house, around the long chain link fence surrounding their property, and down a barren path. I’m greeted by the barking of two dogs along the way, no other soul in sight.

It’s so different than the city life I’m used to in Toronto, Ontario, where people seldom walk slowly, and people are always on the go. A big WHOOSH of air escapes from my lips and I see my breath before me. Its cold in Toronto, but being new to this area, I never expected it to be as cold as it is, minus three degrees.

 I feel the chilly wind whip through my thin jacket, and my pace quickens. Small buildings dot this little town’s landscape, and though there are street signs, I find that I don’t have to rush against a crowd of people just to cross the street.

I see a small-dilapidated building on my right, with a sign above the door that says Ashern Support Centre. I know my mom and Jim are there because I see his little tractor with the ski doo trailer behind it angle parked on the empty street corner.

 I pull the door open. Standing in the doorway for a second, my eyes adjust from the outside light to the indoor light. I glance around the room to see if my mom and her boyfriend are there. My eyes meet the glances of people sitting at a long worn out plastic utility table and I see two familiar faces-my mom and Jim.

Jim yells out “Hey you made it!”

I take off my earphones, and smile. I want to be like my mom and say “Ah, be quiet,” but don’t. I walk over and sit down at the end of the table. People wonder who I am, my mom looks over at me and says

“This is my daughter, she came from Toronto to visit.”

“Oh!” says a lady sitting at the other end of the table

“What’s your name?”

“Christine,” I say quietly.

People comment, “You look so much like your mom.”

We all laugh as they say, “We should call you little banana,” because your mom’s nickname is big banana!”

Everyone is sitting and drinking coffee and tea. I take everything in around me and then my mom gets up and says “Come on.”

 I get up and follow my mom out the door. We start to walk this sleepy little town’s streets. Checking out one store after another. There’s not much to check out, after all the main street drag has about as many stores as half a block back in Toronto.

This is the third time I have seen her in all of my thirty-eight years. I have a million different feelings that I can’t quite define because at last my mom is at my side.

(an excerpt of a story I'm working on)

Mark the 10th Anniversary of the Grassy Narrows Blockade-

No Logging! No Mercury! Mark The 10 Year Anniversary of the Grassy Narrows
Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek Blockade!

On December 2, 2002, two young Anishnaabwekwe from Grassy Narrows
Asubpeeschoseewagong went out to the woods in the snow to start what is now
one of the longest running indigenous blockades in the recent memory of
Turtle Island. Please join us to mark a decade of struggle and achievement,
and remember the work still to be done.

10 Years of the Grassy Narrows Blockade: A Sacred Fire at Queen's Park
Sunday, December 2nd, 2pm-6pm
Queen's Park Front Lawn
Sacred Fire, Snacks Served, Children's Games, and Community Gathering

The community continues to maintain a moratorium on clearcutting in their
traditional territories. For many years now, despite the ongoing threat of
logging, grandmothers, mothers, trappers and youth have held off some of
the world's largest paper corporations. The community has also taken the
Ontario government to task for inaction on the ongoing effects of mercury
poisoning on their families and ecosystems.

Many of you, your families, your organizations, your communities, have
supported their efforts in the last decade. The Sacred Fire at Queen's Park
Lawn on December 2nd, 2012, is a great way to show your ongoing support and
to mark an important anniversary in the fight to protect Indigenous rights
and the water, air, land, and creatures that we all depend on.

Email us
any questions, see our Facebook Event at and visit for more info and updates.

Book Review: First Nations 101

Book Review: First Nations 101: tons of stuff you need to know about First Nations people
By: Christine McFarlane

Author: Lynda Gray
Published By: Adaawx Publishing
Pages:  275

“First Nations 101 written by author Lynda Gray is an informative and opinionated guide to First Nations issues. It is written in an accessible style and respectively offers sections on Identity, Social Control, Community Issues, Fairness and Justice, Health and Wellness, Arts and The Road Forward: Forging A New Path.

Author Lynda Gray states in the opening of her book “It is not fair that educating the public about First Nations people, and concerns is left for First Nations people to do,” but sadly it is often left to First Nations people to educate others about First Nations people and the issues that surround them.

First Nation 101 is different from other books written on First Nations issues because a First Nations author writes this book. Gray understands the issues and wants others to envision First Nations people in a more contemporary fashion and does not want the reader to see natives in the usual stereotypical and stoic viewpoint often depicted in books written by non-native authors.

The reader is given an overview of the history of First Nations people. Within the overview, Gray touches upon the many ways in which non-natives and Canada’s ensuing governments have imposed a form of social control over First Nations people through various actions, policies and laws, and the results of these actions.

As an example, Gray brings up community issues about First Nations people’s health, and explains how after being forced to abandon our traditional lifestyles, which were more active prior to contact, our physical health has declined due to a more sedentary life and the introduction of new foods. It is through the introduction of new foods such as white flour, sugar, and cow’s milk, that our bodies have a hard time processing these foods. Due to the inability of being able to process these new foods, various health problems have arisen and are growing throughout First Nations communities. Health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity are just a few that are named.

Gray also raises awareness of the many abuses that we all as First Nations have suffered. She speaks about what circumstances and issues have led to poor mental health, which includes low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. She also speaks about the residential school era, and post-residential school era and the issue of our 500 Missing and Murdered Women, amongst many other issues.

Juxtaposing negative issues, Gray also speaks of the resilience of First Nations people, stating “it is important to remember that our people have such rich and vibrant histories, traditions and beliefs to draw from that can help us to overcome anything." I like that she speaks about First Nations artists and how they play a vital role in First Nations culture, traditions and communities, and it is through their work they can inspire others to find their own voices and/or their own creativity.

A list of other resources is offered at the end of each chapter for readers to draw upon for more information. Educating the non-native population of Canada is needed in order to foster widespread and long lasting positive change.  First Nations 101 does an excellent job of starting the conversation especially since many First Nations issues have been caused by and/or perpetuated by external forces.

First Nations 101 is published by Adaawx Publishing. It is 275 pages. Please visit for more info about the book and where to buy it. 

P.S. I wanted to share this review with my readers because this book is a very vital source of information for those wanting to understand First Nations issues on a deeper level. Please note that a similar review will be published in an upcoming issue of Windspeaker.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Poem: Standing On Barren Land

Standing On Barren Land
By: Christine McFarlane

I stand on a barren expanse of land
The buildings and houses are sparse
Country as far as the eyes can see

The skies are gray
The ground cold to the touch
The wind bites at my cheeks

This place is supposed to be home
Because this is where my mom
Lives and breaths

To me this land is foreign.
Everything unfamiliar
As I navigate my way around
Trying to feel at ease

But feeling the quickening
Of my breath
And my heart pounding

There’s sadness
I can’t quite define

I just know
That right now
I stand on a barren expanse of land
Unfamiliar to me

I will be back in the city

But for now
I’ll pray to the Creator
For my mom and I

That we’ll be fine
And finally free
Of the past that haunts us
And makes us afraid to be