Sending Josephine home

“On May 17, 2018, Calgary Police surrounded a home in Penbrooke Meadows. Two people – a man and a woman – unknown to the owners, had barricaded themselves inside the empty basement suite. After an hour-long stakeout, police entered the home. When they came out, the man was critically injured, and the woman was dead. For nearly a month the dead woman’s name was not released. It was the third fatal shooting by Calgary Police Service (CPS) officers that year. Her name was Josephine Shelly Lynn Pelletier. She was Cree and Saulteaux, and she was 33 years old.”

Sarah Birrell – Briarpatch – December 2018

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The Hustler

“One game is every game for Brendan Gallagher. It’s almost as if the Montreal Canadiens right winger skates in front of a green screen, performing the same actions over and over while the images change behind him. It doesn’t matter whether he’s playing in Boston, home of a blood rival, or in California on a once-a-year trip. Or if it’s in front of empty seats in Arizona or at home in the ever-humming Bell Centre. To No. 11, every sheet of ice is the same and the job he has to do doesn’t change.”

Ryan Dixon – Sportsnet – December 2018

Return of the Mummers

“Mummering has become a powerful symbol of identity here in Canada’s most easterly province, so it’s no wonder ‘a mob of mummers’ pitched up to march through the capital city, undeterred by a halo of rain, drizzle, and fog—courtesy of the island’s position in the North Atlantic. The original parade was axed when mummering was banned in Newfoundland and Labrador 150 years ago, back when social unrest was high and the disguises enabled violence and public nuisance. At the time of the 2009 festival, I’d lived in the province for three years, there as a graduate student in Memorial University of Newfoundland’s folklore department. I’d studied these disguised Christmastime merrymakers in their various contexts, but the parade was my first attempt at being one.”

Emily Urquhart – Hakai Magazine – December 2016

Pussy

“The first person to touch my vagina was a doctor. I had just returned to Toronto after my surgery. I lay on the examination table, my legs in stirrups, while the doctor explored my changed body. I stared at the ceiling while she poked and probed my healing vagina. Suddenly, I felt something that I had never felt before. It hurt a little, but it also felt good. Normally, when someone touches my body, I can roughly tell where they are touching me from the sensations. This time, I had no idea where the doctor’s hand was. It was like some part of me, completely disconnected and floating away from the rest of my body, was being touched in another world.”

Gwen Benaway – Carte Blanche – December 2018

The Year in Rebuilding

“After we broke up, I spent 2018 re-learning how to trust myself—my thoughts, my feelings, things that happened right in front of me. If you’ve never been with someone who negates your experience of the world, it’s hard to imagine how it starts. It’s like a brainwashing you agree to. At first, I kept notes like life preservers around me, reading them behind the locked door of the bathroom when I felt reality washing away on his words. Eventually though, worried he’d find them, I shredded them. I deleted the whispered voice memos from my phone because they seemed like evidence he was right. They seemed like the sort of thing a crazy person would keep.”

Amy Kenny – Hazlitt – December 2018

Found and Lost

“Nakuset sat across from me in a CBC studio in Montreal, headphones turned up, straining to hear her sister Rose Mary Murray’s voice on the other end of the line. ‘Rose, are you there?’ There was a delay on the phone line from Austria, where we reached Rose Mary — a technical glitch that seemed unfair given how many decades the sisters had waited to hear each other speak. I was hosting CBC Radio’s Daybreak program that day in July 2016, and all of this was happening live on the air. On another line from Kenora, Ont., their other sister Sonya Murray was listening in.”

Ainslie MacLellan – CBC Montreal – December 2018

Ontario family’s legal fight to keep daughter on life support could change how death is defined across Canada

“For more than a year now, Ms. McKitty has been sustained on borrowed time in the Brampton Intensive Care Unit, her family providing round-the-clock attention to a woman they believe to be alive and deserving of a chance to recover. Though at least five examining physicians have declared Ms. McKitty brain dead, hospital nurses still rotate through her ICU room for care. The family’s refusal to discontinue life support kicked off a labyrinthine legal dilemma, which they’re taking to the Ontario Court of Appeal this week. The question of what constitutes death, and who decides when that line has been crossed, has no clear legislative answer across much of Canada. The case pulls on opposing threads of science and faith, evokes questions about Charter rights and challenges the role of cultural practices in modern medicine.”

Victoria Gibson – The Globe and Mail – December 2018