otênawi-têwêhikan (Urban Drum)
Urban Drum is a mixed-genre work consisting of poems and stories that help me Re-Cree-ate. This creative thesis -- written primarily in English -- uses nêhiyaw translated into English to enable readers to experience a dual resonance of language. Urban Drum traverses a complicated family story about the impact of the Canadian Indian residential school system on intergenerational survivors. The poetry and prose explores how a Cree woman identifies herself beyond the traumatizing effects of the Canadian Indian residential school system and maps her urban experience with colonial disenfranchisement. There are four distinct sections: Ancestral Thread, pakamâskîkwan nakamow, City Drum Song, Unstitch and Mend, and maskihkiy pîsim nikamowina, Moon Medicine Poems. The first, Ancestral Thread, takes a backward glance at the ancestral struggle. The second, pakamâskîkwan nakamow, City Drum Song, deals with issues around Canadian Indian residential school intergenerational survival. The third, Unstitch and Mend, includes poems about a Cree woman’s resistance to colonialism and how she identifies herself inside the world of Cree ceremonies and traditions. The fourth, maskihkiy pîsim nikamowina, Moon Medicine Poems, reclaims a sensual femininity and explores a developing Cree feminism, in its use of a predominant Cree world-view thirteen-moon calendar.
Intergenerational Trauma, Residential Schools, Moon, Intergenerational Trauma, Poetry, Prose Poetry
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)