From the Editor’s Desk

           Our student authors, together with the editing and publishing team of Muses from the North, rang out the past year, 2021, by celebrating the journal’s 8th and 9th issues. The year of 2022 will witness the release of another theme-focused issues on the subject of Truth and Reconciliation. Going down memory lane, especially as it pertains to theme-based releases, we would like to remind the audience of the success of the 8th issue, which had the working theme, “Reflections and Acknowledgement of the Land.” In that issue, student writers acknowledged and expressed respect and nostalgia for the land known as Treaty No. 5 territory on which UCN campuses and some of its access centres are located. It is also the same territory on which they presently live.

This 9th issue was originally scheduled for release at the end of 2021. However, there was a delay, no thanks to Covid-19, which forced a postponement of the publication. But, as the saying goes, “better late than never,” we are happy that the journal has finally become a reality, coming out in the first quarter of 2022. No matter how prevailing variants of Covid-19: Delta, Omicron, etc. are, our students are still making every effort possible to write about their northern musings. Our resilient student authors and artists have been able to weather the Covid-19 storm while balancing their academic aspirations with other aspects of their lives. A testament to this is the publication of this 9th issue, which showcases their literary works from various genres, including fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and academic papers from different disciplines.

A total of 20 articles made the cut for publication in this issue, out of which five are academic research papers from English, History and Sociology. Tenness Graham’s “Indigenous Women’s Literature as Voice for Feminism: Nectar in a Sieve, Leaving Mother Lake: A Girlhood at the Edge of the World, and The Bride Price” is a submitted research paper in the Indigenous Women and Literature course. The student applies the socialist feminist approach to analyze women’s oppressive situation in three literary texts. She demonstrates how education empowers women so that they can confront the patriarchal value in their own culture. Kelly Laybolt’s “Luigi Pirandello’s ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’ and Samuel Beckett’s ‘Krapp’s Last Tape’ from the Postmodernist Perspective” was submitted in the World Literature course. Sarah Brown’s “The Web of Autonomy: Exploring Women’s Bodily Autonomy in the 21st Century” is a sociology assignment. Her critical evaluation of intersectional aspects of feminism and societal limitations on an individual’s body autonomy is timely and a significant contribution to the current and ongoing feminist and human rights discourse. Similar  to Sarah’s essay, Desmond K. Canning’s “An Indigenous Male Perspective of Indigenous Feminism” is also submitted in a sociology course. Desmond takes the reader on his personal journey and shares his ancestor’s story to illustrate the importance of identity within feminist discourse. Paul Nicholas Matczuk’s “Pocahontas: An Exploration of Facts from Scrutiny of the Fictions” focuses his research efforts on the historical figure of Pocahontas of the Tsenacommacah. Matczuk also has his own image of this legendary woman as an artist based on his detailed research. 

           Furthermore, in this issue, there are eight poems from five students. As an Indigenous woman of Swampy Cree descent, Charlie McGillivary projects her persona as she writes about the experience of maltreatment suffered by Indigenous people in the hands of the system that was supposed to protect them. Her two poems, “Am I the Next” and “Colonized” are both creative works submitted in fulfilment of the creative writing component of a first-year composition course (ENG.1002). Chadwin shares his happiness of falling in love with the North and with a girl in the North in “How I Feel to Live in the North” and “To my love, Wayne.” Tena Hart’s debut poems, “For My Daughter, Rhea” and “My Mother’s Hands” express her love for her newly born daughter and an appreciation for her mother’s love towards her.  Jill Burton’s “You should’ve drowned that thing in the piss pot!” is her memoir about her grandmother. It is a long story well told in a narrative poem. Madison Gurniak’s “You Will Never Understand : A Parody of ‘I Tell You True’ by Ali Cobby Eckermann” is a proof of the student’s understanding of one of Eckermann’s poems

           Seven short stories are included in this issue, six of which are from our first-year students in the English Composition class. Nicole McKenzie revisits the complicated subject of personal identity and the struggle of a mixed-race child to be accepted in the community. Her creative non-fiction, “Reconnection and Healing,” is her second publication in Muses from the North. Jamie Bignell’s “Missing Missy” reflects on the joyful moments she shared with her beloved Missy, and the accompanying sadness that greeted the demise of her beloved dog. By writing about her emotions, Jamie is trying to keep Missy’s memory alive. Jodi Johnson applies her learning as a business administration student to create the non-fiction story, “Summer Adventure Savings Challenge.” It is truly an entertaining and educative piece on money management. While Julie Birch’s story of “As Time Goes On” is mystery-themed, in which the narrator connects with the world of the dead, Ally Finnerty’s “Anterograde” on the other hand is a non-linear love story full of magic realism. In addition to the first-year students’ short stories is Freddie Barkman’s creation story, “The Courage of Muskrat and Wolf.” The story helps the readers understand why the wolf has so much respect in the Indigenous people’s culture. Freddie draws from the oral tradition of his people surrounding the creation story as he tells it in his voice, thereby adding a new flavour to the account.

           This 9th issue of MFTN is entertaining, didactic, and engaging. The MFTN journal continues to be a source of pride to UCN and the community which it serves. Finally, we would like to use this medium to encourage the reading public and our supporters over the years to sit back and enjoy the scintillating offerings in this publication.

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