Geschicte sits on skirts cast over knees in Weiß-blau
Markings, earthenware imitating oma’s teacup and saucer sets.
Blossom drawings bloom—little frolicking frau, little working männer
Gather for Zuhause, a flood of salts, spices, rices, “other” oranges
That wait von heute on my white tableware, by “fair”
Laws, but nicht dan—not then.
Kinship with oma und opa’s homeland is
Nach nehmen, a name, of strypan nation and station
In translation: Goods? Stolen. Land? Stolen. Culture? Stehlen.
For when I ask for Dutch dinner nasi, the packet looks back at me
Indian spices, Chinese rice, an African American cook
Unforgiving of this theft ohne translation.
If I can’t buy op zondag because of religion
Does this not hold the Crusades and Indigenous verletzen?
Re-formation by breaking land on the same grounds of gebeten?
When I take a church service pew droopie, dark licorice, sugar und salt,
Were the harvested reeds not einmal from plantations?
Bodies as beaten as the stalks for production?
If my name, Langendoen, means slow down
Does the Dutch bedeuten not say, “hard man” ebenfalls?
Highlighting Geschichte verdamnt that is both black and Weiß-blau?
And so I say, blonde hair and blue eyes, Langsame nach unten
Hart Mann: slow down, hard man; I’m asking
What am I to do with my history?
KAITLYN LANGENDOEN is a fourth-year English and Creative Writing major at York University. She has been writing myths and fantasy stories for as long as she can remember but has the most fun with experimental forms of poetry.
We would like to begin by acknowledging the Indigenous Peoples of all the lands that we are on today. While we meet today on a virtual platform, we would like to take a moment to acknowledge the importance of the lands, on which we each call home. We do this to reaffirm our commitment and responsibility in improving relationships between nations and to improve our own understanding of local Indigenous peoples and their cultures.
York University’s land acknowledgement may not represent the territory that you are currently on, and we would ask that if this is the case, you take responsibility to acknowledge the traditional territory that you are on and its current treaty holders.
York University acknowledges its presence on the traditional territory of many Indigenous Nations. The area known as Tkaronto has been care taken by the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron-Wendat. It is now home to many First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities.
We acknowledge the current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. This territory is subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement to peaceably share and care for the Great Lakes region.
From coast to coast to coast, we acknowledge the ancestral and unceded territory of all the Inuit, Métis, and First Nations people that call this land home. Please join us in a moment of reflection to acknowledge the effect of residential schools and colonialism on Indigenous families and communities and to consider how it is our collective responsibility to recognize colonial and arrivant histories and present-day implications in order to honour, protect, and sustain this land.
In recognizing that these spaces occupy colonized First Nations territories and out of respect for the rights of the Indigenous people, please look for, in your own way, to engage in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.