It’s Not Your Fault by Raven Davis
It’s Not Your Fault is about the violence of online comments made towards Indigenous people. Bringing attention to the negligence of online/social media outlets allowing hate speech in Canada, the movie was filmed, sound recorded and edited on my iPhone. In the movie I use manoomin, a grain also known as “wild rice,” which had been a food staple for many Indigenous people. Throughout the short, I record myself preparing my bundle to pray and help heal from what I was reading, but couldn’t complete the ceremony because the abalone prayer shell that I’m holding fills up with manoomin—symbolically, the lives and struggles of my relations, extended family, chosen family and women, 2-Spirit folks and children across Canada effected by abusers or violent situations. Throughout the movie I perform The Strong Women’s song, which was taught to me over 20 years ago by the Ode’min Kwe Singers. I performed the song in a different version of the original—making it a bit slower, deeper and more like something you’d hear as a child from your mother or grandmother—to comfort my sad- ness as it related to what I was reading and to honour all women and 2-Spirit people who we’ve lost and who are still suffering in abusive relationships or sexually or gendered violent situations.
Raven Davis is an Indigenous, mixed race, 2-Spirit mutidisciplinary artist and activist from the Anishinaabek (Ojibwa) Nation. Raven was born and raised in Ontario and currently works between Halifax and Toronto. A parent of three sons, Raven’s work spans painting, performance, traditional song/dance, design, literature and short film. Raven blends narratives of colonization, race and gender justice, 2-Spirit identity and the Anishinaabemowin language and culture into traditional and contemporary art forms.