Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Red Wire Magazine

Another must-get I learned about as a result of my visit to the University of Arizona last week is Red Wire Magazine. Here's info from their "About Us" page:

Redwire Native Youth Media Society is a media and arts organization dedicated to Native youth expression.

Redwire Magazine published its first issue in April 1997 with the support of the Native Youth Movement (a grassroots Native youth group) and the Environmental Youth Alliance. Today Redwire distributes 11,000 copies across Canada, four times a year. Redwire is the first-ever Native youth run magazine in Canada, and is committed to operating with Native youth staff, writers, artists and publishers.

Redwire's mandate is to provide Native youth with an uncensored forum for discussion, in order to help youth find their own voice. Redwire is by, for and about Native youth; all content, editorial decisions and associated media projects are initiated and led by youth, inspiring creativity, motivation and action.

A subscription is $20/year for four issues. Each issue includes articles, art, poetry, news, letters, and reviews. The June 2007 issue has a piece called "Canadian Colonialism: The Three Bears and the Locks" by David Fullerton-Owl, of the Sagamok Anishinawbek First Nation. Here's the opening paragraphs:

The Three Bears lived in the woods, as had their ancestors from time immemorial. There was a Mama bear, a Papa bear and a wee little baby bear. Since it was a beautiful sunny morning, the bear family decided to fish and pick some berries for an afternoon picnic. Fishing and berry picking, a traditional means of survival, required the bears to travel some distance. It so happened that the bears were up for a nice long walk.

Papa bear lifted wee little baby bear on his shoulders, but Mama bear wanted baby bear to learn self-reliance; wee little baby bear crawled down and off they went.

The woods were filled with all types of animals. Something was not right, though, and the raven decided to fly high above the thick trees to see for herself. The raven quickly observed that intruders had entered the forest. A burly man carried a large suitcase in one hand, with a sharp axe in the other. Behind him walked a petite woman and a little girl with gold hair. These people were sent on a mission, known to others as the Locks family.

The note preceding the story says "The fictional account below is a commentary on the present Caledonia land dispute and the age old tale of Goldilocks, her encroachment on foreign territory, and the overarching theme of intruders invading traditional territory. "

The Caledonia land dispute is known in Native circles, but is the sort of thing that doesn't get much coverage in mainstream press. And, when it does, there's bias against the Native people involved. It is, in short, a struggle for land.

Like Red Ink, Red Wire provides you with Native voices. And like Red Ink, I think Red Wire ought to be on your library shelves.

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