Meet Kelly Ann Farrell


Farrell’s artwork for sale at the Tall and Small

If you find yourself rushing into 342 Main Street before morning class or if you have time to sip on a coffee while you study, be sure to take a moment to look at the walls. The ordinary warm cherry interior of the coffee shop is beautifully decorated with a smattering of colourful paintings. From beach scenes to portraits to depictions of houses around town, artist Kelly Farrell has taken over the Tall and Small with her dozens of canvases. 

Born and raised in Antigonish, Farrell has, for a while now, become a well-known artist and icon in her community. She is an active member of the L’Arche community in town and is currently featured on the artists’ page of the L’Arche International website. Farrell has undoubtedly made an impression with her work in her home community – and she certainly has our attention. 


A member of Hearts & Hands in Antigonish, Farrell is a workhorse in the art studio on the corner of West Street and Highland Drive. Mentors Tina Angustia and Glen Mattie at the Studio can attest to Farrell’s work ethic and ability to motivate herself when it comes to her work. Angustia commented, “Kelly is always looking for what to paint next”. Smeared across the upstairs walls where Farrell creates her work are blown-up photographs of her subjects. These photos are strewn on her workspace, hanging on the door frame by her desk and serve as her primary perspective when she begins her projects. Along with painting, Farrell also enjoys photography and drawing.

When asked about her favourite part of working at the Studio, Farrell answered, “The people.” Farrell shares space upstairs with several of her friends and fellow artists. She signed, “The people are silly… there was a Halloween party where people made funny faces in a Photo Booth and people danced. Glam (her nickname for Glen) had a lemonhead.” It goes without saying, the everyday events in Farrell’s involved life are worth documenting. And that is what she does - so brilliantly well. 

Farrell’s art isn’t solely a vehicle for her talent in visual arts. It is also a means of communication. Her paintings are all snapshots of the beautiful memories she has, the people who mean the most to her, and the unforgettable places she’s been. While at the Tall and Small on October 25th for her artist’s Meet and Greet, Kelly signed about her variety of canvases on display. She picked up a couple paintings leaning on the west-most wall and signed, “When I was with my sister in Orlando, Florida, with palm trees… and kayaking.” Several of her paintings reflect her other interests and hobbies outside of making master pieces. “I like summer. I enjoy taking pictures, boats, biking, kayaking, the cottage, and spending time with my sister.” Farrell also enjoys some of the finer things like the rest of us. “I like pizza, playing pool, drinking wine and having tea (Twinning’s especially!) … [with friends and family].”


Candidly, coming into the Studio to check out Farrell’s work felt like an interruption. Immersed in her work in progress, a painting of her brother’s new car, it almost didn’t feel right to take her out of her zone. However, as soon as she was asked to explain her love for creating, the list of reasons went on. As Farrell explained why painting makes her happy, she wrote out and drew her reasons. She paints a clear picture. Farrell’s constant running dialogue, in the form of fine art, will not be stopped. It is her way of consolidating communication, fond memories and emotion for others. Her art is a universal language we can all understand and enjoy on different levels. It is clear to everyone around her that more than anything, Farrell loves what she does, and this message is conveyed in each of her canvases.


X-Pride and Coffeehouses


Robert Chatterton on the LGBTQIA2S+ community in Antigonish

X-Pride’s very own Robert Chatterton generously took the time to be interviewed by Bailey DeEll. During this interview, we discuss his recent work with X-Pride and how he hopes it will affect the community of Antigonish. 


BD: How long have you been involved with the X-Pride society? 

RC: Since 2016, I began as a general member helping out with the events which lead me to have a leadership role. Later I became the president of the society in the 2017-18 year and have held the position since. 

BD: What lead you to join the society?

RC: Early on in my time at StFX I was physically assaulted because of me being gay. From this I realised the lack of supports available to those a part of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, as well as a lack of community identity in general. My goal was to create a visible community for all students and to educate all students, especially those in first year, about the LGBTQIA2S+ and how to be an ally. 

BD: What kinds of events do you currently hold to promote education and community at StFX?

RC: Sex Toy Bingo is hosted at the Inn once per semester, it is designed to be a sex positive and queer inclusive space to educate people on sex, especially sex outside the heterosexual couple. Spill the Tea is a workshop based educational discussion around different topics that effect the queer community specifically, this year we have covered sexualized violence and coming out narratives. In future Spill the Tea’s we plan to cover gender and Queer Intersectionality’s: How you can be privileged and oppressed at the same time, among others. We also held National Coming out Day organized by Bre O’Handley, the Gender and Sexuality Diversity Adviser. We gave students the opportunity to fill out a message on various posters, each with their own writing prompt to support and identify with the queer community. We have also had two Awareness weeks, one for bisexuality and the other for asexuality. These two identities are not necessarily recognized and validated so we wanted to highlight them and publicly show our support for these communities. Also we hold community building events, such as Homoween Bowling, movie nights, board gaymes’ nights. We also host coffeehouses at the Tall and Small each month where it is open to everyone in the community, including those in high school and older generations, to have an intergenerational mingling of queer folk.  

BD: With the coffeehouses being held so regularly, how do you feel they are beneficial for the community?

RC: I think they are beneficial because they provide an assessable queer positive representation that I think this town needs. Being someone from a rural Nova Scotian town, I had no queer positive representation in my life, until I came to StFX. Because of this, I had internalized homophobia and didn’t come out until I was 20. With the coffeehouses, my goal was to create a visible queer positive space that anyone can attend, from high school students to senior citizens, that will build intergenerational community and shift the town to be more queer inclusive as a whole. Hosting these coffeehouses at one of our local coffee shops bridges the gap between the university and the town. 

BD: What are some of your future plans for X Pride this year that students and community members can look forward to? 

RC: On November 20 we are holding a vigil for our Trans Day of remembrance, in which we remember and honour all those who have died because of transphobia. January contains the events I am most excited to tell you about, it is our Pride Month at StFX and we will have different events to celebrate the multifaceted interests of the community. Some of these events include a queer X Talks, drag queen hosted Sex Toy Bingo, and the Nova Scotia renowned drag show “Priscilla, Queen of the Highlands.” While these three are the highlights of the month, we still host our regular events like the coffeehouse and Spill the Tea, but also events exclusive to this month like rainbow party, art night, among others. Lastly we organize a trip to the Halifax pride parade in July to have local Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) students experience a celebration of queer identity. 

For more on X-Pride check them out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and for other resources pertaining to the LGBTQIA2S+ community look for Bre O’Handley in the new offices on the fourth floor of the Bloomfield Centre, or contact her at


Visible @ X Halloween Posters


Successful campaign or scary slip-up?

Students passing through the Bloomfield Centre in the past few months will have paid witness to the new Visible @ X advertising strategy: eight foot tall pieces of cardboard plastered with posters about consent. The first round of posters, put out for homecoming weekend, took to re-imagining popular StFX cheers to champion consent, boasting slogans such as “sex is dynamite, but only if there is consent” and “Go X Go, Go Sex Go.” 

From the Visible @ X webpage, “Visible @ X means zero tolerance for sexual violence of any kind” and that “consent is not optional.” The goal behind the posters follows that philosophy - to impress the importance of consent on StFX students, and to get students talking about consent by connecting it to relevant events and popular slogans on campus. To achieve this, Visible @ X has designed a series of different posters for different holidays and events on campus. The most recent round of posters features zombies, bats, and a haunted house for Halloween; but are zombies the only scary thing about these posters?

Despite the good intentions behind the campaign, feminist students and faculty are shocked and disappointed at the choice of slogan: “too drunk to consent, or zombie?” Comparing someone who can’t consent to a fictional monster makes light of an extremely important issue, and is particularly ignorant in wake of recent events on campus. 

First year student and activist Jenny Li is one of the many students to voice concern, and states that “in their attempts to lighten the subject matter, the posters trivialized sexual violence and did little to advance the education and awareness so vital to its prevention.” Jasmine Cormier, who has spoken up about the campaign on Twitter, agrees, “trying to make light of such a serious issue that students face every day isn’t what’s needed right now... comparing someone who’s heavily intoxicated/possibly drugged to a zombie just sends a message that this problem isn’t real or meaningful.” 

Other students, Grace Tompkins among them, don’t feel comfortable being in a space where posters such as this are being displayed. “The language used in them was extremely insensitive, and seeing 20+ of them plastered on a board in the SUB made me feel uneasy,” shares Tompkins.

Perhaps a bright side to this slip-up is that it has succeeded in sparking conversation about the importance of language in talking about sexualized violence and assault, as is evident, for example, on Twitter. Li adds, as well, that “it is heartening to see any effort made, by student or staff, toward the prevention of sexualized violence.” Progress isn’t a flawless process, but what is important is that we learn from our mistakes moving forward, and ensure that they aren’t repeated. 


Musicians in the Spotlight


Female musicians who hone their craft

St. Vincent - Actor

Annie Clark’s Annie Clark, but St.Vincent changes. St. Vincent is her vehicle. Her 2007 debut Marry Me and 2017 release Masseduction polarize from one another in every way: tone, musicality, lyrical content, promotional material, general aesthetic, whatever you’d like. Marry Me’s off-beat brand of quiet, self-aware, and soft-spoken feminine energy acts as a warm hug from someone who smells interesting - I can’t quite pin down the spice or if I like it, but it’s warm and it has my attention. Masseduction drops the “good girl,” amps up the aggression and angularity. It smells like sex (check out the title track). 

So, I’d like to bring something in the middle, 2009’s Actor. Annie Clark spent much of the writing process listening to Disney scores. “The Strangers” opens Actor, beginning with the soft, whispered deliver that featured so heavily on Marry Me. I can see the dark Paris nights from The Aristocats, but it’s subtle. Two-thirds into Track One the pulse turns to a stomp, elephants begin to play trumpets announcing Prince John’s parade through Sherwood Forest. And then we’re done. 

Actor is a hallucinogenic trip wrapped in anything you’ve ever loved about Disney. While St.Vincent’s art changes drastically from album to album, this album may be the easiest to hold and the easiest to digest. The cozy nostalgia will catch you, but her sense of edge and danger may be more memorable in the end. After all, villains usually get the best songs.

Oathbreaker - Rheia

This will be the most difficult listening experience you’ve ever had, no question. Oathbreaker’s 2016 LP, Rheia is an album of contradictions - one of my favourite recordings ever and I can barely survive the whole record. Caro Tanghe’s vocal performance is one of the best I’ve ever heard, and I hated every second of it. This record’s a behemoth, I’ll try to make sense of it.

Genre’s the hardest question. Oathbreaker combines delicate but haunting folk-inspired breaks that act as a short breather between white-hot blasts of black metal. Halfway through the first bits of black metal, the first of Caro’s shrieks, any self-respecting person would pause the album, turn it off, and never listen to it again. After all, black metal has traditionally been understood as male-dominated, brutally heavy, unrelenting and impenetrable. With Rheia, we’re left with some of the second, a bit of the third, a whole lot of the fourth, and absolutely none of the first. Her anger and aggression are uncompromisingly feminine. Her calm moments, while quieter, sound cold. She delivers her lyrics as a figure who after screaming in frustration begins to quietly mumble: “I’m just disappointed.” 

With Rheia, Oathbreaker gives a listening experience you’ll never forget. You, like me, will have difficulty sitting through it. And you, like me, will be left exhausted and smiling because it happened - smiling too because it’s over.

Pronoun - itty bitty discography (the whole discography’s gold)

Ever catch yourself thinking “Bleed American was music’s peak?” No? Just me? Alright. Alyse Vellturo of pronoun loves emo as much as she hates capitalization, and it shows. 

I’m a walking cliché for this one - I found pronoun through Audiotree sessions. Once they stop introducing me to half-decent music, I’ll stop paying attention. First things first, Alyse’s voice takes most of my attention. There’s a quiver in her live vocal that comes off less nervous and more intentional. It’s as though she’s giving the impression of a shaky singer just happening on every note perfectly, an accidental artist. 

But maybe I’m using flowery gobbley-guk and missing the point. After all, her story implies introversion and stage fright. Alyse wrote most of pronoun’s lo-fi sound in her bedroom, whisper-singing her vulnerable lyrics. Rather than slotting into “Audiotree band with a mumbling front person, awful moustaches that smell of cheap IPAs, clothing caught somewhere between ’97 and ’02, the bassist just outside camera view, the drummer who keeps losing time, and the keyboardist who keeps mean-mugging”, pronoun sneaks a smile on your face. Go to your Spotify right now, listen to Pronoun’s most recent single “Run”. There it is, there’s that goofy-ass smile. Pronoun doesn’t bring nostalgia in some heavy-handed sledgehammer like vapourware. You’re taken to better times, wherever or whenever they were - though, the clothes just might be baggier.

While the pronoun discography lasts for now as long as a sneeze, Alyse Vellturo hasn’t made a single duff note.


Frank Landry Preserves Acadian Phonetics in Writing


An unpublished interview with legendary Acadian author

Yanik Gallie interviews Frank Landry at the Starbucks coffee house in Chapters at the location in Dieppe, New-Brunswick during the summer of 2015. 


YG : Comment sta commencer par écrire dans les journaux?

FL : J’ai écrit pour 3 journaux. J’ai mis 25 ans pour le Moniteur, ptête moins. En total, 33 ans ‘going on’ 34, ce qui inclue la vie de Delphine. Avant ça, j’écrivais un autre caractère qui s’appelait Old Josh. J’ai une fascination pour la phonetic, pi j’aime d’être un raconteux d’histoire. J’ai un background en sociologie. Sociologie veut dire tu fais beaucoup d’recherche. J’ai aussi pris des cours d’anthropologie. Ça ne me met pas plus intéressant, j’dis ink que y’avait des affaires importantes que j’avais été appris quansse tu fais d’la recherche, comme y faut que tu préserves des tels moments dans une histoire. 

Quand j’ai arrivé à Halifax, j’avais écrit Old Josh, les phonetics d’un Cap Bretonner. J’tais un gars de Shédiac pi phonétique cer toute que j’faisais. J’ai pensé pourquoi n’pas préserver la phonétique de cosse qué le chiac? 

J’ai commencé à faire du théâtre itou quand j’ai back arrivé de Halifax. Cer vraiment un journaliste par le nom de Daniel Chrétien qui travaillait pour un journal qu’est arrivé a moi. Pour qaziment un an de temps, on allait au Pizza Delight à Shédiac. J’enseignais des cours d’art le jour, pi le soir on s’flaquait tute là, la gang, pi on parlait pi on cacossait over une bière chaque jeudi pour quasiment un an de temps. Daniel disait, “pi Frank tu devrais p’tête bin commencer à écrire des histouaires.” Pi moi chavais pas si j’voulais faire ça. Jusqu’à temps que quelqu’un nous a dit voulez-vous vous taire parce que vraiment cecitte cer rendu tannant pi j’veux pas back vous entendre parce que sois que vous l’faites ou taissez-vous. Cecitte cer le mois d’Octobre. J’noublirais jamais, tout d’un coup j’ai dit j’va essayer d’écrire. J’ai écrit. J’ai introduit mon caractère dans le journal pi j’ai dit j’va écrire jusqu’à noël. Trois mois, j’ai pensé, ça ne lastera pas… chavais pas cossé jm’embarquais dedans. So, j’ai arrêté à Noël, j’ai même dit mes goodbyes. Tout d’un coup, le premier mercredi du mois de Février j’ai la phone call du newspaper qui dit, “pourrais-tu mnir au bureau du journal faut tu viennes ramonsser ton courriel?” Moi, j’mattendais d’avoir tête bin une lettre, deux lettres. Tu sais les gros sacs de garbage orange? Ceux d’Halloween, yen avait trois et demi à craquer de lettres: Delphine faut q’tu viennes back on t’trouve comique pi dadada... Moi chu overwhelmed at this point because j’avais toutemps ma joie de vivre comme un artiste. Peinturer, dessiner, animer parce que j’ai un background en arts visuel, c’étaient mon plaisir. 

J’aimais écrire pour le journal but j’écrivais déjà des lettres funny à mes friends. C’nétait pas les histouaires, c’tait plutôt parler about moi. Comme faire amine té au collège pi j’tenvois une lettre qui dit “Le chien à manger la jambe de bois à mon père.” J’aurais pu t’écrire des niaiseries d’même but c’tait jamais Delphine. C’tait toutemps Frank avec des jokes pi j’tarrais même écrit su du papier de toilette pour dire. Ju endjablé comme sa, ju un joueur de tours. 

Après ça, le journal appartenait à Irving at the time, L’Express. L’Express n’a pas duré plus qu’un an et demi avant de fermer ces portes. Daniel Chrétien qui travaillait pour eux, lui a starter à travailler pour l’Acadie Nouvelle. Daniel a vendu l’idée à l’Acadie Nouvelle qu’on devrait experimenter. J’va être vraiment honnête, je l’enjoyais pi je l’enjoyais pas parceque ça qu’arrive cer que l’journal allait dans l’nord pi beaucoup d’monde n’appréciait pas ce genre de writing. Y’a du monde qui croiait c’était un language pas vrai que j’inventais. À moment donné, j’ai venu à un point ousser que moi j’voulais vraiment arrêter. J’en avais déjà parlé avec un Monsieur qu’était là pi j’ai dit, “jpense pas. I don’t think its gonna work anymore.” Lui ma appelé pi y’a dit p’tête bin c’est une bonne idée qu’on arrêterait, mais tu sais que tu peux faire autres choses. J’navais pas été firer, on avait parlé pi c’était alright so j’ai arrêté. J’navais pas le tchoeur de cassé. J’était comme, cer fine. 

Eventuellement, Le Moniteur vient me chercher. But, ça prit du temps avant que j’ai dit oui au Moniteur. J’était assis dans l’mall à Shédiac, au restaurant, pi j’ai dit, “j’va y penser.” Y’a dit, “ben non, ben y faut.” J’ai dit, “jva y penser.” Pi j’étais vraiment right là pi j’ai dit la vraie vérité de cosse jpensais. Parce que, à moment donné quansse j’écrivais dans l’Express, le Moniteur, whoever qui travaillait là à l’époque, attackait Delphine. J’ai encore les chroniques anti-Delphine publiées par le Moniteur de sauvé. So, ej n’voulais pas vraiment aller travailler pour l’enemie at the time. Le monde de par chenous me connaissait comme quelqun qui fsait des fundraiser d’la communauté, eux ont été au Moniteur pour dire “wowow! Sais-tu quissse que t’attaques icitte?”

Gisèle qui travail au Moniteur, bless her soul, j’la connaissait ben. Elle m’appel pi elle dit,  “Frank, I hope tu mind pas…tatata…”  J’ai dit, “j’va l’essayer.” J’lai essayé pi it’s been like a big family ever since. C’était pu les mêmes personnes qu’étions là, c’était une nouvelle dynamique avec Gisèle pi Betty qui travaillent au Moniteur. Betty est vraiment une personne fantastique. Le monde là, y fsont du cheering on. C’est eux qui m’appellent défois pour me laisser sawaire cossé quer la feel des tels affaires. Une joke c’est la fois qui voulions faire une nudist beach à Shediac. J’avais entendu ça pi j’ai dit, “c’tu vrai?” Yon dit, “ouaille.” J’ai dit, “ben moi j’croix j’va explorer l’histoire.” J’ai parlé que Delphine s’avait décidé qu’elle allait aller faire du bird watching parceque cer intéressant ouaire les oiseaux. Elle a arrivé à la fin pi elle a dit, “Imaginez-vous si y’aurrait des grous signs en sortant d’la beach qui met: Bienvenues d’avoir nues par chenous.” Parceque on n’dit pas, “venu.” Nous autes on dit, “t’as nues chenous ein?” It was a play on word. Ça quej fait cer qu’ej joue avec les mots. J’amène aussi des vieilles expressions dans mes écritures.

YG : Parle-moi de la naissance de Delphine.

FL : Delphine est née hors de rien. It came out of nothingness. On f’sait des carnivals d’hivers et des soirées amateurs. So, tout d’un coup moi j’utais cosse t’appelles un character performer. Ça veut dire, n’importe quoi tu m’aurais donné comme prop, j’peux improviser avec comme le best of the best. Jutais d’le backroom au carnaval d’hivers pis j’utais censé être un cowboy. J’allais sortir dehors pi j’savais pas cosse j’allais m’appeler. Tout d’un coup, y’ont dit,  ‘la suit de cowboy n’te fit pas!’ Y’ont amener une peruque verte de Marywitch. Y’ont amener un gros chapeau de Cowboy en foam de Calgary Stampedes. Pi la, y mon flaqué une robe. J’ai dit ‘vous êtes pas bin j’veux pas porter cecitte!’ J’ai fait la joke en sortant, j’ai dit ‘si jamais que j’suis discoveré comme cecitte j’va vous suer.’ J’ai sorti su l’stage pi chavais pas cosse j’allais faire. J’pouvais pas même jouer la guitare, j’avais ink une guitare avec une corde dedsu. J’ai sorti en avant pis j’mai introduit. J’ai dit, “ser moi la reine du carnival. J’u la reine, j’viens juste de gagné un concours de Countré. J’viens d’haute-aboujagane pi mon nom cer Delphine BB Bosse!” Cer toute j’ai dit pis j’ai fessé su la guitare. J’savais pas comment jouer but le monde dansait. Cer ste temps là j’ai pensé à moi-même le monde sont pas trop bright parce qui sont entrain de danser à cosse j’chante. J’men rappel des premières paroles que j’ai chanté, “chanter du countré cer po mal aisé, chanter du countré cer chanté du nez.” Pis lmonde sa dansais pi sa s’garochait. 

Normally, moi j’faisais jamais back les caractères à deux fois. So, j’va faire comme les Golden Girls su l’TV la vieille-là. Picture this : L’année suivante, j’arrive pi moi j’avais l’intention de faire d’autres caractères pi le président du carnaval d’hivers Mr. Raymond Leblanc avait parlé t’au monde pi y’avais dit tu devrais dire à Frank qui refasse ce caractère-là. Y’on dit “tu vas aoir un argument avec lui si tu plan ça.” Pi dans l’temps j’nécrivais pas encore, c’était ink des monologues en Chiac. J’arrive là pi j’wois l’grous chapeau de cowboy. J’ai dit, “Non! Cossé qué ça?” Y’ont dit, “ah, non, on va juste te faire picker d’quoi d’autre.” Come to find out, j’tais back Delphine. J’ai sorti avec Delphine pi les Poutines parce que y’aviont trouvé deux personnes pour être des chanteuses en arrière. Une des chansons qu’on avait jouée c’était “Hey Hey Good Looking” jl’ai chanté à la Delphine. Delphine chante mal vraiment, but Delphine dans sa brain elle est une légende. You have to remember, she’s bigger than life. Elle a la permission de dire ça qu’à veut. Ousse que moi, Frank Landry, j’noserais pas dire la motché des affaires qu’à dirait. Elle est devenue comme la reincarnation, ou ptête, l’influence de toutes les femmes fortes que moi j’ai connu dans ma famille. 

YG : Cossé qué ton writing process?

FL : J’écris d’avance. J’écris, j’mets la date. J’dit, “Ok, ça parrait ben… J’l’envois. J’ai des souvenirs de jokes but pour te dire spécifiquement cosse qu’était toute dans l’histoire : chepas. Moi j’nécris pas pour m’assir pi composer. J’m’assis là pour être un raconteur d’histoire. C’est là ousque creative writing rentre en jeux. Ça veut dire que faut que j’trust les fantômes du gernier. Tous les samedi matin, j’massis à l’ordinateur avec aucune conception vraiment de cosse j’écris: j’m’assis là. Ça sonne esoteric cosse j’va dire, but it’s not meant to be like weird la, c’est que j’m’ai appris à m’truster moi-même. J’m’ai appris à truster que j’peux écrire, que j’peux raconter n’importe quoi. J’peux picker anything. J’pourrais parler about ton chapeau right now. J’composerais dequoi à la Delphine, qui peut être super hilarious. Si j’m’aperçois qu’ton chapeau n’fit pas dans l’histoire de Delphine, ben ça peut aller ptête bin à Hen-Henri ou jpeux l’fitter cheque part… pi c’est ça qu’a été le gros, gros défis: de jamais me répéter. Toutemps essayer d’garder la fraicheur d’un écrivain. Pi c’pas d’la great literature que j’fais. J’me oit comme Jane Goodall, elle qu’a fait les grosses recherches de singes. Tu vas t’moquer d’cosse j’va dire. C’est que moi j’u un follower de Jane Goodall. J’veux dire que ju dans une société pi j’observe, j’écoute. So, les singes sont vraiment le monde qui viennent de Shédiac. J’les appel pas des singes, j’dit ink que moi j’les observe pi je suis devenue cosse t’appelle une réflexion de quisse qu’eux sont. 

YG : Cosser que cer du chiac, des acadiens pi acadiennes?

FL : La naissance du chiac a mnu de la nécessité de survie au travail. Sé l’affaire la plus importante, pi l’monde ne te dit pas ça. Y ton dit que y’ont fusés parce qu’ils viviont ensemble, but la vraie nécessité de l’assimilation était pour survivre au travail. La plupart du monde qui gérait les entreprises à l’époque, c’tait les Anglais. Honestly, c’pas dire “les maudits Anglais aviont tute comme qu’à été les années d’acadie.” C’est, “Par chance aux Anglais que l’monde de Shediac a pu faire vivre leurs familles. Moi j’veux célébrer ça.”

J’veut t’dire une affaire qu’a influencé Delphine plus tard. C’est durant les années d’acadie, acadie, pi ya du monde qui va pas believer cossé j’vas dire. Quansse everybody avait dropper une tête de cochon, whatever qu’était l’histoire, c’était, “Les maudits Anglais.” Moi pi mon bon sens de ptit jeune, j’avais appris que tu peux bagueler tute qu’tu veux mais à moment donné, l’monde nt’écoute pu. J’ai appris de thinking outside the box jeune, vraiment jeune, que moi j’voulais être le future dans toute cecitte. J’ai rencontré des personnes d’influence à l’époque, qu’ont vraiment des grosses jobs de decision makers dans la province steur. Y’ont vraiment travaillé pour pi y’ont maintenu la philosophie qu’était à nous autres. Moi jviens d’se gang là oussé qu’y’ont dit ‘On arrête de bagueller. À la place de bagueller, why not si vous mettez une gang ensemble, une bunch de français pi pooler tute vos argents ensemble, pi startez-vous une business! Engager some of your own people, comme du monde de votre backyard. 



The Best Stories Live in Hell

Tips on how to write good drama and more from Lawrence Hill

Renowned novelist and screenwriter Lawrence Hill spoke in Schwartz auditorium on Friday, October 19. Hill opened by speaking of the latest novel the professor of creative writing at Guelph University is currently writing. The release date of his book, announced to be titled Midnight Men at the event, has yet to be made official.

Hill was warmly welcomed to the stage by Kalista Desmond and the Strait Regional Drummers band. Desmond performed some new spoken word. A particularly moving line was “#powerfulnotpowerless”       encouraging women to own their empowerment. 

The drum group led by Morgan Gero performed three songs. Gero left her seat to distribute instruments to colleagues in the audience for a collaborative performance while her skilled drummers held the rhythm. Drummer Isaiah Williams spoke with The Xaverian Weekly post-show. Williams spoke about his favorite moment on Friday night, “I liked when I played the drums to welcome him here. One of the songs we played tonight was ‘Fonga’.” 

Hill made the point of showing his appreciation for the drumming performance. Williams, who has been drumming for two years, remembers how after their performance, “Lawrence said it reminded him of drumming he heard when he was in West Africa and being welcomed to villages.” 

 During his time at the lectern, Hill read excerpts from The Book of Negroes and spoke in detail about imagery and other realistic or fictional literary elements in the novel. One thing he mentioned was that the novel is not about slavery; it is about the resilience of a woman. 

During the question and answer period, Hill said that while his parents were not thrilled he desired to become a writer, they were instrumental in his upbringing as an author. 

Referring to some of the nonsense poetry that his mother read to him as a child, Lawrence recited from memory the first verse of “Disobedience” by A. A. Milne to a laughing audience.

Y and I.jpeg

Williams asked Hill how long it took to write The Book of Negroes. Hill answered, “It took me five years. I rewrote the book eight times. That’s not as ridiculous as it sounds. To spend the time researching, writing, and rewriting, editing, rereading, and publishing over five years before I was satisfied. 

“I wrote some other books along the way, it wasn’t the only one I did. Most writers have to do two or three different kinds of writing at a time to get money. Sometimes things you really care about that are really difficult take time. You have to let them gestate. Let them have the time that they need and they will take over from there. You are ill-advised to rush something if it’s coming along well. If you give it some time, it has a chance to get better. 

By the way, unless you’re born with the genius of Mozart, chances are the first time you write something it’ll stink. That means you have to write it again, again, and again until it’s good. One of the reasons The Book of Negroes took five years is because it was so bad the first time. You have to keep working on it. Thank you for your question and your drumming.” 

Emcees Addy Strickland and Rebecca Mesay brought the event to a close by asking Williams to come back on stage for the presentation of a gift to Hill. 

The author stuck around post-show to meet the audience and sign everything from books to a case for glasses. 

Prior to speaking publicly at StFX in the evening, Hill spoke privately at Dr. John Hugh Gillis high school with 80 students from neighbouring high schools in the morning. The intimate student-led discussion was held with students who had read and researched a novel of his in the classroom. 

Even though Hill has travelled back home to Ontario, his authenticity and wisdom remain cherished in the community.

Jeremy Dutcher is a Leader of Indigenous Renaissance

Tobique First Nation brings the prestigious Polaris Music Prize home

Jeremy Dutcher takes home the 2018 Polaris Music Prize award and declares the nation is in the middle of an Indigenous renaissance. The musician, who grew up in Tobique First Nation, is at the forefront of this renaissance having contributed what is arguably the most notable Canadian album of the year. 

Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa is the name of the album that has swept the nation off its feet. The album preserves and revitalizes a fragment of Indigenous culture in the voice and piano playing of a classically trained operatic tenor. 


The name of Dutcher’s album translates to Our Maliseet Songs. The vocals and melodies feature Dutcher’s singing and musical interpretation of wax cylinder recordings from over a century ago.  

Dutcher studied 110-year-old wax cylinder recordings of his ancestors that were kept at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Québec. The recordings were preserved by anthropologist William H. Mechling who lived with the community for seven years between 1907 and 1914. On top of recording songs, jokes, dialogues and various social interactions between the Wolastoq people in wax phonograph cylinders, the following photograph was taken by Mechling at Tobique in 1911. 

While speaking with Exclaim!, Dutcher admits that more than 20 percent of 100 songs had deteriorated to the point of being indecipherable. Most had been forgotten by his community, due to lack of access to the materials since the Indian Act of 1876.

The language of the Wolastoqiyik, whose ancestral territory is all along what is now known as the Saint John River in New Brunswick, is now spoken by fewer than a hundred fluent speakers. 

Dutcher is a graduate of Dalhousie University with a BA in Music and Social Anthropology. Research for Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa had begun long before graduation from the program in 2012. Respected elder Maggie Paul inspired Dutcher to pursue the transcription of these cylinders which eventually developed into the studio album.

Chief of Tobique First Nation, Ross Pearle, commended Jeremy for preserving the language of the Wolastoqiyik, “The chief, council and community of Neqotkuk are very proud of Jeremy receiving the Polaris award. Taking wax recordings in our maliseet language that survived the years of forced assimilation of our people and adding his musical talent to showcase internationally is very admirable. Jeremy deserves this recognition for all his hard work.”

Dutcher’s talent is reaching audiences all over the globe. After the traveling musician played the Halifax Pop Explosion at The Marquee Ballroom in Halifax on October 17, Dutcher took flight to Las Palmas, Spain to play at The World Music Expo (WOMEX). 

WOMEX is the biggest conference of the global music scene attended by thousands of professionals in the field. There is a trade fair, talks, films, a showcase festival at each annual conference. 

Over 2,600 professionals (including 303 performing artists) come together every October from more than 90 countries, making WOMEX not only the number one networking platform for the world music industry, but also the most diverse music meeting worldwide.

A collaboration with pop artist Casey MQ led to the “Pomok Naka Poktoinskwes” remix of Dutcher’s water rights’ anthem. MQ’s spin on the tune has a much faster electronic beat. While it honours the precedent, it strays away from the mellow distinguished piano and powerful vocals of Dutcher. 

The Polaris Music Prize was last won in 2016 by Colombian-Canadian electronic musician Lido Pimienta and in 2017 by Louis Kevin Celestin who is a Haitian-Canadian DJ and record producer. Dutcher’s victory harkens back to the 2015 Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Power In The Blood win. Dutcher’s album is up to par with the albums of these greats and available for purchase at Sunrise Records, iTunes and Spotify. 

Winners: The Noble and Ignoble

A rundown of this years prestigious and zany research

Each year there are two organizations who dive into the wide world of academics and published research and draw from the very wide and wooly world of research, nominate a number of people and teams, and then award prizes to most deserving people or teams of people. This year is no different. The best and strangest minds have been revealed by each committee, so let’s get started with the strange.

Founded in 1991 by editor Marc Abraham of Annals of Improbable Research, this magazine is dedicated to finding the humour and satire inherent in the world of science. Before the list of Ig Nobel winners is revealed, it must be stressed that not all winners are contributing useless science, sometimes, it is the route or the way that scientists uncover their data that is the laughable aspect. Indeed, at least one Ig Nobel prize winner would later go on to win their own Nobel Prize; first for levitating a frog, second for advances in graphene research.

Medicine - Marc Mitchell and David Wartinger for research on rollercoasters and passing kidney stones.


Anthropology - Tomas Persson, Gabriela-Alina Sauciuc, and Elainie Madsen for their research on how well zoo-housed chimpanzees imitate humans (conclusion: just as well as humans who imitate chimpanzees).


Biology - Paul Becher, Sebastien Lebreton, Erika Wallin, Erik Hedenstrom, Felipe Borrero-Echeverry, Marie Bengtsson, Volker Jorger, and Peter Witzgall for discovering that wine experts can accurately smell if a fly has fallen into their wine.


Chemistry - Paula Romão, Adília Alarcão and the late César Viana, after discovering how well human saliva works as a cleaning agent (conclusion, not too bad!).


Medical Education - Akira Horiuchi for researching the efficacy of sitting colonoscopies through self-colonoscopizing.


Literature - Thea Blackler, Rafael Gomez, Vesna Popovic and M. Helen Thompson for their discovery that for people who use complicated products “Life is too Short to RTFM…”


Nutrition - James Cole for discovering that a cannibalistic diet is calorically deficient compared to other meats.


Peace - Francisco Alonso, Cristina Esteban, Andrea Serge, Maria-Luisa Ballestar, Jaime Sanmartín, Constanza Calatayud, and Beatriz Alamar for their research on swearing while driving.


Reproductive Medicine - John Barry, Bruce Blank, and Michel Boileau for their committed work on measuring nocturnal penis function through the use of postage stamps.


Economics - Lindie Hanyu Liang, Douglas Brown, Huiwen Lian, Samuel Hanig, D. Lance Ferris, and Lisa Keeping for researching the efficacy of using voodoo dolls in the workplace to retaliate against bosses (conclusion: it might help the victim, but they don’t recommend it).


Further information on the Ig Nobel Prize can be found at


            The Nobel Prize, in contrast, was created by inventor of dynamite, who created the explosive after witnessing the disastrous effects of unstable explosives, like nitroglycerine, which killed some of his associates. Later in life, Alfred had the experience of reading his own obituary in the newspaper, in which he was labelled a “Merchant of Death,” for his work in armaments manufacture. Since 1900 the Nobel Foundation (split between Sweden and Norway) has awarded the prizes below (except the economics prize which was created in the 1960s, although with some controversy, perhaps most notable by a living relative of Alfred Nobel, and human rights lawyer, who claimed that the Nobel Prize in Economics is a “PR coup by economists to improve their reputation”).


Physics - Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou, Donna Stickland for their inventions and groundbreaking work related to the use and study of lasers. While this may seem quite staid, Ashkin’s work allowed lasers to be used to precisely move and hold molecules and even small bacteria. While Mourou and Strickland discovered the method by a which high-frequency laser could pulse in extremely short pulses without destroying the materials that make a laser work. Combining these two discoveries unlocked the massive potential of lasers, so much so that they seem quite commonplace today.

Additionally, Strickland, a Canadian, is the first woman since 1963, and the third woman ever, to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics.


Chemistry - Awarded to Frances Arnold, George Smith, and Sir Gregory Winter. Arnold directed the evolution of enzymes to become better, more efficient catalysts in certain chemical reactions and has led to more environmentally friendly methods of generating biofuels. Smith and Sir Winter directed phages to evolve in new ways to develop new antibodies against different diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis and metastatic cancer.


Medicine - James Allison and Tasuku Honjo shared this year’s prize in medicine for their discovery in the ability to inhibit “negative-immune regulation,” which is a way which cancer cells stop certain white blood cells from attacking them. by inhibiting their “immune negative” abilities they open cancer up to be attacked like regular viruses or bacteria would be. It should be noted, however, that this therapy has only efficacy over some types of cancer and side effects can be severe. Regardless, their research is widely considered groundbreaking.


Literature - This Nobel Prize will not be awarded this year following a series of scandals, not the least of which includes, financial malfeasance, infighting, confidentiality leaks, resignations, and most seriously, accusations of sexual assault. The crisis stems from one of the members of the committee, Katrina Frostenson and her husband, Jean-Claude Arnault, being accused of leaking names of the nominees to friends and relatives in order to profit from placing bets. Furthermore, Arnault has been convicted of rape after 18 different women accused him of sexual misconduct in both France and Sweden, though he has appealed the verdict.


Peace - Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad have jointly won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for their continued efforts to “end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflicts” around the world. Denis has used his position as a doctor to bring awareness to the terrible use of sexual violence in the conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, condemning the DRC government as failing to do enough to put an end to the use of sexual violence in conflicts. His activism has put his family at risk and he has fled the Congo for Europe with his family.


Since 2015, Nadia Murad has spoken out about the extreme abuses and sexual violence visited upon women by soldiers of ISIS after having been captured, enslaved, tortured, and repeatedly raped herself, only escaping with the help of sympathetic neighbours who helped smuggle her out of ISIS territory. She was the first person to ever brief the United Nations Security Council on the issue of human trafficking, in which ISIS has even used social media platforms, like Facebook, as slave marketplaces that still exist. She has moved to Germany and continues to fear for her safety for her activism against human trafficking and sexual violence in conflicts.


Economics - Despite the desire by Swedish Foreign Ministers, Kjell-Olof Feldt and Gunnar Myrdal, for the prize in economics to be abolished for having been awarded to “reactionaries as Hayek (and afterwards Milton Friedman),” the prize has been awarded one again this year to William Nordhaus and Paul Romer.

Nordhaus won for his work on integrating climate change in to economic models, and who has tirelessly been trying to alert governments to the dangers of climate change to economies, and the efficacy of carbon-pricing in reducing the release of carbon emissions.

Romer was awarded the other half of this Nobel Prize for his work in researching the motivations of innovation and the effects that limit or promote innovation funding that arise from within a nation’s economy.

Interview with Lawrence Hill

Get your heads out of the sand!

Can you think back to time where you were given an opportunity to meet your idol or your hero… How would you feel in that moment about the things you would say to them and how would your interaction be? 

Well your girl had the chance to meet the renowned, brilliant and enthusiastic author, Lawrence Hill. I was honored and grateful for the opportunity to be in his presence. 

Hill is a Canadian novelist and is famously known for his award-winning book, The Book of Negroes, and other significant contributions to the canon of Canadian literature, including Black Berry, Sweet Juice and his 2013 Massey Lecture entitled Blood: The Stuff of Life, just to name a few. 

I was invited to a private dinner with Hill and others including faculty and teachers within the community. This dinner created an intimate space allowing me to communicate with Hill on a more personal level. It was tremendously fascinating to watch the engagement between Hill and everyone seated at the table, his openness and willingness to be included in the conversation gave me a sense of comfort. Let me not forget to add how comical Hill is, and it did not require much effort to keep us entertained. 

After dinner ended it was time for me to have a one-on-one discussion with Hill to gather further information about his success and his views on identity and belonging. It is evident that we live in a world that is not shy of displaying extroverted disapproval to those who do not fit their criteria of what a person should be. 

Despite being emancipated from slavery, abolishing segregation, and activist fighting for equality, it is important that these issues still exist today. Individuals, specifically of African descent had to and still are enduring many trials and tribulations because of the color of their skin; Hill addresses these issues that people of color may come to face. I wondered how Hill would respond if he were to be racially discriminated against, this brought forth my first question. He states, “I was raised by an African American father who was a solider in the American army and a white American mother, who then moved to Canada a day after their wedding, and at this time segregation was at its apex. My father informed me if I was to ever be insulated racially, I should respond with violence or oppose it in some way, but I refused to respond with violence. I believes if someone has the right to call me repulsive things then I has the right to tell them they are disgusting individuals.” 

On the topic of racism, Hill adds “if I were to see someone else being racially insulted, I believe that it is my moral obligation to step in and speak up. You must be careful about how you intercede because things can escalate in ways that may reverberate back on you in negative ways racially.”

 I recently attended a forum, where I acquired Angela Davis’ (American political activist) beliefs and opinions on what it would take to create a world where we all feel like we belong. I wanted to get Hills’ views on this subject matter, “I do not believe that we will reach that point anytime soon.  Canadians tend to assume they are morally superior to other people in different parts of the world who are experiencing racial injustices. They would disregard these problems within Canada by putting their heads in the sand, but will not hesitate to point out current problems in other countries. We would have to look within ourselves, look at our current injustices, look at our current life and not be afraid to acknowledge where we do not measure up.” 

He concludes, “everyone should not strive to be the same or look the same, instead individuals should be accepting of differences and learn to live together. We as humans must be committed to abolishing racism and committed to accepting people for who they are. The Book of Negroes touches on the vast majority of these issues, hence its success.”

Why was this book such a success? Hill believes his book gives readers comfort in reading past injustices that were triumphed. It also introduces readers to a history that individuals might have been oblivious to, giving insight and information about Black history in Canada. I concluded by asking Hill for advice for aspiring authors, he said “in order to become something or achieve a goal you must put in the work to get desirable results. The opinions of others should never supersede your aspirations in life, you only have one chance at life so make the most of it.”

Far from Over

Hundreds of people respond to sexual violence on campus

Recently, Global News published an article about a sexual assault case at StFX. The survivor, an 18-year old first-year from Toronto, was assaulted by a man five years older. The perpetrator was suspended, but returned to school this fall – something the survivor was not made aware of. Re-traumatized, the student left StFX for good. Her experiences have sparked outrage among students, faculty, members of the Antigonish community, and even other universities across the country. With outrage comes collective action, which is exactly what has been going on over the past week and a half on our campus. Since the report, a lot has happened. Two email statements from Andrew Beckett, Vice President of Finance and Administration & Head of Student Services, were sent out. The first was a rather vague paragraph which essentially said that the school, “cannot comment about the specifics of this case.” In addition, several bullet points were included, detailing that StFX has a sexual violence policy, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), a Health and Counselling office, and a Student Life office. The second email references the Global News report. He acknowledges the communication errors that caused the student to leave, and makes a mention of the, “system in place that strives to uphold both the victim’s and the respondent’s right to due process.” He stresses that, “we recognize that there is always room for improvement and we welcome feedback regarding how to make our processes stronger.” He also makes a mention of the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre, an institution that not many small university towns have. 

Following these two emails, student response was striking. In fact, the news of the article in question spread like wildfire on Facebook, and it can be wagered that most students were already aware of or had heard of the article, and the details of the survivor’s situation, before any StFX emails were sent. 

Last Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon, two collective action meetings were held at St. Ninian’s Place, organized by students and Women’s & Gender Studies professor Rachel Hurst. This week, I sat down to talk with Hurst about the progress StFX has made since she began teaching here in 2009. We talked about what still needs to be done, the collective action of students, social media accounts, and more. One of the greatest concerns of protesting students, who have been using the hash-tag #IStandWithHer to raise awareness, is the school’s lacklustre sexual violence policy. The policy itself is quite concerned with acknowledgement of resources and definitions, and not enough information about putting trust in survivors and being a trauma-sensitive institution. Obviously, the policy should be examined, and change based on the input of students. However, Hurst revealed to me that in 2009, a StFX sexual violence policy did not even exist, “There was no policy, and there wasn’t even information on who to report to in the university and what should happen if someone has been sexually assaulted. So that’s another thing that has really changed is that we do have a policy we do have information online that is a lot easier to find than previously.” It’s shocking, isn’t it? That only nine years ago, information about sexual assault and basic resources were unavailable through the school’s website. However, this in no way means that we should just sit back and be grateful that StFX has made strides on that front.

 So much work can be done, and perhaps adopting practices of other universities or colleges could be helpful. According to Hurst, “In the United States by law all publicly funded universities and colleges are required to notify the campus community when a sexual assault has notifies the student body that sexual assault is not tolerated and that they will act when sexual assault has been reported.” These bulletins are vital in making invisible work visible and could make huge contributions to sexual violence awareness on campus. A transparent sexual assault bulletin could change the face of this campus. When news of sexual assault only reaches the students through outside news media, it sends a bad message. This kind of last-minute notification makes StFX feel like a university that only cares about sexual assault when reports of it hurt its, “premier undergraduate experience” reputation. 

Two more important events have happened between Beckett’s first email and today. Firstly, a student-formed X RESIST Facebook page was formed. This closed group with more than 400 members has been the central hub for organization of protests, meetings, slogans, petitions and more. Secondly, the controversial @whispersatX twitter account (initially named @rapistsatX) was created and accused two students of sexual assault before it was condemned by Beckett himself. While this account did not have much time to make a dent in the overall campaign, StFX addressed this account in an extremely definite manner, calling its actions, “not acceptable.” While it is true that name-dropping students with no context is damaging to the overall movement on campus, the tone in which Beckett addressed this account is unsettling. Nowhere in his previous two emails were the words, “not acceptable” used. 

Referencing sexual assault is met with caution, but referencing accusations is met with immediate action. 

  The school is quick to strike down a small twitter account which named two male students, Hurst noted that, “in my gut feeling is that if the person [who created @whispersatX] is found out that they will be punished to the full extent that they can be punished.” If this does happen, could it send a negative message to other students who are trying to fight sexual violence on campus and come forward with their own stories? Either way, the creation of this account adds another level of complexity to this ongoing fight. Something that really sticks out with X RESIST, the open house protest and the overall response is the small amount of male action. Tons of women, many of whom who are survivors themselves, are speaking out against StFX and coming up with possible solutions. The lack of reaction from the male student body is disappointing to say the least. Hurst notes that, “In my opinion both male faculty as well as male students need to step up and organize themselves...I would absolutely encourage male students to get involved and I know that there certainly are some that have been active and vocal and I think that that’s fabulous, I see that as the responsibility of men [to organize themselves].” 

While it is unlikely that an X RESIST-type group will be created by male students and faculty, it would certainly add even more to the discussions among campus. 

This story is far from over. The Student Union  planned an open forum on sexual violence held on Saturday, October 20. It is an avenue for community opinions and ideas to be heard. X RESIST will not be silenced anytime soon.

Youth Leaders on Water Crisis in Paq’tnkek

Water shortage is an ongoing issue in neighbouring community 

While the boil advisory in Paq’tnkek has been lifted by Health Canada as of October 19, the community faces an ongoing water crisis. 

Several community members report that shortage of water is an ongoing issue while quality control has been established again. 

Paq’tnkek has previously suffered from a water shortage due to construction this past July. 

Dennis Pictou has been active in spreading the message to community members on social media. On October 18, Pictou made a public announcement that details some of the community collaboration that led to the lifting of the boil advisory, “We are asking for all community members to conserve water until further notice. We can’t give an exact timeline at this moment because the many factors that go into all of this (water consumed, most active timeframes, available water pressure, etc.). We will also be under a boil water advisory until Health Canada says otherwise. Like water conservation, the end date is subject to all of our community factors.

Petow residents will experience low water pressure this afternoon and every second day from this point forward. This is due to water consumption on the main reserve side. Every two days we will be sending water from the Petow pump house to Saqamaw pump house at night for everyone’s convenience.

If we all do our part in conserving water we can get a better read on what possible timeline we are subject to. To put it simply, the less water we consume, the less time we’ll be in this predicament.

This coming Monday there will be a phone conference meeting with Water & Waste Water operators, contractors and other parties to discuss construction of Well #4 in Petow. Construction is in place to be fast tracked due to our circumstances.

If I haven’t touched on any of the questions from community members, get me the question and I’ll try my best to get the answer. Thanks for your patience.”

The note by Pictou calls for action by community members to limit their water use. During the water crisis, Richard Perry delivered 25 four-litre jugs of water on his pickup truck at the band office for community members. 

Lack of access to quality water in Paq’tnkek is a serious     issue. 

Youth leaders from Paq’tnkek spoke with The Xaverian Weekly on how the water crisis has, and continues to, affect them. Danika says, “It’s kind of hard to live without water. It sucks because I sweat a lot and I can’t shower. My mom goes to grandma’s house to get some jugs of water for our house and I have to go to my grandma’s house to shower.” 

Ryan Stevens adds, “We get bad water. It’s orange and brown. I want people to stop wasting water. We have not been able to boil food or anything. We have to go all the way to town for water.” 

Casey mentions the ongoing crisis, “When we don’t have water, we don’t have anything. The water came back a little, but it’s not fully come back.” 

Amara emphasizes the severity of the issues, “Well, the water you have to boil because it has I don’t know what in it. We have a huge jug, but it’s very old and has no water. I put a Barbie sticker on it a while ago. The worst part is some houses had their water cut off. Make sure to boil water in a crisis.”

Everyone, including the youth, has been impacted by the water crisis. It is important to address this problem and think of ways to be supportive. Advocating for water rights in the Mi’kmaw Nation is an avenue that could lead to change.

The water crisis is not only prominent in this community, it has also been a pervasive issue across Canada.

Water has  also been a crisis in Attawapiskat, Northern Ontario, Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, British Columbia and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Quebec.

Change needs to happen because water is life.

Keeping Culture Alive Through Generations of Stories


The power of speaking

Aho K’we hello, I want to give thanks to all whom is reading this, it is my honor to present just a small portion of what I and our culture has to offer. I will be sharing a few stories; one of them is a real spiritual experience I’ve had throughout my lifetime, a very special moment I hope to be able to remember for the rest of my life.

This story was told to me by an elder, I am not certain if it is told the way it was told to me; I apologize if I am wrong. To me, this is a story of ceremony, dream, & song; t’was this time of urgent need for prayers when there was this little girl who was very ill and who was in a coma.

All the medicine, men and women were singing; praying for the little one, ceremony had ended when they had sung a Lakota word song. The little one had woken and had mentioned she heard them singing in her dreams. Taking this as a message, they then called the Lakota word song the ceremonial sweat lodge drum song. This one memory I wish I had remembered when I first started writing this paper.

During my days as a presenter, digital story teller, and singer, I had met this very wellknown native celebrity once at a conference/educational symposium in Saskatoon; was unbelievable meeting him there, my mother and my cousin our boss at the time and I were saying our hellos to him. When I had the chance to talk with him, all I remember was mentioning about what I had seen that one day when I was young.

Around my area from where we are, we do not have much spiritual people around to go to for advice, or to learn old stories from. The moment I met Gordon Tootoosis, I had seen the cane he had with him. It was carved wood of a bird. I had mentioned while pointing at his cane, I had told him that I had seen that bird in the sky at my home as his cane reminded me and at that moment, it was the best way I could explain myself at the time of what I’ve seen. He asked me, where are you from? I told him Paq’tnkek, Nova Scotia, he replied and asked what are you, what is your tribe? I replied Mi’kmaw... I asked if he knows why I had seen it, he replied, because he wanted you to see him. At that moment I did not know who “he” was until a decade and many years after I had seen it appear.

 Photo: Facebook @DerrickPaulette

Photo: Facebook @DerrickPaulette

Now I am still learning of who I am as they are still learning of who we are. I am not traditional, but like to think of myself as spiritual. I am not sure if you are spiritual, but I just feel the need to share these stories, experiences and teachings with you today.

When I was a young boy, I was very saddened that I missed my chance to attend a sun dance ceremony that was going on near my reserve; many were attending, dancing, singing & praying. I had went for a walk around my Rez and as I was on my way walking back up home, I was near the river just right before my grand father’s old small red house, something caught my eye in the sky. I looked up it was just before sundown; I seen a clear purple/bluish sky but was very cloudy and stormy just on one side the right, the moon was in the middle just above; I have seen flashes of lightening; light up the one side, not long after I have seen this cloud shape like bird appear just above the lit grey and white clouds which was from the direction of where the sun dance grounds were and the bird facing outward over the land, going toward the ocean.

I still did not fully understand what and why I had seen what I’ve seen; during my time of searching for answers, I finally had come across this knowledge I needed to know. What I have seen that day was the Thunderbird spirit, and seeing this at that moment destined me to become a War Chief/ Medicine-man.

I, Derrick Paulette, am a descendant from many clans; I come from lobster clan and spider clan. I believe I am here to help sing and honor the old ones who fought and protected these lands for generations as also those who have gone before us. Wela’lin for taking the time to read


Indigenous Women in Community Leadership (IWCL)


Coady’s program empowers indigenous women

Some from almost 5,000 kilometres away and closer, Coady Institutes’ Indigenous Women in Community Leadership program welcomes indigenous women from all over the country for the start of the seventh year of their IWCL program (pronounced E-wickl, as I was told).

Aimed at bringing indigenous women together from all over Canada to share knowledge, experiences, and expertise from their respective communities and lives, The Xaverian Weekly was fortunate enough to speak with two members of the IWCL. Some from remote and rural communities, and others from urban communities. In either case, what binds them together is a shared purpose of serving their community of indigenous people and a desire to see the people in their communities succeed, find their inner strength, find their identities, and to rise to the challenges of the modern world. T

he Xaverian Weekly spoke with two women involved in the IWCL program this year. Both of them are not only new to the program (last week was their first week in the Program), but new to Antigonish as well. Both women already take on the roles of leadership in their communities, and are seeking to build on their knowledge with personal and professional knowledge.

Bobbi Rose is the founder of a program for young people in her community, of Fort MacPherson in the Northwest Territories, that trains and educates for leadership opportunities, she is also an outdoor educator. Shannon Kraichy is Métis and Anishinaabekwe leader focusing on providing support and safe spaces for LGBTQ and Two-Spirited youth in her community of Winnipeg, Manitoba, as part of an organization, called the Butterfly Club.

Being so distant from Antigonish, I asked both of them how they found out about a small program in Eastern Canada. Both replied, easily, “Facebook.” For Bobbi she discovered it through a friend, and Shannon through a group, Opportunities First Nations Manitoba, where it was posted. For an opportunity like this, a program designed for First Nations women, it would have been “ridiculous” to pass up the opportunity, Shannon said.

For Bobbi, much of the same. Being able to travel from Northwest Territories to Antigonish to attend a program designed for women like her was a “great opportunity,” and considering the whole program as well as living costs are funded by a wide array of donors, it makes the program available to women from anywhere in Canada regardless of their economic ability, and allows them to focus on the most important parts of the IWCL program; creating new relationships, being present, and sharing knowledge. Both agreed that they believed the program was unique, in it’s focus on indigenous issues, for indigenous women, with an indigenous perspective.

Their comments about the program and the networking and relationships they’ve made in such a short span of time, were almost effusive, and that through IWCL and Coady they began to discover even more resources and opportunities for them and their community.

While the program has only just begun, and is a relatively short program, starting at a distance, coming to Antigonish for October, and ending in their respective communities in January; the impacts of connecting with fellow indigenous women are felt immediately.

 Photo: Facebook @CoadyInternationalInstitute

Photo: Facebook @CoadyInternationalInstitute

Both Shannon and Bobbi were quick to praise the format of the IWCL. One their first few days together the women take part in intensive team-building exercises, like building a teepee over and over again, until they could do it easily and quickly.

Once built, the inside of the teepee housed the artwork of previous students. Although Bobbi is from a remote and rural community and Shannon from an urban community, both agreed that every woman in the program bring something important to contribute and share with the others.

Facilitated by the leaders of the program, the women are able to connect with each other, person-to-person and discuss a wide array of successes, ideas, challenges, and hope.

Shannon felt that it “was empowering to come [to Antigonish] and have space to work on change and bring it back” to their home communities where their shared knowledge and skills can be put to use in incredibly powerful and effective ways.

Thinking about what they expect to return home with; both were passionate about their hope that with their new shared knowledges they would be able to help, support, and inspire the youth of their communities to succeed. For Bobbi, it was about helping youth in the far north of Fort MacPherson find and seize opportunities in their remote town. For Shannon, it was about helping urban youth reconnect with their indigenous and cultural identities and heritages.


O Canada...


You stand on guard for who?

First you thought I was a goddess queen, empowered by the earth and standing tall. I was a protector of the land, so exotic in your eyes. You were the stranger to the new world. You searched our shores, explored the forests, examined our ways. You were the ones foreign to our land.

You stayed a while, you learned to love our home. That is when you got too comfortable and made our land your home. Just as quickly as you had arrived, you looked at me in a different way. I was no longer the goddess queen that I am, when I turned away your drunken breath on my neck.

Squaw is what you called me. Lazy, dirty, easy, a drunk. You used my sisters and I to your own expense. Violated our bodies, corrupted our culture.


The term that you coined, that damaged us forever. You used it as a defense, so that you could get away with hurting us. Because after all, if we were a squaw, which made us easy, then were we not asking for it?

Were you aware of the damage and hurt that you were creating by degrading us to nothing but a term? “That was hundreds of years ago, why do you people still linger on that word?”

Why do we still think about the term squaw? Maybe because even though the white man came many moons ago, the pain that he created has left its mark on our culture and has continued to make us ache.

I hear you joking about the ‘squaws’ on the reserves, that we are so lazy, “go get a job you uneducated Indian”, we’re dirty, and easy. That is what we have become, a joke.

We are nothing but jokes, so every time one of our sisters is murdered, or goes missing, is raped and beaten, you stand idle and watch as we disappear.

Why are you doing this to us? Don’t you think you’ve already done enough? First you purged our land, took everything for yourselves. You ripped our culture right from our hands, banished us from practicing. And if all of that wasn’t good enough, you came for our children, you assimilated them into becoming one of your white monsters.

This society that we live in today is mad for the idea of reconciling with the indigenous people of Canada, and yet there is still enough ignorance in this country to fill the bellies of every hypocritical politician in parliament.

My sisters and I are screaming to a nation to open their eyes and help save their women. The women that built this earth.

We are all linked through our souls, we are all people, so why don’t you listen to us when we cry?

My sisters and I are not just missing and murdered indigenous statistics. We are people just like you. Think of the women that are in your life, would you fight for their justice? We need you to help us. Please, I beg of that you hear our cries, do not be silent anymore. Do not be the nation that silences us.


Mawiomi in Bloomfield Centre


A baby step towards truth and reconciliation

On Wednesday, October 3, a Mawiomi livened up Bloomfield Centre starting 1pm. Traditional dances took place throughout the afternoon in the McKay Room and merchandise tables were setup in the adjacent room along with gratis coffee, tea, water and food.

Astonishing dances unique to dancers in beautiful regalia like Brooklyn Bernard’s performance moved to the rhythm of the drummers and singers’ group. Bernard is from Paq’tnkek First Nation, one of many community members at the event.

Other dances were intertribal, meaning people of all cultures were welcomed to join in the dance. I participated in my second Round Dance, a traditional healing ceremony, that was again uplifting for the spirit and a learning experience.

Kerry Prosper is the Knowledge Keeper on campus and attended the event. Prosper is a Band Council member from Paq’tnkek who is co-author of “Returning to Netukulimk: Mi’kmaq cultural and spiritual connections with resource stewardship and self-governance” and Sustainability Planning and Collaboration in Rural Canada: Taking the Next Steps.

Prosper commented on the significance of having a Mawiomi on campus, “This institution has been here, in Mi’kma’ki, for over a hundred years and it has never really accommodated indigenous cultures. For me it’s a real learning process to have everybody here. The faculty, students and population participating is an important part of Truth and Reconciliation. One of the key things that we have to do is get together, sing, dance, eat and share knowledge. Through that, I think things may change for our kids and future generations. These experiences of living together with a better understanding of each other’s culture on this piece of land that we’re going to be a part of for the rest of our lives are important.

 Photo: Phoebe Cseresnyes

Photo: Phoebe Cseresnyes

With all the current issues we are having in Canada, and many other countries that are battling, between the indigenous people and the people who came and took over the land there certainly has to be some kind of reconciliation.

Little things like holding a Mawiomi on campus can go a long way. A piece of bread and soup can go a long way in bringing us together. I can see a benefit for future students who are coming here. Someday, students in education might be teaching in educational institutions about our culture. It can only be beneficial for everybody and this is just a small part of reconciliation.

I felt really comfortable today with everybody and being a part of this institution for my community and our people being here for supporting students. I know the youth from our community felt good about it.

It’s a two-way thing where we don’t really come here either. There could have been more of our people here today. I think once they see a presence in here from their own community and culture, people will be more inclined to take part of events here. Vice-versa, we’ve had powwows and people from here didn’t think they were invited or welcomed to our powwow. Powwows are open for everybody.

At one time, white people weren’t allowed on reservations at certain times of the year and there was a curfew back in the 40s-50s-60s. They would say you better be out of here by dark because we’re not responsible for what happens to you and that type of thing. People grew up saying don’t go near reserves because you can’t trust Indians. That mentality had been passed down from them to their kids. Sure enough, it made its way through schools, high schools and post-secondary institutions. Now we’re a part of a future education. It’s time for us to shed those ideas and learn because we’re becoming a part of the education system and you got to learn what’s real: We’re gonna face future uncertainties together and we’re gonna have to work together. The time of indifference is going, and it’s gone.

All you have to do is look out at the world and see the trouble we’re having. People come here, to this land, to escape what they were going through, and they are welcomed with open arms. The perpetrators who came here in the past and did things like what happened with residential schools have caused a trans-generational trauma that has been passed on. You hurt your own people because that’s all you know.

You got to understand both sides. Our kids are gonna live without that experience and we’re gonna create a better world for everybody moving forward.”


Gilmora is Alive with the Sound of Music


Getting to know the Music department at X

If you’re ever walking up Notre Dame Avenue at any point in the day, chances are you can hear the distant sounds of a trumpet singing, a drum kit being put to good use, or the fluttering of piano keys. 

Inside the walls of Gilmora sits a unique department, it’s the music department! This whole other world on campus is full of life and energy. 

It’s very easy to get wrapped up in your own life and get distracted with your own studies. However, the music department here has so much to offer, and it’s worth sticking your nose into. 

Not to be bias, but this department has some of the coolest profs, students, and classes that this university has to offer. Speaking of profs, I sat down with a few of them to get to know them and the music world at StFX better. 

Zoe Leger is the newest member of the Music faculty this year. Leger is also a graduate from the jazz program here at StFX! 


SB: As a new faculty member, what are you most excited for in this upcoming school year? 

ZL: That’s a tough question; it’s been fantastic to be back at my alma mater on the faculty side this year, so there’s much to look forward to. I think I am most excited to meet and hear the next generation of artists that will be graduating from this program. Being a Music student is an exciting, invigorating and exhausting experience; it pushes you to be the best musician you can possibly be. Getting to know more students in the program and hearing the gifts they have to share I know will be thrilling.

SB: You’re a very successful artist yourself, a composer, arranger, vocalist, and pianist- what do you hope to impress upon the students this year?

ZL: Thank you! I feel fortunate to have been able to work in my field and do what I love every day since graduating from this program. I also know you have to work your butt off to make that happen, and no amount of talent can substitute for self-discipline and hard work. If I can instill one thing in my students, I hope it to be confidence to pursue what they desire for themselves and their careers, as well as the work ethic and determination to get them there.

Kenji Omae is another new member the faculty. Omae joined the department in 2017 for Saxophone Studio, Jazz Theory, Advancing Improvisation, Jazz Styles and Analysis. After being based in Seoul for fifteen years, he has brought his astonishing talents here to the StFX community. I was asking about what kind of energy there was buzzing around the department and Omae had this to say, “I’m new, but all I’ve seen is this positive, vibrant energy, and I just think that word of that will get out. It’s good for everybody”.  

Another member of the music faculty who is always fun to sit down and chat with is Kevin Brunkhorst. Brunkhorst is the chair of the Music department and has been since 2014. He teaches Guitar Studio, The Beatles and Guitar Ensemble. 

He has a lot of knowledge about music and the industry, having worked in it for quite some time before completing his master’s at the University of North Texas. 

I wanted to know how non-music majors could become more involved in the Music department here at X, 

“Well, a couple things- except for instrument lessons, anyone can take a music course. If you like music and just want to have music in your life for example, we’ve got a bunch of courses for that such as, The Beatles, History of Pop Music, The Art of Listening, World Music, Music for Radio, TV and films, and others. The musical community here is a pretty strong community on campus and in Gilmora. The music crowd is welcoming, and the faculty is too. Some people just want music in their life and they should have it.” 

While the professors of the department are the backbone to making sure everything gets done, it’s the students that make this program for what it is. 

Robyn Gale is a fourth year Bachelor of Music HONS student, majoring in voice. I caught up with Robyn to get a point of view from the student side of the music department. 


SB: How has the Music department helped you develop as an artist? 

RG: I have learned so much throughout this program, both musically and about myself. The classes really help to push my boundaries and help me to become a better musician. The professors each have something really unique to offer as well as each and every student. Because it is a small program we get to know the faculty and our fellow students really well. Looking back to my first year, I am amazed at how much information has been packed into 4 years, and there is still so much left to learn. 

SB: What are you looking forward to in your final year of your music degree? 

RG: I’m very excited for my final grad recital. This is what every Music student is working towards throughout their years in the program. It is a time when we can showcase everything we’ve been working so hard on throughout our 4 years in the program. I’m also excited about my classes this year, as they are more challenging but will push me harder than they have yet. 

Being a music student is not easy work. It requires hours of practice and self-discipline. I know for myself, I’ve taken a few music courses and I’ve been able to see just a glimpse of what goes on in Gilmora. The Music department at X has something to offer for everyone no matter their degree.


The Reality of Being Gay at StFX


Sexual harassment is sexual violence

Picture this... It’s fifty years ago on a small country farm,

Homophobia is ramped…it’s a thing of the time…JUST KIDDING…welcome to StFX’s homophobic culture that targets you even when you want to have a good time. 

This is an encounter from one night going out at StFX. 

Sadly, our society has developed ridiculous norms that make people using the men’s washroom feel they have to choose a specific urinal in order to avoid the assumption that they are gay. Yes, GAY, try speaking it out loud, it is something you should get used to saying. I am gay and even I feel the need to follow these absurd heterosexual norms. Tonight, I went to The Pub hoping to have a great time with my friends. I wandered off to the bathroom and knew I should choose the urinal furthest away from the other guy who was in there at the same time. I hope you’re reading this whoever you were. I hope you know what you’ve done. He turned to me and said, “I know you’re gay and want to suck my cock.” First of all, no I do not want to do this in the bathroom with someone I do not know. Secondly, I recognize you are straight, and I do not want to be with you. Please mind your own business and let me use the washroom. The fact that you need to mention this shows your insecurities are greater than mine.

Wow! I am gay and was already targeted once this evening, it surely should not happen again. Unfortunately, this was not the case. I was walking home from the pub with two of my best friends. They were both female and one was visibly upset due to unfortunate circumstances she found herself involved with earlier in the night. I had my arm around her to provide comfort. We passed a group of immature students who sarcastically muttered homophobic slurs. 

One of my friends decided to call them out for this act of cruelty. They began to laugh hysterically as if being homophobic was a joke. 



Let me tell you, it is not a joke! You are attacking someone for who they are. You are making fun of and belittling someone’s identity.

I love StFX and feel I belong here. Many faculty, staff, and students do a lot of hard work to ensure students like myself are treated as equals; it does not go unnoticed. Before this night, I had never been a direct victim of homophobic gestures. I almost tricked myself into believing this was something that did not exist on our campus. What I experienced taught me that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done before people recognize that love is love. 

If you have taken the time to read this article and are homophobic, please know that your actions hurt others and are never forgotten. If you have taken the time to read this article and are one of the people who thought it was funny to insult me, I want you to know that your words hurt, they left me feeling sad and angry.

I hope you will think twice before you consider saying something homophobic again in the future.


Chaplaincy on Campus


A note from Sister Jovita MacPherson

Chaplaincy is a vital part of Student Services here at X in our focus to serve the whole person and community. As this new academic year begins, we want to let you know who the Chaplains are. We also want to share something fascinating about each one

Full time and on 4th Bloomfield, we have Father Gary MacPherson. Some fascinating things about Gary: in his family he is the 13th child and the 10th boy!

You can find Gary in room 402B and you are invited to attend the 5pm Student mass on Sunday.

Working with Gary, full time, is Sister Jovita MacPherson. Some fascinating things about Jovita: she is Father Gary’s sister and she met Larry Bird! You can find her in room 403B.



On 3rd Bloomfield we have 3 visiting Chaplains who have office hours each week.

Rev. Sue Channen, is an Anglican priest from St. Paul’s on Church Street. Some fascinating things about Sue are: she loves being out of doors and you can expect to see her walking around Antigonish or through campus and until it gets too cold, one of our lovely beaches.

You can find her in office 313B on Thursdays from 1pm to 4pm. You are also invited to attend Sunday Service at 11am.

Rev. Peter Smith, is the minister from St. James United Church on Main Street. Some fascinating things about Peter are: his Mother and his wife are both ministers and he once served breakfast to Scotty Bowman.

You can find him in office 313B on Fridays from 9:30am to 12:30pm. You are also invited to attend Sunday Service at 10:30 Jerry Clubine is the pastor at Full Gospel Assembly which can be found at edge of Antigonish, 2758 Highway 4. Some fascinating things about Jerry are: he is the first one in his family on both sides and as far back as they know, who went to university and graduated twice. Also, his mother is also an ordained minister.

You can find him in office 313B on Wednesdays from 1pm to 4pm and you are invited to join their community on Sunday at 10:30 am.

Come and meet the Chaplaincy Team or join us sometime for Coffee with the Chaplains.

All of us are here for you!


When Art Meets Science on a Cellular Level


“Cells, Souls & Personalities” by Maria Doering at the StFX Art Gallery until October 7

Remember the classic ‘draw a cell’ project in high school? Not the most appealing project for many, however Maria Doering takes this concept to a new level. To draw a cell and label its parts seems plain when it’s done in Biology class, although as a work of art Doering uses the complexity of the cell to not only wow the viewer, but to provoke deeper thought as well. On her website, Doering describes how her interests in both study and art were heavily influenced by her struggles with allergies since her youth. With her most recent exhibit, she poses such questions as “what would we find if we viewed our personalities, minds and souls through a microscope?”; “what does confidence, ambition or courage look like on a cellular level?”; and “what is the cellular make up of a soul?” Through her concept of “Lacery,” her artwork attempts to visualize “the internal dialogue which takes place in all of us.” 

Each work of art features a particular cell-like structure, blazoned with bright tones over dark backdrops, intertwined with vivid colours that accentuate the cell’s internal structures. Featuring many red tones, the artwork is easily recognizable as coming from within the body. These tones also lighten to oranges and yellows, with blues and greens also found around the exhibit. The unique cellular theme offers a diversity between each piece of art, as well as many similarities. Some pieces feature branching structures protruding from the centre, while others reassemble a hair-like outer layer with a solid core and so on. These designs can occasionally reassemble a geode as opposed to a cell, which highlights the complexity of Doering’s talents. Her works range in size as well with many pieces being the size of a palm, and others owning a large section of the walls which adorn such beautiful art. It seems that an increase in size brings about an increase in complexity as well. The larger works are better able to display the finely detailed structures that make up the cell. Most of the pieces are made on a linocut material, however some of the more complex pieces are embroidered with fabric. To give texture to those cells with intertwining cord structures, Doering embroidered brightly coloured fabrics into the linocut canvas to give her cells an even more detailed appearance. 

 Exhibition No. 64 Title:  The Adventurous Soul , 2017  Photo: Phoebe Cseresnyes

Exhibition No. 64 Title: The Adventurous Soul, 2017

Photo: Phoebe Cseresnyes

Many of the cells are made up of clustered nuclei in their core, while some are entirely clustered throughout, and others are characterized by sprawling arms similar to those of an octopus. Amongst the sporadic nature of the cellular structures there are a handful of works that are made up of a more uniform spiraling geometry. Some of the most unique pieces feature earthly greens, vibrant yellow and orange tones, and one piece in particular titled Imaginative displays clusters of brightly embroidered cords throughout the cell. 

Doering’s artwork is not simply visual either, as mentioned above her work attempts to answer key questions about the relationship of our bodies, souls and personality. Each piece of art is given a personality of its own with titles such as Respectful, Love, Indecisiveness, and Benevolent and so on. These titles give the art a voice. By putting their visual attributes to a human characteristic Doering hopes to provoke thought on the visualization of such emotions and our relationship with each feeling. 

Surely if you examine your schedules on a cellular level you’ll find a spare few minutes to browse the exhibit yourselves to witness the true complexity of such a talented artist.   


The Xaverian Weekly's Article Published in Atlantis


Mount Saint Vincent University’s Atlantis gets rights to second publication

A creative work written by Katherina Hirschfeld and Rhea Ashley Hoskin originally published in The Xaverian Weekly gets a second round of exposure in Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture, & Social Justice, a Mount Saint Vincent University journal. 

Hirschfeld discusses the writing process of this edition “Rhea just completed her PhD, so she has been involved in research and writing longer than I have. As an undergraduate student with no published works whatsoever, I was fairly intimidated. But writing a manifesto was a great way to start collaborating together. As an English major, I am more familiar with the mechanics of poetry than Rhea. As a seasoned academic, Rhea has a breadth of knowledge about theory and the publication process. We both brought our own assets to the table and it resulted in a very balanced undertaking. Plus, we’re friends who often talk about our own research together. So, hanging out and writing a femme call-to-arms together was so much fun!”

Pursuing a Master of Arts degree at Acadia university after graduating from a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours, Hirschfeld said “My undergraduate degree from StFX really prepared me for the rigor of a master’s program. I did my BA English Honours degree at StFX, which required me to write a thesis paper. Not all universities offer a thesis option in an undergrad, and because of that opportunity I learned a lot about how to conduct more significant research and literary analysis than any term paper would require. As a result, I feel very confident and well-equipped for my master’s degree.

Not only did my time at StFX prepare me for the significant amounts of writing and research involved in a master’s degree, but it also prepared me for an academic career by supporting and offering conference experiences. I presented my thesis at Student Research Day as well as at the English Colloquium during my graduating year. Both were followed with a Q&A period, which I have never experienced before. Writing is one thing, but answering questions about your own research on the spot is a crucial skillset for academia as well as a legal career (which I hope to pursue after my master’s degree). That same summer, I also had the unique opportunity to present a poster about my thesis at the annual Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) conference with the assistance of the Jules Léger Endowment. All of these opportunities have allowed me to grow more as an academic, and I do not think I would have had the same chances to do so at a larger institution.”

 Photo: Madeleine Killacky

Photo: Madeleine Killacky

Hoskin is an instructor at the StFX Student Success Centre and a doctoral student at Queen’s University in the Department of Sociology. She notes that “This creative piece was inspired primarily by our own experiences as queer femmes – who like to eat, love to lift, and feel empowered by our femininity – something that, for many people, seems contradictory. We wanted to expand on our own experiences of being femme and how we navigate some of the complexities and intersections of our own femininity, to also consider the varied embodiments of femininity, and what it means to re-value femininity in a world that seems to fairly consistently (and pervasively) tell us that femininity isn’t something to be valued.” 

 Photo: Dr. Karen Blair

Photo: Dr. Karen Blair

The abstract of their work emphasizes the piece’s intention of encouraging the “reader to think beyond femininity’s articulation as a source of oppression to, instead, consider how it can be reframed as a form of resistance.” Readers who ponder this piece rethink “femininity” critically. 

Hoskin says “resistance comes in many forms, of course. In this particular context, we use resistance as something that pushes back against oppressive norms – norms that systematically divide and subordinate individuals.  Resistance offers ways to re-imagine, to uproot reductive or determinist views of oneself and each other. 

Think about it this way – in order to resist, we need to be able to imagine the possibilities that exist outside of an oppressive structure. Femme, to us and to many others, offers such a re-imagining – whether it’s to re-imagine the beauty of fat bodies, the worth of queerness, the strength in vulnerability, or to re-imagine the boundless gender possibilities that exist outside the gender binary.” 

Hirschfeld remarks “society can put a lot of pressure on us to perform in certain ways. Identities are put in boxes, and each box carries expectations with respect to appearance, behavior, mannerisms, and so on. To me, resistance happens when you refuse to comply with those societal conventions. Resistance against heteronormative assumptions can occur in various ways. Writing ‘A Femme Manifesto’ is a form of resistance. Rhea and I have both recognized and experienced certain societal pressures to present ourselves a certain way, and often feel the weight of feminine assumptions, so creating a piece about refusing the standards placed on us is empowering. It gave us a voice and helped us to claim a visibility that’s often denied to femme-identifying individuals.”

Hirschfeld is writing a thesis on representations of time within queer narratives at Acadia. She mentions, “much like our published creative piece, though, my master’s thesis also focuses on forms of resistance. I am investigating the relationship between subject and temporality within queer narratives. Our understanding of time, much like our understanding of identities and sexualities, is often based on normative assumptions and conventions. My research investigates how time is treated differently within several queer narratives and what those differences signify. I’m hoping to submit one of my chapters to Rhea’s Call for Papers on Femme Theory.”

Hoskin is busy as well, having already published two research collaborations “Transgender exclusion from the world of dating: Patterns of acceptance and rejection of hypothetical trans dating partners as a function of sexual and gender identity” and “Ameliorating transnegativity: assessing the immediate and extended efficacy of a pedagogic prejudice reduction intervention” this year. 

“‘Beyond Aesthetics’ is actually my first creative piece, Katerina’s too I think. I am first and foremost a researcher, so this was entirely a new venture for me. It has, however, opened some interesting venues or opportunities that I hadn’t previously considered. Katerina and I are definitely going to collaborate in the future, but it will likely take the form of a critical essay.

I do have some exciting non-creative projects coming up! Well, I’m sure all projects require some degree of creativity. I’m currently guest-editing two special issues for international LGBT+ journals. The first issue is for the Journal of Lesbian Studies and will focus on the application of Femme Theory. The second will be co-edited with Dr. Blair, and will be a special issue on Critical Femininities for the journal of Psychology & Sexuality. We’ve heard some really great feedback and have already started receiving submissions. 

My upcoming research project examines how anti-femininity drives much of the violence we’ve seen in Canada over the past 40 years; for example, the Montreal Massacre, the alleged Incel Rebellion, missing and murdered Indigenous women, the rates at which trans women and trans women of colour are murdered, or even serial killers Bruce McArthur and Russel Williams. These acts of violence all share a commonality, which I argue is how we, as a society, see and devalue femininity.” 

Hirschfeld and Hoskin will likely work together again in the future. Hoskin comments “While I imagine plenty of collaborations with Rhea in the future – or should I say, Dr. Hoskin – I’m currently focusing on my masters and in the process of applying to law school.” Both researchers continue to make notable contributions to Femme, queer and transgender theories. 

“Katerina and I make a great team. We actually met as group fitness instructors at Goodlife, where we would frequently teach classes together. Even in that capacity, we really fed off of each other in very creative ways. I think Katerina and I have a really unique synergistic and creative chemistry.”