Friday, July 29, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Buffalo wonders about modern "communications"

I completed this picture during a meeting with communications, where the communications experts did a terrible job at communicating.  I wondered what buffalo would think.

Métis Fear 118

Marvin Dale
Métis Fear 118: As a person with anxiety, I always fear that counting sheep would end up being far more trouble that is it worth.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Intersectionalities - Intersextionalities

I feel pretty slow these days.  I have been reading but not in the mood to write.  I finished "The Regulation of First Nations Sexuality" by Martin Cannon recently.  In this article he explores some of the sexual/gender practices in First Nations prior to contact and the post contact push towards heterosexuality.  He also makes an argument  that it is important to not treat gender, race and sexuality as distinct spaces when undertaking inquiry into these areas.  This paper is from 1998, so some parts of the paper are less relevant, as many areas of academic inquiry have moved on from this type of pigeon holing of subjects and are more likely to treat individuals as complete persons within the scope of inquiry. 
Kim Chi

I found this topic particularly interesting as Sophie has recently identified as non-gendered, that she sees herself as neither a male or female.  So the more I can learn from Indian culture the better I can help her contextualize herself.

Cannon begins by showing how the processes of colonization brought together and then solidified conceptions of race, sex and heterosexuality so that confirming with gender and straight sex roles became part of the exercise in civilization.

Now of course, part of the issue with this type of analysis is that the source documents were overwhelmingly written by Christianized European males with a narrow idea of what was morale.  For example is a piece written by Jesuit, Joseph Francois Lafitau in 1711-1717, "If there were women with manly courage who prided themselves upon the profession of warrior, which seems to become  men alone, there were also men cowardly enough to live as  women... they believe they are honored by debasing themselves to all of women's occupations; they never marry..."

Throughout the article Cannon cautions of the desire to overlay modern concepts of gender and homosexuality on these types of historical text.  He speaks to how racism and patriarchal heterosexism worked together in the views of the missionaries, where being a sodimite, meant not only a sexual practice but assumption of "femaleness" and thus of lower value.  However for the indigenous peoples assumption of a particular dress or activity of one sex did not determine the worth of a person in the way is does in our society.  (Here he is quoting Harriet Whitehead).  He then moves to Foucault and the discussion of  how sexuality and related behavior is constructed and thus mutable over time and place.  I am drawn to think of Judith Butler as well and the performative nature of gender. 

Coming from this viewpoint I have found it easy to understand where Sophie is coming from.  I am very aware of putting on femaleness some days.  Performing as "mother" when going to see school professionals.  I love RuPaul's Drag Race as it is such a rich reminder of the transitiveness of our outward performance.  This last season we especially loved Kim Chi who was playing not only with drag but also with race, fat and performance.  This things all remain linked.  I am looking forward to following up on this article by Cannon and seeing what the state of this research is more recently.

Métis Fear 117

Nicola Slater
Métis Fear 117:everyone just wants to eat fast food.

Buffalo Pensive Party

Here we see the majestic buffalo in the office environment unhappy about all the paperwork.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Indigenous Regeneration Part Two

Sophie suggested that I do an indigenous Dr Who with a teepee.

Live your weird

You know I love my CHAV boys.  Still trying to figure out why these men speak to my reality so clearly.  Recently I can across 21 Pilots and I just need more and more.  There is so much to think about and their videos are weird in that very pleasing way with lots of layers.  My favorite is "Car Radio".  Other 21 Pilots songs I would recommend are "Guns for Hands", "Heathens" and "Stressed Out".  They remind me of Cosmo Jarvis who has a new song I really like as well.  Part of what I like about these guys is their sense of struggle with finding a good path while also connecting to the space they are in.  They are also living their weird.  It encourages me to live my weird too.  How are you living your weird today?


Métis Fear 116

Métis Fear 116: I am afraid of what is happening between brother frog and these frolicking young ladies.  Why can't we respect each other? 

Métis Fear 115

Editorial illustrations by PAUL BLOW:
Métis Fear 115: this process of understanding yourself can be tricky.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Métis Fear 114

Photo by Eugenia Loli 
Métis Fear 114: sometimes the gift of children comes wrapped in a weird package.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


I have been having a hard time writing.  Maybe the summer pull to be lazy or my own moroseness.  I have been struggling about some things at work, about my role, my level of commitment and how my values fit into this picture.  In particular I am struggling with my values of loyalty.  It is very much a world where you look out for you.  I find this hard and not really an adequate reflection of reality.  People looks out for theirs and when and how you might fit into this is not always clear. 

Loyalty is core to me.  I don't want to only look out for myself, but I want to participate in making a community better.  I don't come to work to get paid only.  I come to provide value and service to those around me.  I keep getting told that this is old fashion and out of touch.  I need to focus on me.  That feels wrong.  I am a Métis person.  Loyalty is a real thing that is very important in my family and community.  We need to look out for and support one another, this isn't a flaw.

Have any of you come across this issue?  Did you find a solution?  If so, share your thoughts in the comments below. 

We also had a situation where a more senior person was very openly rude regarding the work of our team.  As I am acting manager this week, I needed to play a different kind of role in responding to this situation, helping people calm down and move forward on our work.  This incident and the response reminded me to head over to the Kumik Lodge for teachings.  The Elder was Jane Ann Chartrand and she shared some stories and teachings.  It was so good to be in the lodge and have a smudge.  I took away the lesson of continuing to strive even when something is hard as those little bits of work will add up over time.

Métis Fear 113

The Cake Defender 11 x 14 Limited Edition Print by jimbobart, $39.00:
The Cake Defender 11 x 14 Limited Edition Print by jimbobart, $39.00
Métis Fear 113: We don't have the superheroes we really need.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Métis Fear 111

Métis Fear 111: I think that the urban life may be giving our animal relations unrealistic expectations about life.

Métis Fear 110

Another ecologically sound 'sneak preview blessing', from my new book, "Curses and Blessings for All Occasions". Available in all good bookstores (and online) from July 31st.:
From the Book "Curses and Blessings for All Occasions"
Métis Fear 110: My received wisdom will not cover modern urban  etiquette requirements.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Métis Fear 108

vintage cigarette card - Churchman's Cigarettes.:
Métis Fear 108: I under appreciate the everyday wonders of the modern house fly!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Métis Fear 107

psychedelic sorbet.:
Métis Fear 107: I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate all the new ice cream flavors.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Métis Fear 106

Métis Fear 106: I don't take enough time to talk to my animal relations.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Métis Fear 105

David Shrigley does it again.:
Métis Fear 105: the morning commute is getting so much more complicated. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Métis Fear 104

Cat with Martini and Bow Tie. Art print of my original watercolor illustration. For cat and cocktail lovers.:
Métis Fear 104: I don't really know what the cat is doing while I am away.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Louvre, tiny houses and the abominable snowman

A bit of a round up today

Visit to the Louvre XXXVIII, oil, 60 x Walt Wooten   kK: Came across this picture by the artist Walt Wooten which is part of a series about the 1845 visit of George Catlin to the Louvre with a number of Ojibway Indians.  This painting was my favorite.  I love how the man blends in with the picture but is totally apart at the same time.  I love his lack of care in front of this powerful symbol of western religion and the juxtaposition of the prone Jesus to the upright carriage and eye contact of the Man.  It is a powerful moment to think of what this experience would have been like for this Ojibway man so far from home.  How strange these stories would have been to him.  I love that about my kids.  This "canon" is story to them, not truths they need to work through.  Eating the flesh, even symbolically, of some guy and drinking his blood?  Totally not "savage".

I really enjoyed this Buzzfeed article where they worked with Trans people to do a photo shoot of their idols.  It made me think about who I would pick as an idol.

I have been watching the tiny house shows with the girls and I enjoyed this analysis of the class and race privilege within this movement.  It has given me some new questions to raise as we watch these shows.
Not Cool Wall Tapestry