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“Inconvenient Skin” by Shane Koyczan

Canadian spoken word artist Shane Koyczan performs Inconvenient Skin, which addresses 150 years of broken promises made to Native North Americans and the outright genocide of indigenous people. The United States is in the same boat. We must acknowledge our dark deeds, get back on a righteous path that reflects the people we want to be. Please, let’s heal. Let’s be stronger and better.

Inconvenient Skin | Shane Koyczan & Project Artists

“This year has been a polarizing one for Canada. While we celebrate 150 years as a nation we have also come face to face with our own dark history. I’ve spent the past few years reconnecting with my father, who has had first hand experience with residential schools. There has been a vast expanse of silence to traverse, and I’m only now discovering these missing chapters from my own origin. My hope is that this piece will continue the conversation. One of the things I’ve learned through this process is something about healing. To heal a wound you must first clean it… which is perhaps the most painful part. To clean a wound you must expose it to the stinging air. That is where we are right now; witnesses to the blood and pain. We face it now to heal it, or ignore it… letting the infection deepen and spread. Whichever path we choose the truth will not waiver. The cure will take as long as the sickness, and the sickness isn’t yet over.” ~ Shane Koyczan

Be aware. Be fair.



About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends–with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.


  1. usfman

    I can only think here Of Trump idolizing Andrew Jackson, a documented butcher of the Indian race.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Yes. We need to get rid of this idea of entitlement to exploit and kill for the sake of prosperity.

  2. Rosaliene Bacchus

    Profound and heartbreaking. We have corrupted what LOVE truly means and demands of each one of us.

    I found these verses of special meaning for ALL of humanity:

    “if the world brings a challenge to one of us / it brings it to us all / we rise and fall together”
    “where is our dignity / if we cannot hold true to the promises we make? / what value does our word have / if all it ever does is break?”

    We are all involved. We are all consumed. The tiny powerful elite class, buoyed up at the apex of the human pyramid, will suffer the greatest fall with the collapse of the base.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Very true. Sometimes I think the “tiny powerful elite class” thinks that being the last one standing is winning — even if they stand alone on a ash pile.

  3. Animalista Untamed

    There are so many wrongs to be righted. So many treaties reneged on, promises broken. First Nation people are still being treated shabbily in Canada and the USA. Black people are still being treated badly in the USA. Inequity is everywhere. We humans need some miraculous transformation to understand our oneness with each other and with all life on Earth.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      We certainly do. Something. There have been many venerated truth-tellers — but we never get to the transformation part.

  4. Sue Dreamwalker

    This Was a profound video that held me in its grip from beginning to end.. Yes large chunks of history they want our nations to forget.. Here too in the UK… Only now it is emerging the systematic taking of children to be shipped to Australia to be abused and uses in child labour.. as late as the 70’s this was going on.. This investigation is ongoing.. Yet I bet know one is held accountable for it..

    Great share JoAnn xxx

    • JoAnn Chateau

      The sad thing in all these atrocities is the number of perpetrators who convince themselves they are the “good guys” doing the “right thing,” lacking (deliberately?) the self-awareness to acknowledge their acts are based solely on self-service.

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