In response to CHAPTER 6: Confronting Oppression – Right to Health in Reclaiming Power and Place, the final report from the federal commission on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Audio Directed by Jessica Carmichael

Starring Cole Alvis, Samantha Brown, Monique Mojica, Joelle Peters and Michaela Washburn

Sound Design and Composition by Olivia Shortt and Cosette Pin

Multimedia Interpretations by Kaylyn and Kassiday Bernard of Patuo’kn

“Believe in Me” is composed by Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone, Aaron Lightstone, Justin Gray, David R. Maracle and Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuck. The Room 217 Foundation is the owner of the Master recording.

“Reading through the report – or at least my chapter (the right to health), I was mostly struck by how much we – as Indigenous women – as 2 Spirit and Queer folks are statistics. We’re numbers. In so many of these commissions and reports and inquiries – we’re depicted as percentages. Statistics. It just felt like there was this outside voice yelling numbers while I was reading names. I wanted to use actual words and numbers from the report in a disjointed way because that’s how it felt to read it. It was hard – it’s always hard reading about yourself and your identity and treatment from what feels like an outside place. I wanted to weave in my own experiences with systemic racism in the healthcare system and ask those questions I still had after reading it. I chose poetry as a vehicle because I find it easier to weave myself in and keep myself safe that way. I wanted to cut right to the heart of what I was feeling and dive into those questions and hopefully it makes other people ask those questions as well.”

Content warning: this pieces includes references to residential schools, violence, addiction, depression, systemic racism in healthcare and contains strong language