October 29, 2020

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REVIEW: Smudge, Don’t Judge, Assisting Two Spirit/Trans Survivors of Violence

REVIEW: Smudge, Don’t Judge, Assisting Two Spirit/Trans Survivors of Violence

Smudge, Don’t Judge: Assisting Two Spirit/Trans Survivors of Violence is a ten-minute film resource for community workers made to honour the memory of Alloura Wells, a Trans woman who went missing in July 2017. The narrator reminds us that Wells was murdered and her body discovered not by police, who knew she was missing, but by a dog walker in a public park. Wells lay in a morgue for months before DNA tests identified her as someone the community had been looking for. Her story serves to remind us of the life-threatening violence Two-Spirit members of our communities face daily.

No More Silence and Maggie’s Toronto Sex Worker Action Project created Smudge to assist service agencies in providing better care to Indigenous community members who have survived violence. The resource addresses the transphobia and homophobia that Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non-Binary Indigenous people often experience when they seek services.

In the film, Trans/Two Spirit community members discuss with filmmakers Audrey Huntley and Monica Forrester the barriers they faced in seeking services and what can be done to remove them.

Contributors Dr. Alex Wilson (Opakwayak Cree FN), trans storyteller and advocate Teddy Syrette (Baawaating FN) are among several community members who provide historical context, describe exclusionary practices and offer easy-to-implement solutions to how agencies can provide better service and avoid re-traumatizing community members.

The video is a handy tool summarizing practical actions publicly funded agencies need to take to ensure that the places Two Spirit and Trans folks go for help are safe spaces.The video will launch on 6pm, December 6, 2019 at Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street. After the screening it will be available on YouTube.

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About The Author

Zainab Amadahy

Zainab Amadahy is of mixed race background that includes African American, Cherokee, Seminole, Portuguese, Amish, Polynesian and other trace elements (if DNA testing is accurate). She is an author of screenplays, nonfiction and futurist fiction, the most notable being the adequately written yet somehow cult classic “Moons of Palmares”. Based in peri-apocalyptic Toronto, Zainab is the mother of 3 grown sons and a cat who allows her to sit on one section of the couch. For more on Zainab and free access to some of her writings check out her website. www.swallowsongs.com.

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