Letter to Joey Smallwood

May 2017

Dear Joey: I’m still here and mixed

Mi’kmaq after all these years

You’re long dead, yet

Confederation couldn’t stop

Newfoundland’s ongoing

colonial violence.

You continued so unapologetically,

telling Ottawa there are no red Indians–

Nancy April, we killed them all.

And you know, Joey

after all your declarations

bowing to the settlers

We’re still here, we remain

Mi’kmaq despite stolen status

cards stating otherwise

Some of us landless,

all of us Caribou.

 

We’re still here

after Qalipu and

you’re-not-Indian-enough-

too-white-to-be-real.

You can read Shannon Webb-Campbell’s essay about home in Newfoundland and Labrador and her essay about Mi’kmaq status rules.

 

The Music Man

BY Christa Shelley

Emerging from the crowd, I see the accordion player sitting on a folding chair. It is planted in a spot of sun on the downtown sidewalk. Following the movement of passersby, his body swivels in his chair, arms flapping. He offers his music and eye contact to every passing pedestrian.