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 Each are original and unpublished creations.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

Entry 1:

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

Entry 2:

See? See?! I told you so! Give’em an inch and they’ll take a mile. HOW did we let this happen? Savages. @jonkay

Entry 3:

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

Entry 4:

People can change…. when enough pressure is put on them. … but, do they really? *shrugs shoulders* Baseball. @stevemaich

Entry 5:

I am Canada. @acoyne

Entry 6:

Writers need to imagine(ary Indians) the lives of others. I need to keep building new urban worlds on colonized lands. @MiroC

Entry 7:

Reflections. Reflections. Glass. Glasses. I’m in. I’m out. I’m watching myself/you/us. I’m everywhere. Nowhere. @davidreevely

Entry 8:

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

Entry 10:

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

Entry 11:

I’m blegh. This is blegh. Canadian Aboriginals are blegh. Canadians are blegh. Meh. All life is so blegh-tchford. @blatchkiki

Entry 12:

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.