An Afternoon with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

November 7, 2020 at 2:00pm

The Words Festival is pleased to present the renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg writer and storyteller Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, who will be in conversation with Candace Brunette-Debassige.

Zoom Webinar

7 November 2020, 2 pm

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson will join us to discuss her new novel, Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies,which combines narrative and poetic fragments through a careful and fierce reclamation of Anishinaabe aesthetics.

Mashkawaji (they/them) lies frozen in the ice, remembering a long-ago time of hopeless connection and now finding freedom and solace in isolated suspension. They introduce us to the seven main characters: Akiwenzii, the old man who represents the narrator’s will; Ninaatig, the maple tree who represents their lungs; Mindimooyenh, the old woman who represents their conscience; Sabe, the giant who represents their marrow; Adik, the caribou who represents their nervous system; Asin, the human who represents their eyes and ears; and Lucy, the human who represents their brain. Each attempts to commune with the unnatural urban-settler world, a world of SpongeBob Band-Aids, Ziploc baggies, Fjällräven Kånken backpacks, and coffee mugs emblazoned with institutional logos. And each searches out the natural world, only to discover those pockets that still exist are owned, contained, counted, and consumed. Cut off from nature, the characters are cut off from their natural selves.

Noopiming is Anishinaabemowin for “in the bush,” and the title is a response to English Canadian settler and author Susanna Moodie’s 1852 memoir Roughing It in the Bush. To read Simpson’s work is an act of decolonization, degentrification, and willful resistance to the perpetuation and dissemination of centuries-old colonial myth-making. It is a lived experience. It is a breaking open of the self to a world alive with people, animals, ancestors, and spirits, who are all busy with the daily labours of healing — healing not only themselves, but their individual pieces of the network, of the web that connects them all together. Enter and be changed.

Zoom Webinar Registration

Authors & Presenters

Candace Brunette-Debassige

Candace Brunette-Debassige is Western’s Acting Vice-Provost & Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Initiatives)

Read more

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Leanne Simpson is a writer, academic, and musician.

Read more