Whitemud Walking

By Matthew James Weigel

Whitemud Walking
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An Indigenous resistance historiography, poetry that interrogates the colonial violence of the archive

Whitemud Walking is about the land Matthew Weigel was born on and the institutions that occupy that land. It is about the interrelatedness of his own story with that of the colonial ... Read more


Overview

An Indigenous resistance historiography, poetry that interrogates the colonial violence of the archive

Whitemud Walking is about the land Matthew Weigel was born on and the institutions that occupy that land. It is about the interrelatedness of his own story with that of the colonial history of Canada, which considers the numbered treaties of the North-West to be historical and completed events. But they are eternal agreements that entail complex reciprocity and obligations. The state and archival institutions work together to sequester documents and knowledge in ways that resonate violently in people’s lives, including the dispossession and extinguishment of Indigenous title to land.

Using photos, documents, and recordings that are about or involve his ancestors, but are kept in archives, Weigel examines the consequences of this erasure and sequestration. Memories cling to documents and sometimes this palimpsest can be read, other times the margins must be centered to gain a fuller picture. Whitemud Walking is a genre-bending work of visual and lyric poetry, non-fiction prose, photography, and digital art and design.

Matthew James Weigel

Matthew James Weigel is a Dene and Métis poet and artist. He is the designer for Moon Jelly House press and his words and art have been published in Arc, The Polyglot, and The Mamawi Project. Matthew is a National Magazine Award finalist, a Cécile E. Mactaggart Award winner, and winner of the 2020 Vallum Chapbook Award. His chapbook It Was Treaty / It Was Me is available now. Whitemud Walking is his debut collection.

Reviews

"In Whitemud Walking, Weigel attempts to articulate the breaks even as he seeks his own way through them, writing a space deliberately broken through colonialism and ongoing governmental interference. " –Rob Mclennan

"In opposition to the colonial archive, Weigel’s poetics turn to the body and the land, and his techniques extend from the line to erasures, photographic alterations and visual and conceptual pieces. " – Melanie Brannagan Frederiksen, The Winnipeg Free Press

"Matthew James Weigel’s debut book of poetry weaves itself around and through words, interrogating spaces beyond the page, and text. " – Tyler Pennock, Prairie books NOW

"In Whitemud Walking, Matthew James Weigel unsettles the archive, deconstructs the myth of treaty, and restores the history of his family through a series of mournful, visionary, and sometimes darkly funny interventions using text, image, sound, silence, and the kinetic energy that arises from his perfectly calibrated juxtapositions, rearrangements and inventions. A powerful and moving book. " – VMI Betsy Warland Between Genres Award judge, Susan Olding

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