AssiniyiskewPress

Zines created out of emotional exhaustion...

London, Ontario On Etsy since 2018

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AssiniyiskewPress

Zines created out of emotional exhaustion...

London, Ontario | 387 Sales

Announcement    PLEASE READ CAREFULLY: Due to COVID, I am a bit slower to ship as I rarely leave my house! I have adjusted processing times to reflect this, I’m generally shipping once every week and a half, please be patient!

If you live in the London, Ontario and would like to pick-up zines or get in on one of the drop-offs I do in the week, enter in the code "LONDONPICKUP" to bypass shipping costs and you can pickup! I’m located in OEV!

Announcement

Last updated on 25 Nov, 2020

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY: Due to COVID, I am a bit slower to ship as I rarely leave my house! I have adjusted processing times to reflect this, I’m generally shipping once every week and a half, please be patient!

If you live in the London, Ontario and would like to pick-up zines or get in on one of the drop-offs I do in the week, enter in the code "LONDONPICKUP" to bypass shipping costs and you can pickup! I’m located in OEV!

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Jenna Rose Sands

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Jenna Rose Sands

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About AssiniyiskewPress

Sales 387
On Etsy since 2018

So, why did I make these?

Tân’si, Boozhoo,
My name is Jenna Rose Sands and I am a Cree Ojibwe woman from Walpole Island First Nation. I grew up and reside in London, Ontario and I spent much of my youth travelling throughout North America, dancing and celebrating at Pow Wows with my family. Both of my parents were and are well versed in the ways of Indigenous culture and it is a large piece of my identity. I have always found the intersection of the old ways of my people and the fast paced speed of urban living a difficult thing to hold together. On one hand I had been raised with the stories and hardships of my people and all that comes with this knowledge and on the other hand, I was involved in these communities that centred on art and academia with nothing in sight that connected to my Indigenous roots. As time passed, I began to notice the Indigenous history I learned from my family was not taught to others in the communities I walked through. I was under the impression for many years that the state of Indigenous people was not something to feel bothered by, no one spoke of troubling Indigenous issues so there must not be any, right?

The current climate surrounding Indigenous affairs is hostile and as an Indigenous woman it is at times, downright scary. History that has caused decades of intergenerational trauma has barely been acknowledged and without acknowledgment and with most non-Indigenous people not in possession of a basic understanding of what has occurred, we as a people cannot heal. The winter of 2018 saw heartbreaking verdicts come down in the murders of Indigenous people and I found myself with a sense of hopelessness. How can this happen? How can missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls make up such a disproportionally large number of all women murdered in Canada? How can reconciliation on any front be possible if our lives are not worthy of being atoned for? I began to search my brain and heart for the ways that I may be able to create some change, no matter how small, in the community around me. I thought back to my strengths, visual art and my naturally feisty nature with words and I began to seriously considered zines as a viable option for that change to occur.

Zines (zeens) were the social media of my teenage years, small and homemade publications that are a mixture of journals, magazines, and the ever-private diary. People used zines as a way to communicate emotions, politics, song lyrics, short stories and to pass on practical skills in the form of DIY how-tos. With social media in its infancy, youth created zines wherever photocopiers existed and traded them with one another wherever youth congregated. The zines I have read over the years were essential to my young self, quick and intense doses of intimacy all laid out in unique artistic formats.

When I started this project I knew my aim was to educate others on the history of Indigenous people that was never taught in class. I was finding that every time I spoke with a person regarding Indigenous history and the horrors Indigenous people of Canada have endured I was always met with some variant of “Oh I had no idea!” In 2018, most Canadians should have a fundamental level of knowledge of what Indigenous people have endured and continue to do so. It is critically important that those who deal with and seek to heal Indigenous people understand what has occurred and why, within these dark chapters in our collective history. Having insight as to where family and community trauma begins is critical for finding methods and solutions that are successful. It is impossible to move forward without understanding the past, this applies to whether you are Indigenous yourself or you work within Indigenous populations.

The zines, while an older media form, are excellent avenues for sharing knowledge with others. They are small in size and short in page length and yet they are full of rapid-fire information on each topic they cover. Pairing words, experiences and discussion questions with visual art (mixed media) creates a dynamic read that is easily read over a lunch hour, a commute on public transportation or during a coffee break. In an age where attention spans are short and news media bombards us nonstop, zines have found a resurgence in their ability to convey critical information and with it being a physical booklet, it cannot be ignored as easily as closing an app or scrolling along on your phone. Accessibility was an incredibly important element I kept in my mind during every step of this project, I needed the experiences and facts to not become lost in academic language. There are many incredibly important publications that discuss Indigenous history at great lengths though many people will not read them either due to the length or the inaccessibility of the language. Cost was also an important factor to consider as money should never be a barrier to learning and growing nor should it prohibit one from having their voice heard in dialogue and in the creation of solutions.

In April of 2018 the first issue of Atrocities Against Indigenous Canadians for Dummies was completed. This issue dealt with the horror that was the Canadian residential school system. The zine is 20 pages long that are in full colour and comes with discussion questions to further continue dialogue. It is full of heart breaking facts, timelines and survivor experiences. Near the end of June, issue two was completed and the focus was the current national crisis that is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This issue was an emotionally draining undertaking, as it required myself to dive into very real fears I have for my young daughter and myself. September 2018 saw the completion of Issue three which discusses The Sixties Scoop and attempts at further assimilation. All issues are presented with a mix of sadness, frustration, anger and the dark humour that my family says has kept Indigenous people moving forward all these generations. It has been a cathartic journey for myself and I am incredibly happy at the current dialogue occurring within the communities that have been supporting this project. As zines are short in real estate in their pages, I created a website to serve as a companion for each issue. All resources used for the creation of the zines are listed as well as links for further reading. The website is an ever-evolving project as more information is added as time goes on.

This project does not seek to be the end all be all of information on Indigenous history though it does seek to change the direction of current discourse being had surrounding Indigenous issues. The current narrative does not have to be the way it is, compassion, empathy and understanding can indeed be fused back into the discussions and the care taking place. Indigenous people have been resilient in the face of racism and assimilation and it is my daydream to think of how much more we could thrive if our history and pain were acknowledged and we did not have to plead for trauma to be validated. It cannot be overstated the comfort felt when you do not have to educate others first of your well documented trauma before you can ask for help.

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  • Jenna Rose Sands

    Owner

    I am a feisty Cree/Ojibwe artist, writer, photographer and activist. I'm passionate about my culture, my family and community. Intersectional thinking, living, debating and loving.

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Last updated on 25 Nov, 2020
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Yes! Please direct message me to arrange this!