I am delighted by Ranger Robin and I think kids will be, too! Enjoy this new video from *kids in the hive* about hibernating animals. It includes a helpful pro-social message about how we can settle our bodies, as well as lots of fun animal noises with Captain Al and real kids! First in a series Be sure to like and subscribe to be the first to know when new videos arrive!
May 5th is Canada’s National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (Red Dress Day), and the Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls National Day of Action in the U.S.
A call to action for a U.S. National Day of Awareness is here.
“How can we help?”
When we don’t know how to start helping someone, listening to their stories is a very good place to start. In this video, I talk about my favourite books written and illustrated by, with, or about Indigenous Women and Girls.
I recognize talking about MMIWG2S with kids is not easy. Here are some resources for learning, art projects, books, and tips for getting started. Please note that these resources are for caregivers and educators, as the content may not be appropriate for all ages.
The REDress Project, created by Jaime Black, is an aesthetic response to violence against Indigenous women.
Red Dress Window Art file — this PDF includes the pattern I followed for the red dress I show in the video, links for adult learning, and tips for how to talk to younger kids about MMIWG.
You Hold Me Up, written by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Danielle Daniel.
I also wear red…because I have participated in the erasure of Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit persons. I was taught that my Great Great Grandmother was a “Choctaw Indian Princess.” I learned in June, 2020 that she was Scottish and born in Indian Territory, Oklahoma. The name of the region speaks to the rich heritage of Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole nations who have lived there and who were forcibly removed from those lands by the U.S. government. My generational wealth increased when my family received those lands. “I can’t be racist, I’ve got an Indian princess in my family tree” is yet another false narrative white body supremacy uses to cognitively distance white people from our racist behaviours and beliefs, and the ways we benefit from the peril of others. It kept me from leaning into and learning from my family’s past, from being silent when I should listen, and from speaking up when I see the truth. It erased my sense of rage over what was happening to MMIWG2S and left me with a sense of sadness that was more palatable to my whiteness. I’m done with my sweet tea. This year, I wear red with more purpose, more rage, and a (for now) better understanding of my place in raising awareness.
Coming soon: a great new video series about hibernating animals from my dear friend and collaborator *kids in the hive* (The Boy Who Was Fire)! Ranger Robin is delightful, sharing fun facts and animal noises, along with mindfulness and prosocial behavior building activities, all from the breathtakingly gorgeous Arcata Community Forest. ❤️
The Boy Who Was Fire is a children’s book written by Marcus Kahle McCann & illustrated by Zita Varga. It begins with a small fire born to a tree and a bolt of lightning. This is a lyrical story of growth, redemption, and new beginnings. Appropriate for ages 5 years and older.
I am moved by this creative vision of what might happen if we put our fears of the unknown aside and lean into each other with compassion, recognizing the beauty and humanity of the person in front of us.
I am grateful for MaryAnn Clark (MAC, All Play Productions/*kids in the hive*) reaching out early on in pandemic to ask if I wanted to collaborate on a video for The Boy Who Was Fire. She is a joy and I look forward to many more cooperative playground outings!
Happy 3rd birthday to my story baby, Lightbulb Heart!
Birthday #2 was rightfully sidelined by pandemic. I consoled myself that I had at least gotten to eat cupcakes and read aloud with kiddos at the Paper Bag Princess events at Epic Books.
This last year has been hard for us all, and I’m taking a moment to mark some of the hurdles, disappointments, and joys I’ve encountered with my little biz child. I started a YouTube channel and more intentionally locally lending my library, wrote (and rewrote) a ton, made some noise for local equity and access orgs, and began a couple of local and cross-border collaborations that have been incredibly rewarding – one of which you’ll get to see the fruits of on March 20, so stay tuned!
I’m so grateful for all of the caregivers and teachers who entrusted their kiddos to me over Zoom, FaceTime, MarcoPolo, Messenger, and YouTube. You have been a real source of solace and purpose for me this last year and I cannot thank you enough!
I also could not have gotten through all of these months of isolation without the beautiful people of A Shared Table’s Storylab who kept me inspired, making, and going. 🥰
I’m taking a breath, blowing out some candles, and on to year 4!