DON’T SPEAK - MAHLIKAH THE MOONRISE POET
For our latest iteration, we bring together four Indigenous female poets to speak their truth in the sixth edition of the CBC Arts series Poetic License. When it comes to Black liberation and Indigenous sovereignty, Afro-Indigenous artist Mahlikah The Moonrise Poet is done debating. In this poem entitled DON'T SPEAK, Mahlikah's colonial critique is direct and biting with lines like "you buried our stories like you buried our children" — yet she still manages to invite reconciliation and healing. Mahlikah started writing the poem in 2018 for the Louder than a Bomb Toronto Slam Finals, but its intentions shifted when Cree elder Vern Harper passed away before it was finished.