Breaking one of Canada’s best kept secrets: MMIW

Audrey Huntley will be speaking at the Nobel Women’s Initiative conference on the Defence of Women Human Rights Defenders, April 24-26, The Hague.  
Canada is not often seen as a place where widespread human rights violations against the indigenous population occur on a regular basis.

Much of the international community’s perception of this country is still that of pristine nature and polite inhabitants with health care.

In fact, Canada’s indigenous population is over-policed and under-protected, both men and women are incarcerated at rates much higher than the non-indigenous population and face police violence and deaths in custody all too often.

Yet our own mainstream media is finally no longer able to ignore one of this settler colonial country’s best-kept secrets: Ongoing genocidal violence against the indigenous population — and more specifically the targeting of indigenous women, girls, transgender and two-spirited people.

Continue Reading.

Thawing Out | 4/26/2015

I promised myself I would start reading again, 

to think of new ways to describe how I hate myself. 

You said you’d  listen 

if it were easier on the ears.

I spent all day apologizing 

for my lack of worth. 

Robbed at gunpoint, you 

brandish guilt like a weapon. 

Pressed against my forehead.

This is a reminder of 

my failures. 

My father told me that no one

deserves to know all of my secrets. 

“Some things you live with

and never speak of.”

I spent twenty four years stitching and restitching

my lips. It’s been so long since I’ve spoken, 

I forget how I sound. 

Locked up beneath the alcohol 

and shame, you tear at the seams. 

Ripping out the phrases too painful to say. 

Stepping away before I finish, 

you lose interest in 

my lack of poetry. 

Jordan Alan Brown


With little warning Chile’s Calbuco volcano erupted with ferocity after 42 years of stability.

On April 22nd, plumes of ash began spewing from the volcano up to 10 kilometres in the air, and resulted in a large evacuation process as well as these powerful images. 

With warning of as little as 15 minutes for some residents, this eruption highlights the immense difficulty in forecasting volcanic eruptions. Chile has 400 or so active volcanoes - one of the highest amounts on the planet, yet there’s still little that can be done to efficiently predict these eruptions. 

The proximity of high population density near large volcanoes seen in countries like Chile, Malaysia and The US have experts in the field concerned about the measures taken to ensure safety. Volcanoes that have been dormant for hundreds or thousands of years can still spring to life, begging the question; what can we do to ensure safety of these populations?

(Nat Geo, Vox, Time)

I feel your
                colours inside
        my chest;

                and an answer

        to a
I’d forgotten.

National Poetry Month Day 8: “cum shot” by Danez Smith

      how long has it been since

his legs stretched towards heaven?

      lord, let him be, don’t strike him

for believing he’s you. he’s high

      this morning, he called his body

his body & believed it

      someone touched his body

did not pirate him away

      someone rocked him

so good he danced to the music

      of his own bones’ surrender

he was blessed enough to plead mercy

      lord. let him wade the dead sea

of another boy’s quick milk

      the church burned down

but people have gathered

      shouting glory amongst the dust

Mars is still a soft red candle

      on night’s thin sheet

it’s a good day to end a war

      since that man did what he did

the boy’s been quiet, scarred

      by a false god’s cross, but Lord

let ruin end here, let him find honey

      where there was once a slaughter

let him enter the lion’s cage

      & find a field of lilacs

let this be the healing

       & if not, let it be


Danez Smith is the author of “[insert] boy” (YesYes Books, 2014), a finalist the Norma Farber First Book Award, and a second collection to be published by Graywolf Press in 2017. He is a 2014 Ruth Lilly/Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellow and will begin studies for an MFA at the University of MI-Ann Arbor this fall.