National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women: 5 May 2019

Thank you, Elaine Kicknosway, for sharing this photo of the scarf won at the Aamjiwnaang First Nation New Years Eve Pow wow. We’re not sure whose work it is, but the imagery is compelling.

To honour the day, and the depth of heartbreak if represents, here is a poem by Chief Billy Joe Laboucan, written in honour of his late daughter Bella. Perhaps one day he’ll share his own reading. Today it seems just wrong to ask. 

sâkihitowin ohcikawiw ohci
niskîsikohk;
sâkihitowin sâkaskinahtâw
nikiskisowina;
sâkihitowinâpoy kâ-kihcihtâwinimanawaya;
sâkihitowin osâmaskihnahtâw
nitîhihk. 

ᓵᑭᐦᐃᑐᐏᐣ ᐅᐦᒋᑲᐏᐤ ᐅᐦᒋ
ᓂᐢᑮᓯᑯᕽ;
ᓵᑭᐦᐃᑐᐏᐣ ᓵᑲᐢᑭᓇᐦᑖᐤ
ᓂᑭᐢᑭᓱᐏᓇ;
ᓵᑭᐦᐃᑐᐏᓈᐳᕀ ᑳ ᑭᐦᒋᐦᑖᐏᓂᒪᓇᐘᔭ;
ᓵᑭᐦᐃᑐᐏᐣ ᐅᓵᒪᐢᑭᐦᓇᐦᑖᐤ
ᓂᑏᐦᐃᕽ᙮ 

Love pours from
My eyes.
Love fills
My memories.
Love-tears sooth
My cheeks.
Love overwhelms
My heart.

Thanks also to Elaine Kicknosway for permission to share this beautiful video, made by her son, Theland Kicknosway: “MMIWG2S Song For The Heart.” It is a beautiful song “made to start the day and warm the heart.” 

About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, launched in 2010 with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
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