Entertainment Cree author’s poetry book meant to empower Indigenous kids
Cree-Métis singer finds peace and harmony in Cree Christmas carols
Cree-Métis singer Falynn Baptiste has become a champion of the Cree language, both in the classroom and on stage, after years of turning her back on her culture.The Cree-Métis child, who was known for her powerful pipes, was only six years old when she donned a purple dress and sang her first solo – a Christmas carol in Cree – at her school concert.
Shayla Raine was sitting at her desk, looking out the window at an eagle’s nest and a view of the mountains, when she came up with the idea for a new poetry book for Indigenous children.
After inspiration struck in fall of last year, the Cree author and illustrator set to work writing The Way Creator Sees You.
“This book started off as an artistic outlet from the pressure of editing my novel,” Raine says.
“I wanted this children’s book to be free of those pressures … so I could write with a positive mindset and clear intentions to pass on that good medicine while also getting my message across in a fun and captivating way.”
Cree artist hand-paints 150 sticks for World Junior Hockey Championship
The next generation of hockey stars from around the world will get an opportunity to take home a unique piece of hardware at this year's World Junior Hockey Championships — sticks hand-painted by Cree artist Jason Carter."To have them be presented with a piece of my work to represent their hard work, their life longdream of playing at the World Juniors, is pretty remarkable and totally humbling for me," said Carter, who is from Little Red River Cree Nation in northern Alberta.
The Way Creator Sees You is Raine’s first published book, and it was released independently this month. The book is intended to inspire Indigenous children who may be struggling with their identity, and to help them to embrace who they are, says Raine, who is from Maskwacis, Alberta.
The poetry book features a Plains Cree boy who faces adversity at school and finds himself struggling to accept his Indigenous features. His Kokom brings him on a lyrical adventure to help him find appreciation for his heritage.
Raine tells IndigiNews that she has always wanted to write a children’s book that empowered Indigenous kids because it’s something she never saw when she was younger.
Raine says the title of her poetry book; The Way Creator Sees You, came from a poem she wrote about her partner.
'The sound of home': Indigenous radio station celebrates 50 years of programming
WINNIPEG — It's 6 p.m. on a Friday night and the call lines at one of Canada's largest Indigenous radio stations are all flashing. That will be the case for the next four hours as hundreds of listeners across Manitoba try to get on to NCI FM's flagship show called "Friends on Fridays." The live request show started in 2004 and is a staple in many Indigenous households. Some listeners wait upwards of a year just to get through to send a special shout out to their loved ones. "Basically getting on is like winning the lottery. Cousins brag all the time.
“It was at the very end of the poem, I asked him, ‘do you see yourself the way the Creator sees you,’ and it just came so naturally to me,” she says. “I just stuck with that when I started writing my children’s book.”
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The Way Creator Sees You contains 11 illustrations and 11 pages of free verse poetry with an informal rhyming scheme. Raine says there is a common rhyme scheme of “A,A B,B” throughout the poem which flowed naturally as she was writing it.
The book includes illustrations by Anwar Hussian as well as by Raine. It is dedicated to Raine’s nephew, Nakomi Bellerose-Raine.
Raine says she took a poetry class at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO), before pursuing her children’s poetry book in September.
“I like writing, I like poetry and I’m currently working on a fiction novel right now, that will hopefully be published later this year,” she says.
B.C. marks two years since passing law to adopt declaration on Indigenous rights
VANCOUVER — British Columbia recently marked two years since passing legislation that requires the province to align its laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, though an Indigenous leader and legal expertsay many First Nations are still wondering how and when the commitments will be realized. "There's been incremental, positive movements, but certainly not the tectonic shift, if you will, that many First Nations were expecting," said Terry Teegee, regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, which represents more than 200 communities.
She says her biggest challenge has been finding patience in the process of writing and the sometimes-long process of going through edits. Her hopes are to overcome those challenges while working on her novel.
“I feel like as writers we struggle a lot with imposter syndrome, and I feel like a lot of times, we have writer’s block and have these challenges,” Raine adds, “I think it’s important to remember your why — why are you writing?”
“I feel like my ‘why’ was, it helps me reconnect to my childhood dreams of being a writer.”
She says her advice to new writers is to believe that you have a greater purpose behind your writing.
“I will show up and do this work because there’s a greater purpose behind it, but, like, also the universe has to show up for me too,” she says.
Athena Bonneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
Indigenous communities along Atlantic coast at risk from rising sea levels .
First Nations communities along the Atlantic coast may face grave challenges from climate change, a recent federal report says.The Regional Perspectives Report: Atlantic provinces said Esgenoôpetitj First Nation, about 130 kilometres north of Moncton, was already at risk for flooding but climate change and rising sea levels may intensify flood risks for the community, and intense storm surges have increased erosion.