Murdered, missing, and marginalized. This is far too often the plight and threat to many of our First Nations women.
In support of Amnesty International's No More Stolen Sisters, Penguin Random House is proud to release a brave new anthology, Kwe: Standing With Our Sisters. The word kwe means woman in the Ojibwe language of Anishinaabemowin. Kwe also means life-giver or life-carrier which speaks poignantly of women’s place at the heart of all our First Nations. Kwe is a 106-page anthology edited by award winning author Joseph Boyden, and features more than fifty contributors, including Sherman Alexie, Margaret Atwood, Gord Downie, Julie Flett, Thomas King, Lee Maracle, Yann Martel, Michael Ondaatje, John Ralston Saul and Tanya Tagaq Gillis, just to name a few. This initiative aims to bring awareness about violence against indigenous women by featuring a collection of new writing, poetry, original artwork, and correspondences from a variety of celebrated authors and artists.
Driven by deep frustration, anger, and sorrow in the wake of yet another violent assault upon a First Nations woman in November 2014, dozens of acclaimed writers and artists have come together to add their voices to a call for action addressing the deep-rooted and horrific crimes that continue to fester in our country. The hope is that this collection will draw much needed attention to the crisis facing Canada’s First Nations women and might inspire others to raise their voice and speak out against these unjust crimes. These women who bring light and life to our world are in peril. Aboriginal women in our country are three times more likely to face violent attack and murder than any other of their gender. We must take concrete steps to stop this and we must do it now. A nation is only as good, is only as strong, as how it treats its most vulnerable and those of us in danger. This book is a call to action. It’s sometimes a whisper, sometimes a scream, but we speak our words as one when we demand justice for our more than 1200 murdered and missing Indigenous women. After all, they are our mothers, our daughters, our nieces, our aunties, our sisters, our friends.
All proceeds from the sale of Kwe will be donated to Amnesty International. The anthology is available for pre-order now in digital format for $2.99 wherever ebooks are sold. I purchased the ebook and find the collection to be compelling, thought-provoking, and ultimately very touching. Kwe is available in limited print edition at the Basement Revue at the Opera House located at 735 Queen Street East in Toronto on Thursday, December 18, 2014. Check out the Basement Revue Facebook Event for more details. A limited number of print editions will be available from Amnesty International's Book Club in the coming year. Please consider purchasing Kwe and/or give it as a gift this holiday season and help support our First Nations women through Amnesty International's No More Stolen Sisters. Thanks for your consideration and support.
Wanda Lynne Young
Dreamcatcher image credit: Photobucket, Liliana44