Dancing with Decolonization
It's a funny feeling, to empty yourself into efforts towards the elusive.
It's an even funnier feeling when those efforts have been towards elusive justice. Justice. Not materials, not dreams, not a larger bank statement, not trinkets, nor personal ventures...but Justice.
I have been writing poetry and short stories since I was in the fourth grade. At first I scrawled out cliché love poems as my young mind devoured Shakespeare’s works. As a teenager, when childhood traumas rose and personal addictions formed, writing became a necessary part of my survival. As a young adult I used writing to make sense of the world around me and it became an important healing tool. Now I see writing as a conduit to bring healing to others through story and poetry or to shift perspectives and shed insight on social justice matters. I believe that a part of my purpose in my life is to have had the experience of various traumas and then to heal, process, and share those teachings through writing.
I write because it is a part of who I am.
The majority of my writing has focused on creating pieces that speak to issues experienced by many Indigenous people and Indigenous communities such as suicide, addiction, sexual abuse, violence, and of course, the long journey of decolonization. I am currently near completion of a memoir that focuses on all of the aforementioned issues that frames it within the context of intergenerational trauma. After my memoir is complete I will begin writing a fictional novel that focuses on Indigenous suicide and resiliency.
Helen Knott is a writer of the Prophet River First Nation, Peace River Region, Fort St. James, B.C.