The Black Ojibwe of Anderdon Nation
People always try to guess where I am from, and are always surprised when I tell them. In our bloodline, we connected with Black peoples who escaped enslavement. White-Indigenous people always tell me, You can’t be black and indigenous… well, Black people joined our nation and we built it up together, made us all stronger. Not to mention how different our relationship was from colonizer-integrated nations.
From the buried creeks to the great Don River
Every morning when I go to work, and every evening I stop by the water and pray. I get as close as I can to touch the water. In Kensington there are all these old creeks that run underneath Kensington. I’ll see a lot of people walking along the Don, and they are releasing whatever is on their minds into the water. There is a living wall mural at Brickworks that shows the hidden creeks and rivers that were buried over - they are realizing now with more rain, that the areas where rivers were pushed underground flood. Nature will always take over, and cover back over again. Covering the rivers does not prevent the rain from carving.
Relationship to my neighborhoods
I live in East York, a 15 minute bike ride from work! I’ve been here for 2.5 years now, I used to live in Kensington Market for 20 years. Lots of people garden, and access the trails. It is a very quiet neighborhood and it took some getting used to. Very different from Kensington. In kensington market i knew all my neighbors, lots of “Hey neighbor my name’s Isaac I just moved in”. People here are a bit more standoffish. From the dreamcatchers in car windows I’d say there are at least 5 native families in my area now, a few Ethiopian, Somali, and a Filipino restaurant on the corner, though primarily caucasian.