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  • Kim Senklip Harvey

Sovereign Stories

Writing can be healing but centering healing can elicit great writing. Centering being a spiritually spherical consciousness, that allows us to enter into reflective relations with the cosmos. By centering healing as a process, we can be more conscious of relational imbalances, so that our stories don’t become complicated personal compulsions.

Compelling stories have authors with enough spiritual capacity to write with artistic agency. The storytelling becomes a deliberate act, or at least a conscious voyaging into the unknown with a strong pedagogy.

Too often, writers venture into the unknown with unstable vessels, spirits. Of course they themselves can venture, but for writing to take us on a journey and not just oneself, there has to be a deep awareness of self with regards to Universal relationalism.

I find without this healing work, it’s hard to know when you’re lost, and writers have to know when we are lost because that is a disconnect with the Universe, which becomes a disconnect with anyone trying to relate to the author and story.

So when people ask me how they should start writing, I usually ask how their healing journey is going. I want to hear that before I start making any offers because I don’t think it’s ethical to say anyone could or should write. For me it’s spiritual and we have to make friends with our spirits for storytelling to be truthfully conscious.

Too often people become conduits for stories to release unconscious pain and that can harm many people and organisms. Mother Earth has a beautiful and sometimes violent way of channeling energy, like with a storm. A storm is an expulsion of energy, an imbalance Mother Earth is correcting. I find sometimes peoples stories can become an unconscious expulsion of traumatic energy that a writer is trying to correct in isolation.

I believe the healing work is about being in responsive relational exchanges with the cosmos that allow us to consciously channel & transform energy. So we can be responsible for its impact as we send it out, extend our relations and nourish the bonds.

I don't have much conscious control or agency when I’m at my worst and just lashing out. When that happens, I’ve exceeded my emotional and spiritual capacity and must respect my relational incapacity.

The cosmos and our relations speak and I believe it's my role as a storyteller to deeply listen to the universe to work to keep us in balance. I grew up wanting to tell “dramatic” stories filled with sorrow and pain because I believed that’s what storytelling was.

And I did that as an actor for far too long and when I started my healing work, I realized my

people and our relations, our humanity, was out of balance. We don’t need more stories with unchecked and conscious pain, we need power, joy, love and healing laughter. So I worked on helping participate in creating more equitable relations, filled with all of these elements. Kamloopa would’ve been much different had I not done my healing work.

So I offer the centering of healing as the process, so that when we do tell our stories, from trauma to exaltations, it’s because we choose to. That it comes from a place of consciousness so we can clarify and charge it with great deliverance.

I believe this is what makes a story sovereign and I believe that Indigenous emancipation is directly connected to this artistic sovereignty.

with deep love, humility and in the constant process of healing,


This is a photo of Interior Chiefs meeting to protect and champion Indigenous sovereignty. My Great Great Grandfather Johnny Tselaxi’tsa is on the left, front row holding the white stetson.

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