Collective Unrest

 

Their/violence/Us

October 16, 2019

Woke up to the news that the tipi had burnt down.

 

No,

that’s not correct.

 

That

isn’t what happened.

 

Woke up to the news that the tipi had been burnt down.

 

The agentic component is important. Where often it is important for other reasons, here it is determinant because it is cause of the action. The action does not happen without a subject. And so, therefore, even in the grammar, we must incorporate a subject into the action in such a way as to recognize this.

How do we make known our dishonor involved in this?

To annunciate this and begin the reparative work that has been brought into necessity by an unrepaired community member. Here ‘community member’ is both too vague and too inclusive. It includes Canadians, whites, non-indigenous; but it could include also sub-groups.

The picture of the space where the tipi once stood

now has a blackened circle outlining the edges,

wood beams/poles lie somewhat askew of themselves

yet they maintain a center of crossed bars.

The poles closest to where the fire was ignited

scarred with burns and ashen from the fight against this,

they fought against this injustice, indignity, this malice.  

 

Woke

 

to

 

the

 

news – everyday violence stops being ‘news’ to those who enact it –

 

they – them, the same they that has always tried to kill and disappear –

 

had – a choice that they made and have made repeatedly –

 

burnt – another tool in a never-ending arsenal –

 

down – torn asunder and charred to the earth –

 

our – for it is always a people’s, this is why it was targeted –

 

tipi – a home, our space, a world, a cosmology –

 

We all state,

A territorial or land acknowledgement is an act of reconciliation that involves making a statement recognizing the traditional territory of the Indigenous people who called the land home before the arrival of settlers, and in many cases Indigenous people still do call it home.

 

We all only notionally

acknowledge and respect the history, land and the people of this area.

 

On this,

the traditional homelands of the Dakȟóta, Anishinabek, Oji-Cree, Cree, Dene and Metis peoples.

 

On this,

the lands of the Dakȟóta, Anishinabek, Anishinaabe, Néhinaw, Dené, and Métis peoples.

 

 

Frank G. Karioris (he/they/him/them) is a writer and educator based in Pittsburgh whose writing addresses issues of friendship, masculinity, sexuality, and gender. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Hong Kong Review of Books, Burning House Press, Back Patio Press, Truth-Out, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Maudlin House, and the Berlin Review of Books. Twitter: @FrankGKarioris

 

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