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  • Kim Senklip Harvey

tHe powER of presence.

My spirit continues to journey back to the Coast Salish this week, a Blackfoot friend once told me that after a journey you need to call your spirit back to you by saying your name three times. I've said mine 3 times - cheeky thing hasn't fully arrived yet.

I imagine it's saying hello to all the ancestors along the way from Huran-Wendat territory to here - who says spirits travel by plane.

Maybe I'm the one who travelled too fast...

This has been a good week for BIPOC's being presenced. Thank you community at large for allowing myself, my body and spirit to be welcomed into spaces.

I came back and had the fortune of attending Full Circle First Nations Performance opening night Gala, as well as being asked to participate in a round table the next day with only Indigenous voices. Full Circle prioritized and presenced us with that round table.

On Sunday, Anishinaubae and CBC Cross Country Check Up host Duncan McCue held space for Indigenous voices and during his program he used the Tshilqot'in word for thank you - sechanalyagh. He was speaking to the Chief and when he ended the conversation he said sechanalyagh, I was overjoyed, shocked and proud all at the same time. I've never heard anyone on a National level say that word, and with excellent pronunciation I might add. It made me feel welcomed, appreciated - seen. In that gesture Duncan presenced my people in such a respectful way.

I'm doing a workshop at the end of this week and got a look at the list of actors participating and I was elated to see that there are so many visible minorities and women. Seeing that instantly made me feel at ease, excited and respected. Who I am, was presenced with the casting decision of that theatre company.

Then I had the fortune of seeing Black Panther with my Ma last night. I don't want to spoil anything, but I felt invigorated, in awe and humbled watching it and it echoes strong. It was incredible to see so many Black people with agency and power - lots of it. The movie literally had a token white dude and I kept chuckling - there is a great line about him being a colonizer. I'm also going to respect that there are so many elements of Afrocentrism and African diaspora that I will never get - and that is fucking okay.

There will always be things in stories about communities I'm not from, that I will not be privy to understanding their depths and complexities of and that's fantastic. My ego isn't so big that I think I can and should get everything - Grandmother Teachings - humility yo. I love knowing there are parts of stories that only my people get.

These days I'm really interested in the power of power - who has it, who wields it, how do you use it. I feel like this past week, some people with power, used their power to presence my people and other oppressed peoples and I'm grateful.

I'm grateful Coast Salish.

Sechanalyagh, Limelet.



My reading rainbow segment this week is that I just finished reading WHEREAS which is a book of poetry by Oglala Lakota poet Layli Long Soldier.

"Rather than subverting any particular structure, Long Soldier is leaping into new “not yet defined” spaces. “Whereas” challenges the making and maintenance of an empire by transforming the page to withstand the tension of an occupied body, country and, specifically, an occupied language." NY Times.

I'm so inspired by Layli - you can and should by her book here.

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