Sarah (she/her) is an Anishnaabe Kwe (Ojibwe/Cree) spoken word artist from Curve Lake First Nation, Ontario. She is a proud member of the 2019 Peterborough Poetry Slam Team, as well as a semi-finalist at the 2019 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.
She is a mother, social justice activist, performer, community organizer, artist, dreamer, and a curious spirit in pursuit of answers about the universe. Her stories highlight the struggles and more importantly the resiliency within Indigenous communities.
Her work aims to decolonize the structural systems we are all a part of, and to remind her listeners of the capabilities and revolutionary voices they possess. Her works of poetry also draw on themes of love, rage, grief, addiction and environmental activism. When she isn’t writing, you can find her playing her ukulele, roller skating or hiking with her 2-year-old son.
What influenced you to use art as a form of activism?
Throughout high school, I had begun my journey in advocating for Indigenous communities and wanted to empower and create change for my people in some way.
I had always loved writing and public speaking but could never relate to the western poetry and literature taught in school.
I then discovered this beautiful art form through another Indigenous spoken word artist— Zaccheus Jackson. A powerhouse from Vancouver, Canada whose stories touched many lives across Turtle Island. This medium of art evoked so many emotions in myself and allowed BIPOC folks to use their voice and speak their truth in safe spaces. I immediately fell in love with the art form which unified my passion for activism and writing.– Sarah Lewis
How do you promote activism through your work?
I speak about my own experiences as an Indigenous woman related to addiction, missing and murdered Indigenous women, poverty, residential schools, cultural appropriation, and land colonization/ decimation. I try to provide some education on history of colonization along with the ongoing effects on our people. I also try to remind Indigenous listeners of their power and resiliency. I remind listeners that art is healing and cathartic. That picking up the pen is resistance. Our mere existence is resistance, and speaking your truth could have the capacity to shift paradigms and change lives just as it did for myself.– Sarah Lewis
To see more of Sarah’s work:
Check out her Instagram page!