Local Speaker, Educator, and Advocate Featured in Anthology

By Wendy Wright

A remarkable book is coming out this fall from a varied group of female storytellers. The stories within this anthology are reflections on a woman’s place in this country and a woman’s view of the same. Lighting the North: An Anthology of Feminism and Cultural Diversity from Across the Nation is a collection of stories from authors of varied backgrounds who share their insights as to what it is like to be a woman and a feminist in Canada today. Although the writers come from varying backgrounds, the stories are all woven together with a feminist perspective.

Thunder Bay resident Crystal Hardy is one of eight women whose stories are featured in the anthology. Hardy’s story is entitled “Daanis,” which is the Anishinabek word for daughter. As she wrote and discovered what she wanted to share, she realized that the story was best told as a letter written to her own daughter, and should encompass all daughters and be for all daughters. She explains how parts of the story came to be through memories that came to her while writing. “My daughter’s role models will be different than mine and that’s okay,” she says. “The most important thing is to be authentic.”

As an Indigenous woman, educator, advocate, and storyteller, Hardy is interested in the difference between the written and spoken word. “It’s in the delivery,” she says, smiling. Anyone can see the gift of storytelling is in her. She tells her story with grace and light—“lighting the way gently,” she calls it. Zongwe Binesikwe, or “Sounding Thunderbird Woman” she truly is. Sincerity shines through her spoken word, and undoubtedly the written will be as bright.

Lighting the North is for all of us, and gives us the rare ability to have a glimpse into someone else’s world, “not with torches and fire but with light and love,” as Hardy describes it.

For more information about Crystal Hardy, visit zongwebinesikwe.com and for more information about Lighting the North, visit goldenbrickroad.pub.