Kimiwan Zine Showcases Saskatoon’s Indigenous Artists

Aboriginal-inspired zine now accepting submissions for upcoming issue

Saskatoon has a new literary/art zine called Kimiwan, and its goal is to share the stories of the city’s indigenous community.

Kimiwan, which translates into “rain”, is curated by cousins Joi Arcand and Mika Lafond and showcases Aboriginal-inspired visual art and writings.

The magazine loosely focuses on topics such as decolonization, healing and family. Oh yeah, and a national movement called Idle No More, which we assume you already know about.

Arcand, who took inspiration from her involvement in the R.A.I.N. (radical art in nature) collective in Vancouver, says that Kimiwan was created to celebrate the art being created in the indigenous community and to publish works from those who didn’t have an outlet for their stories.

“Zines are a great way to take art out of the gallery and into people’s homes and into the streets,” says Arcand. “I think when Redwire (a Canadian native youth magazine) stopped printing it left a real void in terms of providing an uncensored space for young indigenous writers and artists. Kimiwan will never replicate what Redwire did – there are differences between the publications – but Redwire was such an inspiration to me as a youth and to thousands of youth across the continent, it carries on a bit of that spirit as well.”

The first issue of Kimiwan features dozens of indigenous artists, with the visual art providing a striking counterpoint to the starkness of the oft-heavy poetry that comprises the majority of the written pieces. The magazine also features a photo essay on fish canning as well as stories, fiction and non-fiction.

Publishing the magazine on a quarterly basis, Arcand says that the feedback for Kimiwan has been encouraging and positive.

“It assures me that we are on the right track,” she says. “We found that the contributions really shaped the spirit of the first issue and going forth, I am excited to see how it changes as Idle No More and the indigenous rights movement continues to grow. The challenge with print media is that it isn’t the Internet. We went to print on the first issue of Kimiwan on December 7, three days before Idle No More exploded, so the next issue will contain a lot of poetry and art that addresses the events of the past month and the months to come.”

The editors of Kimiwan are currently seeking contributors for the second issue, with a deadline of Feb. 1.

Submit to the zine by emailing [email protected] or check out their website

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