LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: THE LANGUAGE ISSUE
Ahnee (hello), Rebeka Tabobondung Ndishnikaaz (my name is Rebeka Tabobondung); amik dodem (I am beaver clan); Wasauksing nindoonjibaa (I am from Wasauksing First Nation) along the beautiful shores of Georgian Bay. Welcome to the language issue of MUSKRAT Magazine. As Zeegwon (Spring, Fast flowing water) is getting ready to pull us out of winters’ grip, we at MUSKRAT are excited for a whole season devoted to creation and re-birth. As themes of change and growth propel the 5th issue of MUSKRAT Magazine, ANISHINABEMOWIN (the LANGUAGE) calls for us to listen and unearth its seeds of change and wisdom.
In this issue, MUSKRAT’s new staff writer and media marketer, Jamaias DaCosta reflects on the Hashtag revolution of the past year and reminds us that the bud known as #IdleNoMore has burst and blossomed into branches that now include #EveryDayActsOfResurgence, #RockYourMocs and even #Upsettlers are getting in on the action! Check it out in the MM article: Neil Young Honouring the Treaties and Ruffling Kanata*. We also follow a special handle @WWOS1 to Facebook and feature the contributions of renowned Métis artist Christi Belcourt as she calls on our communities to help commemorate, draw attention to, and heal from the ongoing violent attacks on our Aboriginal sisters in the monumental traveling Walking With Our Sisters Exhibition that is actually much closer to a sacred memorial.
As always MM celebrates the gifts of Indigenous artists whose literary and visual works continue to spark and ignite all kinds of change. Watch out for our feature interview with Tomson Highway, on his Concert & CD Release of Songs from The (Post) Mistress featuring Patricia Cano. Check out our in-depth interviews with award winning filmmakers Jeff Barnaby on his feature, Rhymes for Young Ghouls, an official top ten selection at TIFF, and Helen Haig-Brown’s documentary, My Legacy which aired on APTN. Both are courageous, stunning works that invoke dark and hilarious nuances about the very personal intergenerational impacts of residential school survival and speak to a generation of Aboriginal 30 somethings still figuring out how to find love and redemption in the stories and language of our parents.
ANISHINABEMOWIN has the power to break your heart and shift you into seeing a whole new way to look at the world. In the coming months, our community partners Rez radio 91.3 FM based on Wasauksing First Nation and Wasauksing Anishnaabemda (Language group of the Wasauksing Adult Learning Centre) will explore contemporary and traditional ways of engaging traditional knowledge, language, and storytelling practices with a radio art & multi-media project that peels back the layers we must engage when re-learning our mother tongue.
MUSKRAT has also embraced a new wave of social media pushing our stories ever further into the consciousness of our communities and mainstream audiences. The ANISHINABEMOWIN issue marks an end to launching static issues of the magazine. Instead we are riding the media wave and will roll out original content on a weekly basis to keep our audiences coming back. We are happy to welcome our new Graphic and Web Development assistant, Aimée Rochard to the team and look forward to advancing our web savviness. We are also wishing former Editor, Cherie Dimaline the best in her endeavors’ as she pursues new adventures in the land of plenty. We hope you enjoy our crack at ANISHINABEMOWIN!