My #Canada150 Response: #AppropriationPrize140
by waaseyaa'sin christine sy
May 12, 2017
To Whom It May Concern:
RE: “Appropriation Prize” Contest Submission
I would like to enter your contest.
Please find 12 entries below. Each are original and unpublished creations.
I want to share that I was busy licking my never-getting-over-it colonial wounds this morning but am super glad I took a moment to step away and go on twitter. Super glad I gave myself permission to be really inspired by the camaraderie (and playfulness) exhibited by some of the culturally influential white Canadian folks who worked to make this contest a kind of thing. Miigwech!
I was so moved, I decided that given I don’t belong to the culture these folks belong to, I would appropriate from them in order to try my hand in a new genre: flash fiction-non-fiction thought bubbles. To really push myself to be a better writer, thinker, and doer like they are in some CanLit, news, and mag circles, I thought, what the heck, why not flash fiction-non-fiction thought bubble twitter style?!
Of course, in order to deeply understand the unique idiosyncrasies and differences the individuals in this cultural group convey, I conducted quick online searches for everyone (well, everyone except for Christie Blatchford because we all know her) . I didn’t include the white guy from the Writer’s Union who started this whole thing because he’s too apologetic – resigning after making a very big “mistake” and then telling you your contest is a bit off? *yawn* I just pretty much started and ended with Ken Whyte’s public twitter feed with a little meandering here and there. You know, I did my work, so to speak. Admittedly, I also didn’t include the two or three people who either qualified their contributions to this game or deleted their comments. There’s no fun in self-reflexivity, second thoughts, or lessons learned now is there? In other words, bor-ing, right?
I hope my entry meets the contest submission qualifications.
I hope it actually is a thing I’m writing. And if it’s not, I hope you consider it innovative, edgy, or so far off the radar it warrants being on the radar. You know what I mean? I know for sure each submission is no more than 140 characters so it meets tweeting genre. Most of all, I hope you deem it worthy writing! I so need an award or something to memorialize #Canada150. It would be super awesome on my writing portfolio.
In the spirit of equality, multiculturalism, reconciliation, #Canada150, and bevvies, eh,
w. c. sy
Flash Fiction-non-Fiction Thought Bubble Tweets
Wow, it feels sooo good to explode my virile truth about Indians, in public. But confused. Why do I have to work so hard to rally my buds? @KenWhyte3
See? See?! I told you so! Give’em an inch and they’ll take a mile. HOW did we let this happen? Savages. @jonkay
I’ve got $500 towards freedom of thought and expression that keeps us in power-over over the First Nations people any day! Freedom Matters! @alisonuncles
People can change…. when enough pressure is put on them. … but, do they really? *shrugs shoulders* Baseball. @stevemaich
I am Canada. @acoyne
Writers need to imagine(ary Indians) the lives of others. I need to keep building new urban worlds on colonized lands. @MiroC
Reflections. Reflections. Glass. Glasses. I’m in. I’m out. I’m watching myself/you/us. I’m everywhere. Nowhere. @davidreevely
There are so many of me online. All white. All men. All Canadian. All shiny-happy. I am John Smith. In Canada. @RickAnderson
Entry 9 (I’m breaking trail here. Please don’t hold it against me.):
Because wtf is going on out here, you ask? Colonization. You’re part of it. Take your $500 and buy some books. @scottfeschuk
My company has an office in Six Nations. I just threw in $200 for a prize that encourages cultural appropriation. Who the *$% even am I? @jasonlietaer
I’m blegh. This is blegh. Canadian Aboriginals are blegh. Canadians are blegh. Meh. All life is so blegh-tchford. @blatchkiki
I’m totes down with English…when it’s used to keep les autochtones, les autochtones. @liseravary
ADDENDUM (May 18, 2017): Where this response was born of righteous anger vetted through creative fires, please consider reading its companion piece, a reflective essay on IndigiLit-CanLit relationalities and new worlds.