In the summer of 2008 Carolyn Connolly and Katelynn Sampson (pictured left), two Aboriginal women, were murdered days apart in two different neighbourhoods in Toronto. Local newspapers reported the murders, but no real action from police and government was seen, and still hasn’t been seen.
As I read the news of the two murders in the same issue of the Toronto Star I remembered seeing David Miller on the news after Jane Creba was killed on Yonge St. in December 2005. Miller walked up and down Yonge St. in front television cameras claiming to march against violence; really, he was there for votes, white votes.
The Jane Creba tragedy is not the only tragedy that has happened in Toronto. Many women of colour go missing and are murdered without any media attention or care from society. Over 500 Aboriginal women have been murdered and have gone missing in Canada in the last twenty years and most Canadians don’t know or care about this. When a white woman is killed it’s a tragedy and the whole country mourns.
As a writer, my words are my activism. I wrote a poem to Mayor David Miller and submitted it to the Toronto Star. Two days later it was published in the Letter to the Editor section of the Toronto Star (August 13, 2008).
After the poem was published I was invited by local activist groups to read the poem outside of the coroner’s office in Toronto. I was also invited to read at the first vigil for Carolyn Connolly at the site of her murder. Since then I have read A Poem To Mayor David Miller at various activist events. The video below is part of my YOUTUBE channel: Black Coffee Poet. (The Friday portion of the Black Coffee Poet magazine is always a video of a poet reading their work.) The video is of Black Coffee Poet reading at the rally to STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST ABORIGINAL WOMEN (2009) that happens every February 14th.
The video is from 2009 and was shot and edited by Zoi de la Peña.