Place names

Indigenous people frequently and correctly point out that Indigenous place names in North America are based on geographical features or things that happened in that place, whereas settler place names in North America are either named after the first person to settle there, or a place in Britain or Europe. This is true.

What’s more, the place names in Britain and Europe are named after geographical features, things that happened there, Pagan deities, and previous inhabitants’ names for the place. So it makes no sense to transplant them to a place with different geographical features (though I assume people did it for nostalgic reasons).

Continue reading

Indigenous resources

In the wake of the awful discoveries of unmarked graves in residential schools, more and more Canadians want to learn the truth about the destruction of the cultures and languages of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, and the theft of their lands.

I have created a new resources page with links to websites where you can learn more about Indigenous culture and issues, and identified the key resources to get started on your learning journey.

If you only have time to interact with a few things on this list, check out the ones with a star next to them.🌟

Continue reading

For the ones who did not come home

Thread a bead for me,
Not a rosary:
A bright bubble of blood
From that river in flood
Between the worlds.

Carve a flute for me,
To breathe a memory,
Thread a song from the air,
Where the land is bare
On that distant shore.

Hold a hand for me,
Dream a dream for me,
Of summer days I cannot see,
Woven beneath the oldest tree,
Beyond the door.

Light a fire for me,
Down by that inland sea
Where the stars drink the night
And a bright scarf of light
Dances in the sky.


By Yvonne Aburrow


©️Yvonne Aburrow, 2021. Repost only with clear written credit to me. Please include this copyleft notice and all the information below as well.

The imagery in this poem is Pagan imagery (the World Tree, the river between the worlds in The Ballad of Thomas the Rhymer, the land of the dead being over the ocean). The poem is dedicated to the children who did not come home from residential schools. I woke up this morning with the fragment of a dream in my head with beads being threaded on a string as some sort of remembrance ritual. The poem is an attempt to capture the dream.

Happy Pride

Happy Pride everyone.

❤️ Here are three of my favourite LGBTQ+ movies: Pride, about Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. Torch Song Trilogy, which I saw in my first few weeks at university because the Gay Society did a screening (yes folks, in the 1980s the Lesbian and Gay societies at uni were two separate things). And The Birdcage (which I prefer over the French film it was based on) in which gayness eventually wins over the stiff straights.

More reflections on queerness and intersectionality after the cut. 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

Continue reading