Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

  • syllabi February 16, 2021

    Now or Never

    Towards the end of the 1996 documentary, Listening for Something…, Dionne Brand gently corrects Adrienne Rich, specifying that Brand does not write “for” Black people, but “to them.” The differences between these two approaches are both subtle and profound. “For” implies a gifting, something that can be accepted—or put on a shelf and ignored. “To” implies a momentary communion, and asks for engagement and togetherness. While the entire conversation between these two brilliant poets gives the audience plenty to think through some twenty years later, it is Brand’s remark that I’ve carried with

  • politics November 25, 2020

    Sharing Networks

    There is an assumption that socialism and communism are white and that Indigenous peoples don’t have this kind of thinking. To me, the opposite is true. Watching hunters and ricers harvest and live is the epitome of not just anticapitalism but societies where consent, empathy, caring, sharing, and individual self-determination are centered.

    My Ancestors didn’t accumulate capital, they accumulated networks of meaningful, deep, fluid, intimate collective and individual relationships of trust. In times of hardship, we did not rely to any great degree on accumulated capital or individualism but