An Update


I just wanted to give you a brief update on what’s been going on concerning the topic of funding an Emerging Indigenous Voices Award:

  1. I’ve gathered $4355 in pledges from people who wish to make this a reality. I’ve also e-mailed Robin Parker, who has also obtained pledges for a similar drive. We could be talking about more than $7,000 if we pool those resources together.
  2. I have sent an e-mail to folks at the UBC Longhouse asking for some guidance.
  3. I feel that if an award does become a reality, it must be managed by an Indigenous organization. I aim merely to help funnel money to them.
  4. It may take some time to sort things out. I am putting together documentation tracking who pledged, how much, etc.
  5. In the meantime, you can fund or support local organizations which represent Indigenous people in your community.
  6. We should not turn to Indigenous and marginalized groups only when bad stuff happens and there are ways to support them that don’t involve donations. Read and review Indigenous literature. Suggest Indigenous artists as guests of honor at conventions. If you have access to a platform, invite them to write op-eds, guest posts, etc.
  7. In the spirit of this, I would like to mention the work of Gregory Scofield. I heard him read last year during the Real Vancouver Writers’ Series and was blown away. I bought his poetry collection Witness, I Am. It’s an amazing read. There was a poem about his mother, “She Is Spitting A Mouthful Of Stars (nikâwi’s Song)” which is especially poignant considering that I am typing this on Mother’s Day.
  8. I would also like to mention a very interesting essay by Alicia Elliott. She addresses the question of writing, identity and culture in a way I have not seen framed before.
  9. There’s not much more I can say except thanks for caring.

PS: I am at silvia AT and @silviamg on Twitter.