Two poems offered on the National Day of Awareness for #MMIWG

Tasheena is a multi-media Algonquin Artist, working from North Bay.
Tasheena is a multi-media Algonquin artist, working from North Bay.

The Colour Red 

She opened her eyes. 

Felt the chill that traveled from toes to chest. She was empty and hollow. To feel, there needed to be awareness, awareness she could not find in a disassociated moment. If red had a feeling it was cold. 

To create a new first movement meant she needed to force a first thought to move towards something, anything. She was alive and drowning in hollow empty red. If red had a feeling it was cold. 

Then they came, painful suffocating thoughts. No thoughts were hers. The red she was consumed by was hers but now belonged to earth around her. If red had a feeling it was cold. 

If red had a feeling it was cold 

She closed her eyes. 

Earth Warrior 

The silence of your laugh and stories is deafening. You would have fought until you succumbed unwillingly, broken but not in the way he attempted to break you. You, a warrior unlike any other I know, sits undefeated in spirit with our ancestors.  

In beaded armor and with tobacco as my weapon I dance through the battlefield we have shared. My tears are potent but necessary. I weep for your tears that were never caught or taken care of. I speak your story into the spirits of our young women so you take on new life and purpose. I take you with me when I speak, teach, sing and dance. I fight for a good life and to speak truth into our young women so that your truth becomes a light that guides us all. I’d always rather your light beside me than above me my sister.  

I understand when one sings or dances in our old ways that our loved ones passed can come visit beside us. So I will continue as long as I have breath to be your earth warrior, to always sing those songs and to dance these steps until I succumb to my time to come home to you.  


Tasheena is a multi-media Algonquin Artist, working from North Bay. A mother of five, Tasheena draws inspiration from her role teaching culture through artistic expressions on stage, in film, in classrooms and throughout Ontario.

Filed in: Indigenous Rights


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