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Meet the Editors: Justin Wiebe

tansi justin wiebe nitisikason michif nâpew niya saskatoon ohci niya

I am michif (Métis) from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I moved to the unceded territories of the sḵwx̱wú7mesh, sel̓íl̓witulh, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm nations to complete a master’s degree focusing on Indigenous Community Planning. I love my sash, beer, and garage sales.

Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back by Leanne Simpson changed me. I had been involved in social justice, Indigenous resistance, and community building work for a few years. I’d completed a bachelors degree in Education majoring in Native Studies, and spent (as I continue to do) a lot of time thinking about anti-racist/anti-colonial education. I wasn’t “new” to the stuff, but my world was forever changed when I read Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back. While I still do this, I remember being so focused on challenging “the system”, educating non-Indigenous people, and resisting at every juncture that I almost forgot what the point was. Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back taught me the importance of doing work at home, in our communities, and in our relationships. We have to (re)build what has been damaged through colonialism and heteropatriarchy. We have to remember how to love again. It is through centering our own ways of being and knowing, in my case michif and in Simpsons’s anishnabeg, that we can achieve this. Simpson reminded me to reinvest in my own ways of being, and that it’s not always about “how we dismantle the master’s house,” but instead “how we (re)build our own house, or our own houses.”[1]

[1] Leanne Simpson, Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back (Winnipeg: ARP Books, 2011), 32.