greetings

Kwe'. I'm a Mi'kmaw/L'nu mother to two teenagers, partner to a basket-maker, ecologist and narrative artist. I have shared my word-based art as a poet, playwright, podcaster, oral storyteller, actor, singer, and cultural interpreter. Welcome to my artist website. Wela'lin, thank you for visiting.

Photo by Dan Froese

I acknowledge that without the earth, air, water and fire, we wouldn’t be able to exist as humans.

I acknowledge that without all of the plants and animals that this landscape of Mi’kma’ki would not have been habitable for my L’nu (Mi’kmaw) ancestors and all others who have come here.

 

I acknowledge the L’nu’k of long ago who helped shape this landscape, these ecosystems, learned about this world and passed on teachings from one generation to the next. I am deeply grateful that our people have survived and brought about new teachings, new stories, new songs and shared this landscape with so many people.

 

As a present day storyteller, i am so thankful for the hard work of many Indigenous storytellers, teachers, artists of all kinds who made trails for me to follow and benefit from. My ability to share my work, my thoughts, my art is thanks to many teachers over my lifetime. I’m grateful and humbled. Wela’lioq. I hope that my voice will add to the forest of voices, helping to uplift or guide others as well.

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Photo by shalan joudry

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Photo by Frank Meuse

Photo by Frank Meuse

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Photo by Frank Meuse

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Photo by shalan joudry

I live uphill from the              river. This word literally translates as “cutting through”, referring to the slopes above the river. Our L’nu ancestors made their homes on the saltwater coasts and estuaries for the warmer seasons and travelled further inland for shelter during the colder seasons. Archaeology sites of our ancestors are found in the bays and rivers that are now predominantly “private land” where the L’nu’k of today are not the stewards. The federal reserve called Bear River First Nation (my community) is found, instead, up a hill, nestled between the brooks that feed into and birth the L’sətkuk. The population of BRFN band members currently living in the community is a little over 100, however, the majority of our band members and families live all over. Mi’kma’ki is a region of eastern Canada that we consider our traditional territory of the L’nu’k/Mi’kmaq.

L’sətkuk

I invite you to explore some of the very old and newer-old Mi’kmaw Place Names in Nova Scotia, take a tour around here:  https://placenames.mapdev.ca

Pronunciations
(as shalan says them)

shalan joudry
Mi'kma'ki, L'nu, Mi'kmaw/q
L’sətkuk
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Photo by Frank Meuse

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Photo by Frank Meuse

Photo by shalan joudry

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Photo by shalan joudry

Special note on my lower case name and lower case “i”:

My personal choice not to capitalize my name (unless beginning a sentence) is to be consistent with how i feel that we are taught as Indigenous peoples to not over-emphasize the self in relation to the collective. I am aware that this not a popular grammar practice in English in Canada, yet it’s a stance i have taken at this time. I continue to capitalize other proper nouns in English as i believe it’s not my place or time to ignore the rule on behalf of other names and titles.

Similarly, i have noted that to capitalize one personal pronoun and not the others in English also requires some reflection. Why capitalize “I” yet not “you” or “they” and so on? In the developing grammar practice of Mi’kmaw orthographies we do not capitalize “ni’n” (i) and so i continue to write lower case when speaking about myself and my voice.

my works

Untitled

(poetry)

2020

Gaspereau Press

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(a play)

2019

Pottersfield Press

Untitled

(poetry)

2014

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(podcasts)

2021

Gaspereau Press

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Coming soon!

Running the Goat Books and Broadsides