On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, I speak with Lenard Monkman. He is part of a collective of Indigenous youth in Winnipeg who recently started publishing a new magazine called Red Rising.
As writer and activist Arundhati Roy noted in her acceptance speech for the 2004 Sydney Peace Prize, “We know of course there’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless.’ There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” The corollary of that is that there is no such thing as giving voice to someone else — there is only challenging the active process of silencing, and creating ways for the unheard to amplify their voices such that they cannot be ignored.
According to Monkman, he and a lot of the other Indigenous youth that he knows and works with in Winnipeg have a lot of stories, a lot of experiences, and a lot of ideas that haven’t yet been heard, and that should be — and many of those who have had a chance to share them with mainstream media have often experienced having them distorted, misconstrued, and taken out of context. So earlier this year, he and a number of other youth decided that they needed to found their own magazine. They have jumped into the process of soliciting submissions, editing, and producing, and they have one issue out and another well underway, as well as a great website. They still haven’t figured out quite where the project is going, but already they have a vibrant, wonderful mechanism that is, according to Monkman, an “uncensored and unfiltered” way for Indigenous youth to speak their truths to each other, to broader Indigenous communities, and to the world at large. Monkman talks with me about Indigenous youth, communities, and resurgence in Winnipeg; about the practicalities of founding a magazine; and about the importance of making sure that the diverse voices of Indigenous youth get heard.
To learn more about Red Rising Magazine, to order copies, or to find out how to submit, click here.
Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada. We give you the chance to hear many different people that are facing many different struggles talk about what they do, why they do it, and how they do it, in the belief that such listening is a crucial step in strengthening all of our efforts to change the world. To learn more about the show in general, visit its website here. You can learn about suggesting topics for future shows here.
Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Hamilton (formerly Sudbury), Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.