Chief Lady Bird / Toronto / 05.13.16
Body | Land
Eyes travel over my breasts
Fleshy mountains that, despite their beauty,
Seem nearly inconsequential to the vast landscape.
Gaze falls over my belly,
Across my valleys of stretch marks,
Sprawling over my great plains like lightning.
Thunderbirds loom over this land
To bring healing.
Their raindrops are tears,
And nightfall reigns down around me.
Thunder comes in lonely moans
That echo the loneliness between these thighs...
The type of loneliness that comes from
In and Out
And then they’re done
Gone in a flash.
They don’t kiss my lips
Or my lips.
Their hands never linger
To feel the softness of my grass,
Or push tiny seeds into my fertile soil.
This land is here to be owned.
This land is here to be excavated.
A lonely, wild, empty frontier
To be conquered
Through ecological destruction.
But I am not here to be consumed.
I am here because I am ancient, I am rooted.
I shed my colonized skin like a snake
And embrace my oneness with Mother Earth.
Her cycles are my cycles.
Her blood is my blood.
- Nancy King (Chief Lady Bird)
Nancy King is a First Nations (Potawatomi and Chippewa) artist from Rama First Nation with paternal ties to Moosedeer Point First Nation. Her Anishinaabe name is Ogimaakwebnes, which means Chief Lady Bird.
Through her art practice she looks to the past (both historically and traditionally) to help her navigate her Anishinaabe identity whilst living in an urban space as well as advocate for Indigenous representation as an integral aspect of Canada's national identity.