This issue of Briarpatch features the winning entries of our second annual creative writing contest. Among the flood of entries submitted by talented writers from across North America, these two stories most impressed and moved our judges. And with Indigenous social movements and solidarity forefront in people’s minds, we’ve also devoted some space in this issue to Idle No More ­– the movement and the countless conversations it has sparked, as well as the broader context of women’s leadership in resurgent Indigenous struggles.

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    Letter from the editor

    It’s been an enormous pleasure to return to Briarpatch to guest edit this issue.
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    Announcing Writing in the Margins contest winners!

    This issue of Briarpatch features the winners of our second annual Writing in the Margins creative writing contest.

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    How to be lonely

    It’s not clear why how to be lonely is this way, but it’s certain it wants a tool to dig.

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    No force more powerful

    Nothing can really convey the power of moments where people come together to realize their collective strength, but we thought we’d try anyway

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    Who’s got their eyes on Canada’s spies?

    Even with the recommended oversight, CSIS has not proven immune to abuses of power and the law.

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    Voices of resistance

    Across the Americas, Indigenous women are working to restore values of harmony, co-operation, balance, and respect within their communities.

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    Freshwater food security

    Many fishers are passionately opposed to wasting fish but struggle to survive in an industry where the price paid per pound has declined over the years while costs such as gasoline, labour, and equipment have only risen. Fishers in Grand Rapids have come up with a potential solution.

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    Stories mapping place and power

    How to Get Along With Women is a finely written collection exploring the ways our identities, our most intimate relationships, and our experiences can be shaped by the world we inhabit, a world mapped by dynamics of power.

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    A steady lens and a dangerous weapon

    “Healing is a challenge in life. It is a victim’s sole obligation,” he says. “Forgotten wounds cannot be healed. So I film to heal.”

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    Sovereignty and social transformation

    In the final days of Quebec’s 2012 election campaign, many journalists and federalist politicians warned Canadians of the dangers of a Parti Québécois victory. Progressive movements across Canada have a lot to learn about what is made possible when the question of independence is raised.