Since I recently discovered Facebook was filtering messages and I’d missed a bunch of really fantastic stuff, I’ve finally decided to add a contact form here. Hopefully this will help you avoid having to track me down on twitter and so on! Just to let you know, when I receive your comment, it comes with your IP number.

Please do not contact me to start a conversation. I cannot help you get Status or research your family, please don’t ask. You are welcome to leave your comments on blog posts, but I do not have time to engage in one-on-one discussions with anyone who wishes this. In the main, I am putting this contact page out there so that journalists and others do not have to try to track me down in other ways. My thanks.

STUDENTS: I typically receive about two dozen requests each month from students in various programs, requesting interviews, answers to questions, resources and so forth. Here is what I’ve taken to asking all of you:

How will me helping you with your assignment benefit Indigenous communities?

INDIGENOUS STUDENTS: the above does not apply to you, I am happy to help if I can.

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31 Responses to Contact

  1. Bruce Clark says:

    Do you have a citation for or other copy of the decision of Phelan, J? Thanks. Joining the legal struggle for Indian territorial sovereignty may be the next challenge for the former non-Indian metis and non-status, no? Cheers, Bruce Clark, LLB, MA, PhD

  2. Baillie says:

    Lisa, I know you are very busy, but as a Metis woman I wanted to reach out to you to see if you’re interested in my campaign for Miss Indian World. All the information is at this link
    Feel free to contact me by email.

    • jeryy says:

      Miss INDIAN world…??
      What is she is married..MRS INDIAN..what is she is from INDIA ? MISS/MRS INDIAN World ? What if she is a female Gay Indian ? Miss/ MRS gay Indian ?
      ” World Aboriginal Female “ that sounds better

      • ryanmbellerose says:

        actually a lot of indians dont like the word aboriginal either, you are better off just asking each person

  3. Hi there, I was just wondering what if, IF any benefits are there to having native status and NOT living on a reserve. I’m about to dig really deep into my family’s history to apply for my status. I just can’t seem to find the benefits of having one without living on a reserve. Thank you!

    • Not much to be honest. You’d be on the NIHB which is the federal health care program, and it is notoriously difficult to work through. You might be eligible for some post-secondary funding through your Band, but if you’re Status with no Band it becomes more complicated, and not all Bands have the ability to get that funding for all their members who need it. The ‘benefits’ are fairly few, on or off reserve really.

    • Sara Wuswatum Bear says:

      The benefit is knowing that you are related to a long line of strong indigenous people. Oh, wait, you meant what can you personally get as in profit from it? As in money or something, right? Because that’s a pretty gross reason to claim indigenous ancestry and if that’s your only motivation, do the rest of us a favor and just don’t.

  4. So there is not sales tax exemptions or gas cards things that i’v heard about? How hard is it to move to a reserve if I get my status? and are there jobs and opportunities if I do? Or do MOST natives on reserves work outside of them in their jobs? Thanks for getting back to me, you are very knowledgeable. I appreciate your valuable time.

  5. Trevor Mack says:

    Hello, I am the admin of the ‘Idle No More Vancouver’ FB page with over 400 likes and we were planning on creating a survey which covers a lot of bases about the movement. We wanted to be able to gather as much specific data as we can and be able to use that to our advantage for planning our new actions in the future.

    We are trying to get every big Native blog to link to the survey when it is finished, and after compiling as much data as possible I will be creating an image info-graph to make the data more public-friendly.

    I was just wondering if you could email me at VIRAL_TM22@YAHOO.COM and I could email you some of the questions we already have and maybe you can contribute some as well.


  6. catchingupagain says:

    Congratulations for the inclusion of Metis and off-reserve ‘Indians’ to the enlarged citizenry of Inuit and First Nations. I have a question. If there was a referendum, like the Scotts had in 1997, is it sufficient that only the above groups participate in a referendum to establish their own Parliament in Canada?

    To that end I applaud Teresa Spence’s insistence that the Crown representative, in the person of the Governor General, attend, were she to meet with the PM.
    If there are administrative obstacles to the public purpose of consultations via the Indian Act, is a move toward a direct connection to law in the body of a devolved Parliament of First Nations, Metis, Inuit a possibility? (I ask this very leery of the ‘liberalizing’ groups wanting resource expropriations, and the legal usurption of democratically independent judiciary were ChinaFippa, CETA,TPP state-investor tribunals enacted.) post and comments A little on Parliament of Scotland:

    The changes in the legitimate voice of democracy remind me of the Scotts who lost their legitimate voice of Parliament, they’d had from the 13th century, in 1707.

    They took some time to regroup, and the Great Leap of decolonization in the 1960s, together with other regional acts of unity, propelled them to get talking more. So, with consent of the electorate they held a referendum in 1997, and in the next year, 1998, The Act of Scotland established the Parliament of Scotland.

    I applaud too this week’s legal confirmation of the Metis and off-reserve inclusion of legitimate ‘Indians’. It ought cause one to consider that a step toward a legitimate voice of a law maker.

    There is a bit of irony in the technicalities which reflect the circumstances of the Scott’s and First Nations to the Crown.

    Technically, in 1998, the Parliament of Scotland was established as a devolved legislature, meaning, some laws are still ‘reserved’ to the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Many many Scots are hopping mad about that ‘reservation’ clause of law. Perhaps you’ve heard, they are the full separatists for whom having a devolved legislature just isn’t enough. So it goes.

    Perhaps you’ve heard Scotland has significant offshore oil.

    I do hope the Idle No More is not made hostage to forces seeking raw resource extraction guarantees from their lands. Improvements to circumstance was behind the initial intent of Treaties with the Crown, and real improvements and provisions are still long overdo.

    The Scott’s push for a Parliament, well it can be seen to confirm the dignity of their voices in the body of a legitimate legislative assembly, it can also be seen as a step, a step back to the autonomy of determination they always had as a unique people on a unique land.

    In a democracy one owes it to oneself and peoples to be alive to their place in their history.

    It is not just the past. There is both a present and a future in a real Scotts and First Nations’ heart.

    Democracy is strengthened by adaptation, by those who act for a just link between past and future, the rule of law, lands and peoples.

  7. Sienna Metatawabin says:

    Tansi, I have been assisting with some of the communications from Chief Theresa Spence and am thinking that an informative video outlining the history/issues/solutions that have spurred the creation of Idle No More and Chief Spence’s Hunger strike (and many other protests over the years) would be something that would be very timely and helpful at this point. I can appreciate that you are very tired from dealing with all of the questions/media etc. that have come at you, but I just want to ‘put it out there’ that I can’t think of another mentor who would be better suited to assist with outlining how this video should be presented, than yourself. Just thought I’d pass on my Thanks for all that you have done to reeducate so many and ask if you would be interested in assisting with this outline? (I have friends and family who have the background to help with the creative component to actually make the video itself happen…) Meegwetch/Tanissi Sienna Metatawabin

  8. Benjamin Ramirez says:

    Chelsea. I would like to know if I could get your authorization to translate your articles to spanish to share it with my people in Chile. Below is a copy of a comment I left on facebook today after reading some poor opinions on the National Post.
    I admire your work and it has moved me to understand and to research about the same conditions the Mapuche face in the South of Chile and Argentina.
    “,,, and the feminine power will lead the world from the Heart. And there will be Peace on Earth.”

    “Hello. I am appalled by some of the postings here. Mainly because it shows there is no willingness to educate oneself before showing off oneself real ignorance. Chelsea, I have been reading your articles and I have to thank you for you have pointed and posted the information that shone my own ignorance on these subjects away. I am translating your articles and the many references to documents such as the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples report, because it may prove to shine some light an my Mapuche brothers in Chile, in their same fight for their pillaged lands and inexisting self determination.
    I must confess I had sinned the same as the gentlemen who expressed their sad opinions before me… Though in my defense and redemption, I am willing to learn.
    Blessings of Love, Pace and Abundace.
    Dancing Sun in the Morning Mist.
    Chilean, Canadian and citizen of the World”

    • Perdoname, que no tengo los acentos necesarious de escribir mejo en espanol, pero creo que me vas a entender. My ex era Chileno y tambien mi esposo es de Chile (jajajaja). Si quieres traducir mis palabras, hazlo, absolutamente!

  9. Judy says:

    i have read your article in regards in taxation…. what you don’t tell the People.. we have rights… and the gov’t hasn’t consulted with First Nations in regards of taxation. please join the group on facebook…. and please read the court documents ..


  10. Hi,
    I believe I have referenced one of your articles in my blog and provided a link. The article that I referenced was by Chelsea Vowel. Is that you as well?

    Here is the link to my blog if you would like to check it. Please correct me if I have gotten the autor wrong?


  11. prairienymph says:

    Last year I wrote a research paper for a class on Aboriginal women and Canada’s food guide in which I discovered some ways in with the food guide could be promoting certain conditions such as diabetes in Aboriginal women. I would like to share this with more people who are directly affected by it. Can I send the 6 page paper to you?

  12. parentassets says:

    nothing else to say except… wow.. I am so thankful i ran into this page.. everytime i get your email.. it is a lesson in Canadian- Aboriginal history- and the suffering they continue to face.



  13. Hi, I’m a white Australian and know little about Canadian issues. What do you think of Kevin Annett, especially his claim that the Queen was personally involved in residential schools and the genocide of First Nations people? Is he the conspiracy theorist he seems like?

  14. Crissy says:

    Hello! I am an Early Childhood Educator working in child care. I wanted to do some activities with my kids (6-8 years old) for National Aboriginal Day here in Canada. Admittedly, I am not very familiar with the indigenous cultures here as I am from Asia, but after reading your open letter I realize I must be very careful with what activities I plan. I know now that costumes are out of the question. But what about making clay pots and showing them indigenous designs as a sort of inspiration in painting the pots? I was also thinking of teaching them an Iroquois lullaby I was taught in school. Would any of these be offensive and if so, would you have any other suggestions? For sure I will try to teach them how to respect different cultures and I have borrowed some books in the library about the different nations for them to read about, but I had also wanted some forms of hands-on activities as they are usually more engaged that way.

  15. Lea says:

    I’m curious about sacred items or headdress issues, from what i understand that some native american culture if not all, believe that sacred items cannot be sold or bought because it ruins the power or meaning of the item, so, i guess my question is what about items that are made aesthetically, like items not made to hold sacred meaning or power, whether made by native Americans or not, but made in inspiration of items that have meaning, like if someone was to make a headdress but not by traditional means to to sell it as art or inspiration, is that wrong to wear/use?

  16. Jo says:

    I heard and appreciated your interview on CBC today.

    I thought of an article I read recently, by a Mennonite who adopted a black son and found that she had to talk to a lot of black people for some answers to questions she had about raising her son (basic things like haircare, and big things, like her worries about his safety with police). She also got a lot of advice about her son from white people. This she divided into two groups, and it made me think of race politics in our own country.

    “Some of it was helpful, full of stories and personal experiences and eye-opening comparisons and specific ways to promote justice and issues that would never have occurred to me.

    But a lot of the material was full of earnest educated analysis, blanket statements about whole swaths of people, and words like “privilege,” and the more I read it, the more I sensed that something was “off”.

    They were all about Shame, I realized. It rose in black vapors from the pages. The articles were full of vague accusations, encompassing all white people not with “these people did this specific bad thing” but “you are just so unbelievably defiled as a whole group.”

    There was never a clear path forward to repent, rectify, make atonement, move on, and do better, as individuals or as a group, only a sense that the entire white American race was branded with the mark of Cain, wandering the earth. “Awareness” was the best we could hope for, and maybe “dialogue.” But there was no way that any individual, even a farm wife in the middle of North Dakota, could ever remove the terrible mantle of privilege.

    I am all about all of us, as individuals and communities, loving our neighbors, pursuing justice, humility, listening hard, sacrificing, and speaking up for those who have no voice. I believe in repenting of our sins and taking responsibility for choices and finding a better way. But I have no patience with Shame.”


    I just thought this was a really sensible and healing idea, and shows a way for white people and first nations people to realistically relate. I find that especially from other white people, there’s an expectation that we should feel bad or gross in some way, as a penance or something, instead of relating respectfully person-to-person?

    • “Shame” seems like a self-imposed penance. Indigenous peoples don’t want or need non-Native people to feel shame; we need non-Native people to actually learn about these issues, and make real changes. Shame doesn’t need to factor in, and the constant focus on “this makes me feel bad” is self-indulgent, and wasteful.

      • Jo says:

        Your reply made me realize that I’ve never felt like I’m supposed to be ashamed of living here and being white from myself or anyone I’ve known in real life; it’s more something vague from, to generalize, urban educated types on the CBC. I don’t know why.

        I wonder if it really seem from your point of view that there’s actually a “constant” focus on “this makes me feel bad?” or more that it feels that way even if you hear it a few times?

        I would hope that if anyone, native or not, is feeling bad, for any reason, it would still “factor in”, in a human sense. Even just for practicality: feelings aren’t important compared to necessary actions, but if you dismiss someone’s feelings, it can maybe disincline them to act, even if it shouldn’t. Like cutting and self-harm can be a pointless self-imposed penance, but it still “factors in” – I’m reading your comment in the worst light saying that though; I’m sure you get it.

        (I’ve never left a “political” comment on the internet before; excuse me if I’ve offending anyone; I might be directing bad feelings in the wrong direction! Maybe the internet should just be for shopping and so on)

        • I do think that feeling bad is where the conversation most often stops. We want people to learn about what has actually happened here, and not try to justify it, and that can make people feel bad in the sense that the history I’m referring to is actually bad. But the purpose of learning this is so that people better understand the present as it has been shaped by the past. Right now, Canadians do not learn that history, but rather a self-glorifying series of national myths.

          To be quite honest, a lot of the people who claim that Indigenous peoples just want folks to “feel bad” don’t. They don’t feel bad about anything, and in fact they tell us to be grateful for things that have actively harmed us. It’s a smokescreen a lot of the time.

          For others, learning these hard truths can be difficult and traumatic. But that is not a burden Indigenous peoples should be expected to shoulder, on top of our own trauma. We cannot be expected to take that on for non-Indigenous peoples. If circles of support are needed to work through finding out the true history of this country, then that is work settlers should be doing for one another. And some are, through community organizing. I’d really like to see more of that.

          Too often though, this pain is laid at our feet and we are expected to do something with it, or else face the “consequences” of not taking on that emotional labour. Those consequences? Almost always they are framed as “well I want to be an ally to you but I can’t because you aren’t offering me healing”.

          • I might not be explaining it well. Think of it like this. If I get punched in the face, and you find out and feel really bad that I got punched in the face, but you need me to worry as much about how it made you feel bad as how it actually broke my face…that is a bit much to ask, isn’t it?

        • Jo says:

          (replying here because of formatting. I’m don’t have any particular good points to add and continue the conversation; I’m just leaving a response! )

          The ‘punch in the face’ thing is easy to understand because that’s exactly what it’s like in a marriage.. if someone is hurt, and the way they express hurt is itself hard for the other person to take, there’s an impasse until one or the other is feeling stronger.

          Ideally the person who feels pain first is the one who gets strong support first, but sometimes the other person isn’t up to it right then or is tied up with other things. When there’s good will and patience on both sides it usually works out. Obviously marriage is very easy compared to national problems because it’s just two people, who are always face-to-face, and already personally committed, and who have very immediate stakes and interest in having a good outcome.

          Growing up some of our neighbours were indian half indian, as they were called, but First Nations Issues never came up: pretty well everyone in the area was equally poor and conversation topics were just normal everyday things. It doesn’t at all fit to say that ‘we white people’ owed our native neighbours anything, or that they would have thought we did; that seems bizarre to even say; we were all plain neighbours. The local prejudice was more against city people, rich people, politicians, foreigners, and maybe indians on reservations.

          When I went away to university and then came back at Christmas, I did a lot of “enlightened” yelling at my parents about racism and sexism. Of course I had “tried talking” first, with all of my shiny new (and wonderful! I truly appreciate it!) logic, but they are just not into it.

          Nowadays I understand that my time with my parents is limited and I don’t usually bother them about how they…don’t talk like people who have been to university.

          It’s hard to separate what I guess are “class issues” from “native issues”.

          I wish that everyone who went to university would have all the learning benefits, but none of the divisiveness insofar as it is ineffective. (Where anger and so on is divisive but effective, that’s well and good. It seems rare).

          “We want people to learn about what has actually happened here, and not try to justify it” – that is not much to ask at all. That is shockingly little to ask, and puzzling – I assumed that most “native activists” expect white Canadians to donate like half their wages and time to funding improvement programs and driving around lobbying the government, and spend a big part of their evening conversation time to understanding Canadian history, and so on.

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