The Poetry Project

x̌ikʷiƛ̓' | Red

Korina Emmerich

May 5th is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous People
Red is often known to be the only color seen by our ancestors. It is hoped that by
wearing red, we can call back the missing spirits of our people so we can lay them to
rest.

This poem explores the heartbreaking reality that the cases of MMIP are growing too
rapidly. Will our stories and spirits get lost on both sides? Will we receive justice in this
world? Will we be found by our ancestors in the next while the sea of red continues to
grow?

In this time of pandemic, pipeline oil and gas workers (man camps) have been deemed
an ‘essential service’. However, building more fossil fuel infrastructures is not necessary
to maintain existing services, like heating or electricity, to people during this crisis.
Indigenous communities are being affected at disproportionate rates, and the
continuation of building man camps on sovereign indigenous lands, like Wet’suwet’en,
are putting our people at greater risk. Not only at risk of exposing our underserved
communities to these viruses, but the fact that man camps lead directly to the rapid
increase in violent crimes and sexual violence including rape, sexual assault, sexual
assault of minors, and sex trafficking in indigenous communities. We are not resources
for extraction. We are not disposable.

House Party #8

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