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, July 28, 2014

Help Keep Briarpatch Magazine Going!

Briarpatch has just launched their first crowd sourced (online) fundraising campaign.Please help spread the word about this amazing magazine by clicking on the below link and sharing it with your contacts!

Events for Week of July 28, 2014


Wednesday July 30, 2014-1pm-3pm-SBA Advisory Committee Open Group Meeting@ Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle

Wednesday July 30, 2014- 5-8pm Hand drum workshop with Steve Teekens at the Native Canadian Centre. Come out and learn how to make a hand drum! This one day workshop will cover the teachings of drums and youth will be able to take their finished drum home at the end of the workshop.

This workshop is only open to youth ages 12-24. You have to register as space is very limited!

To register, please call 416-964-9087 x 326, send us a facebook message or email

Wednesday, July 30, 2014-6:30pm-8:30pm
*PUBLIC OPENING* Before and after the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes @ the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) 317 Dundas Street West

Thursday July 31, 2014-12pm- RiverRun 2014-Walk with Grassy Narrows for clean water and Indigenous Rights @ Grange Park, 317 Dundas St. West Join community members from Grassy Narrows Indigenous Nation in a walk for clean water and indigneous rights.

Wednesday July 30, 2014-6:45-8:45pm- East End Against Line 9 Meeting. The meeting will consider the vision and scope of our committee -- a question that has come up at our planning meetings in May and June. Frank S. and John R. will lead off discussion.

July 31, 2014- 5pm-7pm-  BBQ and Bakesale Fundraiser @ the Native Canadian Centre. The Memory, Meaning, Making and Collections project is a group of Native seniors in the community, along with a team of dedicated people who have been working with the NCCT's collection of objects. We are passionate about learning, laughing and growing together, visiting museums, doing craft work, attempting to use the language, and of course eating!

ALL proceeds from this event will be put towards our goal of bringing our group on a ONCE IN A LIFETIME trip to Washington D.C. this fall to view the collections held in their museums!  

For any further information please contact Amber Sandy at

August 1-2, 2014-7pm- to 6pm on August 2- 250th Anniversary of the Treaty of Niagara, 1764 Join in on August 1-2, 2014

Friday, August 1, from 7-9pm, Gathering at Fort Niagara (Youngstown, NY)

Saturday, August 2, start with Sunrise Ceremony and wrap up with Traditional Feast, approx. 6am to 6pm, Gathering at Fort George (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON)

MORE INFORMATION ON THE SPEAKERS AND ACTIVITIES WILL FOLLOW SHORLTY (Check back with this Facebook group or check the Chiefs of Ontario website:

For information, contact:
Rick Hill, Six Nations Polytechnic, Ohsweken, ON, at 519-445-0023,
Heather George, Six Nations Legacy Consortium at
Sherry Antone, Chiefs of Ontario, at

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Book Review: The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement

Review: The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement”
By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)

“The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement” is a very critical book to read when it comes to understanding the origins of Idle No More, and the issues that First Nations people have been and are currently fighting.

From the time that I opened it until I closed the pages of this book, I found myself captivated by many of the articles. It helped me to understand some very important pieces of First Nations history, legislation and the drive behind what has been one of many integral movements in my lifetime-Idle No More.

I was especially moved by the opening poem “A Healing Time,” written by SkyBlue Mary Morin, where she states

“We dance
to soften the hard lumps
that have formed
in the heart,
the hurt inside
We dance, the Stomp
We stomp, stomp along
With stumbling feet
In a snakelike rope
Of people

We dance
the Friendship Dance
Take my hand
And hold it tight
Gentle if that’s
The way with you”
(SkyBlue Mary Morin)

The poem speaks of a dance that saw First Nations people across Canada gather and hold hands while round dancing at each Idle No More movement event. As I read it, I still envision the way the round dance united people at each Idle No More event. It reminds me of our culture, and the beauty of it, and how the dance was symbolic of sharing the hurt, sharing the pain, and sharing friendship and love with everyone who attended these round dance flash mobs, teach ins and gatherings.

            In “The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, Future and the Idle No More Movement,” there is a very thorough examination of how the Idle No More Movement started, gained traction in First Nations communities across Canada and how it was indicative of a very long chain of resistance (years in the making, when you look at past resistances and legislative policies- The White Paper, Oka, etc) that was forged in late November 2012, when four women in Saskatchewan held a meeting called to educate Indigenous (and Canadian) communities on the impacts of the Canadian federal government’s proposed Bill C-45.
It called attention to the 457 pages of legislation, an omnibus of new laws that introduced drastic changes to the Indian Act, the Fisheries Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Navigable Water Act (amongst others)
It was with the help of social media and grassroots Indigenous activists that this meeting by these four women inspired a continent wide movement with hundreds of thousands of people from Indigenous communities and urban centres participated in sharing sessions, protests, blockades and round dances in public spaces and on the land, in our homelands and sacred spaces.
 “Indigenous peoples have been protecting homelands; maintaining and revitalizing languages, traditions, and cultures; and attempting to engage Canadians in a fair and just manner for hundreds of years.” (21)
“The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement,” edited by The Kino-nda-niimi Collective is a book that must be read because it is a collection of writings that change minds, ideas, action and history. It is published by Arbeiter Ring Publishing and is 439 pages.

The Kino-nda-niimi Collective is a group of Indigenous writers, artists, editors, curators, and allies who came together to document and disseminate the work that emerged and culminated in the winter of 2012-2013. Lead editors for the Winter We Danced include Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Leanne Betasmosake Simpson, Tanya Kappo, Wanda Nanibush and Hayden King, who along with many colleagues, relatives, friends and organizations assembled this collection together over the summer and fall of 2013.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)

Darkness hits you
And you feel
Like you may be

That I’m a friend
Who cares

Who will
Hold her hand

 When no one else will

Darkness hits you
And you feel
Like you are drowning

My love
And friendship
Is always
there for you

I’ll hold
You up

When no one
Else will

You just have to trust
In me

And remember
I am here