Good evening. How are you doing? I am doing well. The city lingers on the cusp of midnight. It is as peaceful a summer night that I can recall here in Lkwungen territory. I grew up in summer heat. In Sylix territory and in Ktunaxa territory too. I feel summer most during the hot, dark twilight, when the wind is peaceful and stars are plenty. That is not what we get in the city. Still, tonight feels close to that so I am grateful.
I have been meaning to post an introduction on this page for some time. I figure it is worth doing. Four years after I created this page, or perhaps created the intention of this page, I am finally using it. Most of what I wrote below was done at the end of Spring nearly a month ago. I was listening to late night baseball and got finally writing an introductory post about me. Time to put the kettle on for some tea. So here it goes…
Admit it. You caught yourself wondering who the hell is this guy. I often wonder that myself. Currently, I am listening to the Yankees take on the Angels. There is something very wonderful about listening to baseball on the radio. I have found myself doing that this year while I am writing. More on that later.
I have to admit that I intended to post content on this page a lot sooner. Well, here is the first post. Congrats. You are getting in on the ground floor.
I am Ktunaxa from the St. Mary’s Indian Band. This is our spot back home.
Check out that beautiful, unceded Ktunaxa territory. Ktunaxa amakis is so beautiful. That’s my brother’s house on the right.
You can read the ‘about’ section on this page and it will tell you something about me. Yes, I write poetry and prose. Sometimes I love it, most of the time it is enough to keep me going. I am working on two book projects; the first a novel and the second a book project for and about my nation.
If you are interested in my writing you can snag a deuce of a poem in this edition of The Malahat Review. I also interviewed Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Richard Van Camp for that issue as well. What an amazing assembly of writers in that issue. Glad to have been a part of that racket.
NATIVE WAVES RADIO
For the past few years I have been broadcasting with Janet Marie Rogers on Native Waves Radio. (and btw- if you have been a fan of that show and you are finding this, well hell pard’ner. Welcome back. Time to put on the kettle for some tea.)
Janet is absolutely amazing and if you haven’t purchased her latest book of poetry what are you doing? Xina! Go and get it. You won’t regret it.
Although we have put Native Waves Radio on hiatus for a little while you can listen to my interview with the late Richard Wagamese from last summer. What is not in the interview is our conversation about the Boston Red Sox. I knew he was a BoSox fan and ever since I visited Boston as a little big guy, I have always had a soft spot for the team. When I am listening to baseball on the radio, I feel like, wherever Richard is now, somehow he too is also listening. And he is cheering for the Boston Red Sox.
Helluva guy that Richard.
Oh ya, there are also a few Native Waves Radio episodes on my Soundcloud account you can check out. Here I am at the CFUV studios during an episode from last year. (And yes, that is a Star Wars Death Star trench tuxedo t-shirt and a Targaryen laptop skin)
I should be posting more from our catalogue this summer. If you did not get a chance to listen to our ‘Bannock on the Radio’ episode you really missed out. We had a bannock baking contest on the radio and it was a lot fun. I’ll get that up soon. I promise.
Oh, ya, there is that interview with Joseph Boyden recording during the promotion of Going Home Star .We spent most of the time talking about the ballet and only briefly touched on identity. which certainly was a missed opportunity, though I did try to go there. Anna Marie Tramonti I am not. What a legend btw.
What else have I been up to over the past decade? Right, protecting the Grizzly Bear Spirit.
Qat’muk is a sacred area in Ktunaxa amakis. For the past three decades, developers have been trying to build a ski resort up there and we keep telling them no. To make a long story short, and I might post something about this in another blog, Ktunaxa Nation Council’s efforts to oppose this development have gone all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. Ktunaxa have been working hard on our legal defence of Qat’muk and are looking forward to an upcoming decision by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Maybe you saw the documentary Jumbo Wild. It was produced by Patagonia and was a huge hit on Netflix. I wrote a piece for Patagonia about our efforts to Protect Qat’muk and you can check that our here
Speaking of Anna Maria Tramonit, CBC’s The Current interview KNC Chair Kathryn Teneese about our Supreme Court Case last December. You can hear that interview here.
What else? Oh ya, I have been working on a documentary about our Supreme Court Case with the great peoples at Hot Docs. Our short documentary is called ‘Last Resort’ directed by Vivian Belik, and it is part of the feature documentary “In the Name of All Canadians“. Check out the trailer
Before I end this whirlwind tour of what I have been up to, I should mention a few more of my publications. First off, is the Royal BC Museums’ magainze Curious which was edited by the amazing Francine Cunningham. My piece titled Permanent Remand was included in the collection. I will also be included in the upcoming issue of The New Quarterly. They chose a piece I wrote a few years back called “New Year’s Eve, 1984”. You can order that here
HE DOES TEEVEE FOLKS
OK, seriously, last thing. And thanks for reading through all this guff about me. I hope you did put the kettle on as we have covered a lot.
On occasion I am asked to provide political commentary on Shaw TV’s Voice of BC hosted by The Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer. Usually, I record a few questions to the guests on the show including politicians, industry and labour leaders and member of the media. A few weeks back, I was asked to be part of the panel along with Judith Sayers We had a great time and you can check that out here
…so there it is. Geez, that was a long winded post with loads of clickbait. This guy needs an editor! No really, this guy needs and editor. And an agent. If you are either and want to get in touch with me at the ol’ Twitter corral: @skink00ts Even if you are not an editor or an agent, you can follow me over there. However, if you are a retired dairy farmer from the Spallumcheen and have loads of time on your hands and want to get in touch about an amazing project involving legumes, well, perhaps elect not to get in touch. You have enough in you to do justice for the legumes. Whatever would you need me for?