I’m here in Saskatoon because I’m screening some 2 Spirit videos by other people, mostly women and/or Femme Identified people (but one video is by a straight woman but about Queer Inuit love). I can’t say for sure everyone’s identity though. I mean, Identity can be super fluid anyway, so I don’t want to say it’s ALL these certain types of people, but it’s a very woman/lez/bisexual/maybe trans/non-binary content. So anyway, YEAH! I am screening that and also I curated Chandra Melting Tallow to do a performance, so we’ll see how it goes, I’m excited, it should be awesome. And then visiting people. I’ve only visited my friend Laurel so far, and seen my Mom a lot. I don’t have tons of days here, I leave Sunday. So it’s a very short trip. I haven’t been here since last May, when Grandpa’s feast was held. Normally Crees have feasts for four years after a death, but Grandpa only wanted us to do the one year.
I’ve noticed people are more wary of me in Saskatoon. White people specifically. I made a facebook status about it, how I like try to be disarming by being humourous which was always my go to to deal with like, butchphobia and stuff. But man, people don’t want to laugh when you have ink on your face. It’s like SUPER Indigenous and SUPER subculture (as cheesy as that might sound) and I dunno, it comes with a certain kind of baggage. I knew on some level it would be like that. But I notice it’s more awkward in Saskatoon. And I’ll be like trying to be funny or smile my goofy smile and white people just stare and sweat harder. And they don’t seem to care too too much if they are just passerby, but if they have to interact with me they look like they would rather be somewhere else. I have yet to decide if that’s a good thing or not. Obviously though I really just wish people were cool with it, because it’s part of my identity. BUT ALSO I’m a biracial butch dyke and I’ve had funny coloured hair most of my adult life so like, I’m used to people staring at me or acting weird. But this is different. I’m not hurt by it though, as these people are generally people I won’t have in my life.
AND I did get to be at Wanuskewin today where my Mom is doing a residency, and it’s an interpretive/cultural centre on the site of a buffalo jump, so like, there are a lot of Indigenous staff, who all smiled at me and were friendly and I felt recognized and they were interested in knowing about skin stitch and how it feels and stuff. So in that regard, I felt pretty at home and accepted. Especially since the design on my face is related to Plains Cree women.
ANYWAY it’s been good. I did some shooting outside with my Lumix, and got amazing shots, really gorgeous 4K footage of the prairies. Now I need to get some urban stuff to contrast. I was gonna do some Saskatoon and some Toronto shots. I edited with them today and they were fitting in nicely, I have a LOT to cut from this video, like, about 7 minutes needs to get cut at least. But it’s looking good and I am happy about that. I got some tipis and some sky and some plains and some water and trees and brush.
I have a LOT of work to do this month, a script, this video, three meetings, two screenings and workshops besides my own, I need to watch a bunch of submissions for TQFF. Next month is my fertility clinic appointment and I have some decisions I need to make around that. I did some calculations and I should be able to afford the fertility drugs. But if I have to pay MORE it’s gonna be lean. Possibly still doable, just lean for a while. I also have to put out a casting call for July and do some location scouting up North. So it’s busy. August all I have is one trip to Vancouver. I ALSO have to finish shooting this documentary this month and for sure by early July. So it’s super packed. And I am also going to Haida Gwaii this month, which I am super excited about because I’ve never been.
Today was funny because I went with my Mom to Wanuskewin where she’s artist in residence. And she was doing Beadhive today where she sits at a table and beads with anyone who wants to come sit with her and also bead or learn. Anyway, she was beading with Aurora and I was working on video stuff and the head curator of the Tate Modern came by because she’s talking at the Remai tonight. And Mom talked about her current project which is beaded smallpox blankets, so she gave context about what the deal was with British giving Indigenous people smallpox blankets, and then the curator felt guilty and apologized on behalf of the British and then we all laughed. Anyway, then she moved on and Mom and Aurora were talking about it being fancy people day. Then I went out on a trail walk to videotape some landscape. And then when I came back, Mom was going to the car to get the two smallpox blankets she had already beaded and put them on her table and it turned out it really WAS fancy people day because all these directors and curators from galleries and museums across Canada were at Wanuskewin getting a tour. So they came and stood around us and we all got introduced and it was pretty cute. I didn’t expect going to Mom’s work for the afternoon would be so schmoozy. I had no videos to show anyone. I mean I did and didn’t, my video I’m working on today is still really rough and not impressive yet. And clearly way too long. But Mom had some nice art to show and talk about.
Tomorrow I am going with her and my friend Michelle to Costco, mostly because I know I can get super cheap and big flash drives there. Maybe more power banks. Maybe hotrods. I already went on the first full day here to Berry Barn to get some Saskatoons, and a friend is gonna bring me chokecherries in Prince Albert that I can crush at home and eat. I really love those two berry type things and only find them here.
Anyway, yeah things are good. I have a lot of work, but I think I can do it!