THUNDER BAY -- Lighting the North: An Anthology of Feminism and Cultural Diversity from Across the Nation is one of the many projects local nurse practitioner and PhD candidate, Crystal “Zee” Hardy has been part of this year.
An Anishinaabe hand drummer from Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek in Northern Ontario, Hardy can now add published author to her already momentous resume that’s changing the voice of Thunder Bay.
In Lighting the North, Hardy contributes words in the form of a letter written to her daughter. Titled Daanis, she explains to her daughter and readers the intergenerational trauma that created the woman she is today.
It is an honest dialogue from one daughter to another and speaks through a past not easily shared.
Hardy used the narrative of the medicine wheel to write this chapter in Lighting the North and says it was interesting but also terrifying to see these words on paper.
“It’s been healing for me because a lot of the things I talk about I felt a lot of shame for a lot of years and now that shame is not mine to carry. I’m not my experiences.”
The vulnerability she shares is what she says was the hardest to write and see on published paper. As someone with a past she believed defined her, this letter is an expression of breaking through those boundaries and discovering that these vulnerabilities can be her most powerful asset.
“The things that happen to us don’t define who we are.” She hopes this resonates with readers and they can see themselves represented and reflected in her and the authors writings.
Learning how to write this part of herself in a way people can understand is what Hardy found the most challenging.
“You can’t always pick what resonates with you because it’s different for everyone.”
She doesn’t expect everyone to relate or understand her words, but that’s the exciting part about being a contributing writer in a piece of creative non-fiction with women of different backgrounds: there’s a chance for the reader to relate and understand to something within this.
“All I can control is what I say. As long as I’m speaking my truth that’s all I can do.”
Canadian and Indigenous-owned publisher
Golden Brick Road Publishing House is a Canadian and female owned small press that was created to encourage gender and cultural equality.
“In our world, everything is about likes and share but the whole purpose is that the message is getting out there,” Hardy says.
Golden Brick Road Publishing House embraces the diversity that comes with storytelling. Lighting the North speaks its message through women of all different backgrounds and experiences.
By telling their story these differences become the unifying voice.