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Poetry Indigenous

that tongued belonging

by (author) Marilyn Dumont

Kegedonce Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2007
Indigenous, Nature, Women Authors
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2007
    List Price

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From award-winning Métis poet Marilyn Dumont comes that tongued belonging, a collection of poems which search for acceptance in language, culture, love and geographical landscapes. These poems celebrate the humour and tenacity of Indigenous women, lament the death of a mother and recall the degradation of Indigenous women, while challenging accepted ideas of love, age and femininity. that tongued belonging was the winner of the 2007 McNally Robinson Aboriginal Poetry Book of the Year Award and the Anskohk Aboriginal Book of the Year Award.

About the author

Marilyn Dumont is the author of four collections of poems: A Really Good Brown Girl (winner of the 1997 Gerald Lampert Award), green girl dreams Mountains (winner of the Writer’s Guild of Alberta’s 2001 Stephan G. Stephansson Award), That Tongued Belonging (winner of the 2007 McNally Robinson Aboriginal Poetry Book of the Year and Aboriginal Book of the Year Award) and The Pemmican Eaters (published in 2015 by ECW Press). Marilyn has been Writer-in-Residence at the Edmonton Public Library and in numerous universities across Canada. In addition, she has been faculty at the Banff Centre for the Arts’ Writing with Style and Wired Writing programs, as well as an advisor and mentor in their Indigenous Writers’ Program. She serves as a board member on The Public Lending Rights Commission of Canada, and freelances for a living.

Marilyn Dumont's profile page


  • Winner, Anskohk Aboriginal Book Award
  • Winner, McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year Award

Excerpt: that tongued belonging (by (author) Marilyn Dumont)

that tongued belongingCree survives in the words my niece offers her tearful daughter, "It's O.K., my girl.""my girl," that tender way of affirming kinship"my girl," that recotnition of being called intoand belonging to Creeall of this, in a few borrowed sounds of Englishthe nerve of Cree remainsin mouths that have tasted a foreign alphabet too longfrequently we sound too little of ourselves and regret that we were not calledto that sweet place of fitamong our relativesso that, now, when we're among Cree speakerswho ask if we speak our languageand we respond in the negative we are regarded as if we are illegitimate childrenin a single language hosteland all we needis to try hardersince we are a generation wherethese same soundsonce forbiddenare now pronounced and the echoes of a languagethat would have spared us grief(not to mention, alienation)had our parents communicated to uswill continue to growlike moss on our backsand no matter which waywe turn to the lightit will always existon our cold sideand achelike a phantom limb

Editorial Reviews"Marilyn Dumont articulates, touches and settles the nerve of Cree. The reader wanders through the patched quilt life of families, of communities, of relatives and of the Cree nation itself. Always, we are immersed in ancient Cree ways as expressed in Cree-borrowed English. Brilliantly and lyrically presented we are forever reminded that Cree culture, Cree people have not been eradicated, quite the contrary, through Dumont's that tongued belonging we celebrate the renaissance, the transformation and the continuum of the poetics, being and heroism of the Cree."--Lee Maracle, author of Bobbi Lee "Everywhere wind-blown leaves turnreveal acimowina to this story-sharershe brings reality into beingbrings the heart to the ear.Thank you Marilyn for these gifts."--Louise Bernice Halfe, Sky Dancer, author of Blue Marrow

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