Helen Knott is of Dane Zaa, Nehiyaw, and Euro descent from Prophet River First Nations, living in Northeastern B.C.. Helen is a Masters in FN Studies student at UNBC currently and holds a Bachelors Degree in Social Work.
Helen began this blog in the third year of her social work degree to chronicle her decolonization journey and continues writing here, and elsewhere, in order to share what lessons, insights, and challenges she has experienced. She was once taught that teachings are not yours until you give them away so her words are a part of her offering back to the people.
She has various pieces published in places such as the Malahat Review, Chatelaine, and The New Quarterly. Her first book, In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience, was released in the Fall of 2019 through the University of Regina Press and has been a national bestseller, was long listed for the RBC Taylor Prize, and is currently shortlisted for a BC Yukon Book Prize.
Helen is eight years sober and clean on her journey and is passionate about healing. She is a mother to one, a mediocre beader, and a skilled berry picker. She also thinks writing in third person on her blog is weird so if you have any questions just ask.
Wonderful to read you are reclaiming your heritage and traditions… keep going!
🙂 I definitely will
Your writing is absolutely beautiful, and warms my heart. What a wonderful gift you have to be able to express what your heart says. I love love love reading your words! Keep up the good work.
Thank you, they’re recycled moments, passed on truths, and meant to be shared. I am glad they are read and can bring someone warmth. Its why I write! 🙂
Thank you for sharing your story and for encouraging others to do the same. I admire your leadership and enthusiasm!
I am a neophyte at literature, but i like beers and ufc. Just saying. 🙂
Reclaim your past and take it to your future. Bless you Helen. 🙂
Thank you for your open heart/sharing
thank you for reading!
Hello Helen K,
I work with a broadcaster and we would like to seek your permission to quote from your poem Invisible that is included in the House of Commons report, Invisible Women: A Call to Action. We are developing a teachers’ resource guide to accompany a story we are doing on the missing and murdered First Nations women in Canada. The story will be part of an ongoing current-events series that we produce specifically for high school students in Canada. Your poem is powerful and heart-breaking, and we’d really like to be able to share it with a student audience. If you could contact me, I would greatly appreciate it.
Can’t wait to read on about your journey, stories like this are always the best and the most beautiful
A beautiful journey it is. 🙂
Eighteen years ago I was in Fort St John. I think that I have met you when you was a child. Are your parents Shirley and Richard? I have still a drawing that you made for me :-).
All the best,
Haha… Are you from Holland? If so, I remember you
Yes I am from Holland. I also remember your niece Clorisa and your aunt Charlene. You have my email now. Do you like that we have mailcontact?
I am a teacher in the Vancouver area and I’ve just watched the video and your powerful poem about Site C. I’d like to have my students study your poem. Is it available in print anywhere? We have just recently looked at the poem Letter to Sir John A MacDonald by Marilyn Dumont and your poem will be a perfect piece to complement that work.
Is your mothers name Shirley?!
If so..preeeetttty sure our mothers were friends growing up. I mean, we were too! Sorry for that being so random
Haha yes and I remember you 🙂
Haku, Helen. I come back to read your Indigenous Diaspora poem over and over again. It captures the feeling so perfectly. I am Chumash (coastal southern California) and I am writing a paper about Chumash relationships with our islands of origin (the Channel Islands). Our people were forcibly removed from the islands in the early 1800s and put in missions. Today, most Chumash people have never even been to our home islands, even though we can see them right off the coast. It is heartbreaking to be out-of-place in place. Homeless in our homelands. Thank you so much for writing this poem. I have shared it with many people in my extended family and it heals the heart to even see it the feeling explained so well. I was wondering if you would be willing to grant permission for me to quote from your poem in my paper (with full citation of you as the author). Thank you (Kaqinalin), Alicia
I’m an undergraduate researcher at UCLA and I am currently writing a paper on indigenous slam poetry. If you get the chance to read this, do you think you can pose or send me an email of the original transcript of your piece that called out Justine Trudeau?
Hey, i actually don’t have the original anymore. I have a tendency to lose poetry haha. I am sorry, but I hope the research paper goes well.
I was given your book as a Christmas gift, but I was left for dead and barely survived a rape that left me in a coma for 13 days, infertile, with a TBI + PTSD. Just reading the trigger warning triggered my PTSD and I’m in an awful way right now.
: ( Perhaps someday I might be able to read your story. In solidarity. ❤
Love, I am so sorry to hear of what you been through. I know that sorry’s become commonplace and as survivors/thrivers we run out of space to put all the sorry’s we hear but know that my heart truly goes out to you. Don’t read it right now. You know what you need and when you need it and it is not intended to create more harm but to draw out the poisons and start the healing process. I have also been left for dead and been through multiple sexual assaults. I still have moments when I am triggered and I have learned to reach out to people so that they can tell me what I am going to tell you now, you are safe. you are in the present moment and you are safe. call your safety into being and ask your ancestors and guides to watch over you because you have work to do in this world.
it is okay to ask to be reminded of your safety. with love, helen.
Thank you so much for your kind words, understanding, support, and love. I needed that. All the best to you, lovely. >3
Thank you so much for your kind words, understanding, support, and love. I needed that. All the best to you, lovely. ❤
I just finished your book and I am so saddened by the truth you have spoken in those pages, at the same time so grateful that you were able to overcome. What a strong young lady you are, truly inspiring! I have been an educator in Fort St. John for 34 years but have been retired 2.5 years. I also grew up in the city, so know it well. I have a special place in my heart for the children of the Halfway River Nation, having worked over the years to support the learning at the district school. Your book deepened my understanding and I wished I had been able to read it much sooner. Thank you for writing such an important testimony. I’m certain it will help other young girls begin their journey toward wellness. May you have the happy, bright future you and your son deserve.