Rita Wong + Stacy Gallagher
Oniin Boozho, my dear relatives, my name is Gitchi Makwa, Makwa Indodem, Anishinaabe Stacy Gallagher. I was born on these unceded Coast Salish territories. I follow the matriarchal grandmothers of Serpent River, Ontario, where my mother was born. As a good relative, I’m to behave according to the grandmothers’ teachings and natural laws. I’ve been given the great responsibility to care for the people, meaning my life is no longer mine but I follow the original instructions through the blood memory of my ancestors. I serve the people as a firekeeper and as a land and water protector. Chi-Miigwetch, all my relations.
Rita Wong learns from and with water as an (un)settler living on unceded Coast Salish territories, who has responsibilities to build better relationships than colonization could imagine. With Dorothy Christian, she co-edited the anthology, downstream: reimagining water. Wong has written four books of poetry: monkeypuzzle (Press Gang 1998), forage, sybil unrest (co-written with Larissa Lai), undercurrent, and beholden: a poem as long as the river (with Fred Wah), as well as one graphic collection with Cindy Mochizuki, perpetual. She works as an instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she also serves on its unionized Faculty Association. When life allows, she enjoys spending time with rivers.
And the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has told Canada it should stop the TMX pipeline expansion, the Site C dam and the CGL pipeline. We are grateful for that international support which is so sadly missing from the federal and provincial governments. Water is life!
The Tyee: Lessons from Prison: A Shackled Pipeline Protester Reflects
The Tyee: An Open Letter from NDP Members About Site C (note: Rita is no longer a member of the NDP)
National Observer: What I learned about violence in B.C.'s Peace Valley
National Observer: We can all learn from Wet’suwet’en laws