Treaty 6 Deixis

How might poetic practices undermine racist ideologies and colonialism, engendering ecological attentiveness, and anomalous and compassionate communities? Christine Stewart’s Treaty 6 Deixis takes up these timely and pressing questions as it investigates what it means to be a non-Indigenous inhabitant of Canada’s Treaty 6 territory, “in this city, on this land, in this country, on this planet, in a way that acknowledges and honours all my obligations and all my relations, the complex web of connective tissues that keep me here.” (Deixis is a word or phrase – like “this,” “that,” “ now,” “then” – that points to the time, place, or situation in which a speaker is speaking or a writer is writing.)Written beside the kisiskâciwani-sîpiy (North Saskatchewan River) on Treaty 6 land – which encompasses most of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan – this gorgeous long poem reinstates and re-sounds the extent of the author’s obligations, considering the ways in which language can be formally and contextually engaged to refigure and potentially re-articulate the world. Treaty 6 Deixis, Stewart’s long-anticipated first solo trade colection, is an exemplary, ethically engaged, and much-needed exploration, and a step towards reconciliation.

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