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Irkar Beljaars Apr 2018
From the moment you are born there is someone out there ready to take you, they see you as more of a commodity than a person. They created laws so they could legally destroy you. You are left with soulless men and women who reached into your soul to try and turn you into one of them.

Their stinging words that come from the end of a switch, beating, ****** their ideology into your soul. Punishments come when you try to be yourself and as the years go by you slowly begin to disappear. And when they are done with you they toss you aside, leaving you with a lifetime of scars that never truly heal.

Generations of souls with no place to go, ending up on the streets of broken glass and towers of steel, drinking poison to dull the pain. You were taught to hate yourself by, taught to hate your people, your way of life. You continue to walk the path of broken glass and spent needles looking for your next release from the pain.

You want to give up, but you can’t for that goes against their beliefs. You try and escape with a pocket full of memories and a faint hope that the Creator is watching. You meet more lost souls on your journey all seeking to be healed. Together you begin to share stories something which is forbidden but you do it anyway. You soon discover that you are not alone and through these shared stories you have found a new family and a way to heal.

Your new found family invite you to sweat, as the heat rises your memories start to return. You share your story of the soul takers, the empty ones, the aliens who violated your world. As the heat increases, the songs get louder. Loud enough for the Great Spirit to reach down and heal you. For the first time in many years you see your mother, your family all your relations.

Like the tears flowing down your face so do the memories return to your soul, piecing you back together like a broken mirror. And though cracks remain they are there to remind you that you have lived. The Great Spirit leaves one parting lesson, go out she says, go out and find my children, bring them to the sweat , save as many as you can.

So you return to the streets of broken glass and towers of steel. You slowly bring your brothers and sisters to the sweat and together you begin to teach our youth to work together, to heal the land and it’s people. So future generations can grow into their destinies.
Inspired by the many survivors of Canada's Residential Schools
Irkar Beljaars Mar 2018
How many of us have to to die, go missing, be ***** before justice listens? The blood our people have spilled have wet the ground for centuries. Our children have been stolen, our families shattered and our land taken all due to the arrogance of white men.

To this day our people have been made to live in fear, a fear that has been driven, beaten, shot, stabbed and ***** into our very bodies. In the last 500 years our identities have been bombarded by men who are called pillars of our history. Their statues litter the land, a reminder of the atrocities they committed and fawned over by their ancestors.

The schools tried to erase us, the men with white collars, callous hearts and empty souls, the sting of their violations like ripples in a pool lasting generations. They taught hate in schools, they created Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier and thousands like them. They created ignorance that we feel even today.

Our two faced politicians who shed tears, kiss babies and at the same time deny our children basic human rights. Their tears buying our votes with empty promises and back room deals, selling away our children, our land and our souls.

We never forgot, the generations of genocide would not let us. “A good Indian is a dead Indian” the man on the radio says, his words are like the stones thrown at women, children and elders during the Crisis. The violence we experienced that day was just another chapter in the long history of massacres, land theft, stolen children and degradation.

The change that our two faced politicians talk about is the trickle down economics of social change, I say trickle down because like every other promise it doesn’t exist. I grow tired of the fight but I know that we must continue. We are the symbol of the voice yet to be born. The words of our elders continue to lead us, guide us like they always have on the path towards growth.

We must continue to educate and fight the ignorance that permeates every corner of our society. It’s the idea that must be destroyed, the idea of white supremacy which has plagued our land for centuries. Growth cannot happen without truth and that cannot happen without honesty. To have true honesty our society will have to look in the mirror and acknowledge that of which most of them cannot, that hate exists.

We must acknowledge that white supremacy helped Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier commit and get away with their horrific crimes. Change will only happen when we no longer allow fear to hold us back, to keep our mouths shut. Change will happen when we look at each other as equals and help one another to heal, to grow and to teach.

We are not defined by a stereotype, we are not the alcoholic, the drug addict, the *** worker, or the homeless person. We are teachers, doctors, social workers, lawyers and Chiefs. We are actors, writers, poets, singers and Djs. But most importantly we are nations of people, people that have been the stewards of this land for a millennia.

We are people who refuse to be victims, we refuse to have child services take our children away from their mother’s breast. We refuse to be silent when our sisters go missing and are murdered and we refuse to believe that the police are doing everything they can.

We will not stay silent when the media places blame on the Coltons and Tina’s over the world, this victim blaming must stop. The white patriarchy cannot continue to own our future. We as Indigenous peoples will take back our story and we will be the ones to write the next chapter.

A chapter where our sisters do not go missing, where our youth have a future, and a chapter where our communities are thriving. I refuse to accept despair and pain, I’d rather believe in hope, growth and love. That is how we create change. When remembering the words of my late mother, a closed fist is a closed mind, while an open hand reveals an open heart.

Change is a beautiful thing, we are the masters of our own future. We will bring down the walls that divide us and together bring the change this land sorely needs.
Belle Aug 2017
I am going... to try.
Not for you, but for me.
I will go downstairs and I will eat dinner.
I will wake up tomorrow and I will have breakfast, I will have lunch, I will have dinner. I will eat my snacks.
And if I cannot do all of it, that is okay.
I can try again the next day.
It's alright if I make mistakes. I can do that.
But I am going to try.
It's not cool when people care about you because you made yourself throw up.
It's not cool when people care about you because you can barely walk or stand without being lightheaded.
It's not cool when people care about you because you are sitting at meals staring at your food like it's some sort of foreign object.
It's not cool when you receive attention for your vitals being so bad that you faint.
It's cool when people applaud you for the hard work you have been putting in.
It's cool when you've made progress and people tell you they are proud.
It's cool when you get to go outside everyday because you've earned privileges.
It's cool when you get attention for doing well and having someone put their hand on your back and say, "hey, I know today was hard. But you made it through."
My eating disorder is not cool. In fact it's proven to be incredibly uncool.
I used to hate when people told me they were proud of me, but as I got told today how much I was loved and how proud everyone was of me I realized how cool recovery was.
I am not going to give up. It's going to be incredibly difficult. And some days, it may feel impossible but no matter what,
I am going to try.

- thoughts after being kicked out of treatment
Velvet Elk Dec 2014

Nipiyakwaskātikawin kiyāpic ce kisākihin
e macāwasisīwi yān ce Penāsin hāw
ninēstomon      ninanothacihikwak oki
ni wēsaki mosihtān      nipakamistikwanihokawin kanihithoyan

Sepī kinwastēwikamikwa ita mistāpiwak kinakiskawānawak
Nospatahten wēthipāpwi ekā ikēpakitatāmowīn
Nikanistāpāwān awikāchi nēyaw kitasipweyahotew
Nikaaskēthihten nikawi esi mihcicitik tapiskoc āniskawēthikosak

Tapwe kithipan asay pinipakāw
Māka Manitokosisān nitīhihk ayāw
Wētha e - apisīsisīyān ekwa e māthātiseyān. Nikakīpatisin
kiyam āta cmachātisēyān Nipīhkihik tāpisochkona
Namwac nikawihtēn nikapāpwān hāw
Namac nikawihtēn awikāci maciskotehk nikihtotān hāw


Pesim wapimēw tipiskāwi pesimwa tahtokesikāw
kēhkānakosiwak ācakosak pitowenam awēyak
Nitakēhtēn tipistihona pihtokamihk
Pīhcāyik mistikowatihk nikīmocimāton
Nimāmitonithitēn epimmāsāhki ohcikiwāpowina
Nitakimāwak ahkētāp acāhkosak
Peyak mena neso tānihki, tanihki kohci kitimāhiyek
Tepwāsin nohtāwi e-tipiskāk ekwa e-kesikāk
kēmōc namwac kikawīhten
Kāwitha wīhta maciskotihk kikītisahotin
Kasākocihitin Tota kītitān
Nistomitanow nike taketason kihtwān
akehtaso isko kitaponipathik kihtwām


Pipon! Titipi konakāw aski
nita okīsikohkān konihk
e-wāskāpit thoskisiw wāsisiw kona
pēyakwan enīmihitochik wāskā

nitosīhtān mistahiwāskahikan - chīstē
okimāskwīsis oma nētha nimistahiwāskahikanihk
namōtha wītha kitimāki nihithāsis
nimithosin ēkwa niwapiskisin tāpiskōch kona

Nikāwi - nikakwātakithawēsin
namotha ninohtē pīmātisin epakwātaman pimatisiwin
mena machihtowin.
Namōtha nohtaw athistiniw itāmihk nasakāhk
Tānthikoh kinwēs ota wihchēkanohk kāwīkipahokaweyān!
Ispē kiwēyāni nikasēkipatwān
Pimātisēyani āhpo nipēyāni, Nikāwi, nikasēkipatwān.


I’m here all alone. Do you still love me?
Am I bad? I’m sorry. Come get me. Please.
I cry and cry and cry, the big ones tease.
I hurt. She hits my head when I speak Cree.

In screaming bath houses we face giants.
I inhale black water with each blue breath.
Will I drown or float softly into death?
I miss you nimama in this city of ants.

All too slow the seasons change, the leaves go.
But now Jesus Christ lives inside my heart.
Since I’m a little, ugly girl. Not Smart.
Although, I’m bad He makes me white as snow.
I promise I won’t tell. I promise. Please.
And I won’t tell or I’ll go to hell. Please.


The fast sun tags the moon day after day.
Under bright stars echoing footsteps come
Inside the bad room I call for you nimama
I counted the steps along the hallway.

I stay in a box, in silence I cry
Shiny tear drop bubbles float in my mind
Beneath and behind sad stars, I count blind.
One plus one is two. Why? Why hurt me? Why?

Call me dear Father by night and by day.
And this is our secret, you will not tell.
Now don’t tell. I can send you straight to hell.
I’m bigger than you. You do what I say.
I can count to thirty over again
Count until it’s over, over again.


Winter has come! Snow has covered the world.
I’m a little snow angel that glimmers
In spirals, fluffy, shiny snow shimmers
See the dancing snow flakes around me twirl.

I made a castle. Look what I can do!
I’m the princess of my own snow castle.
No filthy little Indian rascal.
I am a pretty and white snow flake too.

Nimama, my chest crackles hot fiery red rage
How can I live when I hate life and sin?
Where there’s no less human in my skin.
How long will I stink and rot in this cage!?
And when I leave here I will wear my braids.
Forever Nimama I will wear my braids.

* Nimama * Plains Cree for Mom or Mother

#Cree Translation by B. Charles

— The End —