Carol Rose Daniels' newest poetry collection, Hiaerth (Inanna Publications), mines a particularly painful period in Canadian history: the so-called '60s Scoop, where upwards of 20,000 indigenous children were removed from their homes and families and either adopted by settler families or placed into the foster system. It's a generational trauma with far-reaching effects for many of the children, now adults, who were taken from their families, and their children.
Daniels, a Cree/Dene woman, creates poems here exploring belonging, identity, and the haunting nature of her early separation from her culture. Hiaerth has a difficult subject, but is shaped by hopefulness and strength, in particular the strength of women coming together to support one another and heal. The title is a Celtic word that refers to looking for a place that never existed. In the collection, Daniels and her readers discover that place as an interior destination rather than an exterior one.
Lisa Bird-Wilson, author of Just Pretending, had this to say about the collection: "Hiraeth offers a generous, genuine, heartbreaking gift. Loving, defiant, dark, and triumphant, Carol Rose Daniels sings our homesick spirits out of harm's way. This collection is for all of us, but most especially for those taken, those found, and those still searching. Our nations need this book now more than ever. kinanaskomitin."
Today we get to know Carol through our Dirty Dozen series, where she shares some incredible stories with us. Read on to hear about her genius snack combinations, her teabag beauty trick (which we will be test driving!), and her sky-high plans for summer.
The Dirty Dozen, with Carol Rose Daniels
- When invited to sit and chat with friends recently - Betty made chocolate fondue and brought out fruit to dip. I made the off hand comment “I wonder what it would taste like to dip a piece of crisp bacon in this chocolate?” She crisped some bacon. And put a small piece on an unsalted rice cracker. We dipped. Perfection. My plan now is to serve this combo - along with a small slice of green olive with pimento - to my guests. I tell you this as a heads up - should you invite me to a potluck, this is the dish which I will bring.
- Another foodie comment - one of my favourite breakfast combinations is toast with peanut butter and hot sauce. While it may sound unappetizing - think about it. When y’all go out to a Thai restaurant, often one the most savoury dishes includes peanuts or peanut butter and hot chili peppers or hot sauce.
- I count myself amongst just a handful of Canadians who have done two significant things which involve Northern Canada. I have eaten muktuk. In case you are wondering, that is whale fat and a staple for the people of Nunavut. Also, when I was growing up, I remember watching cartoon characters - who were always poking jest at the name Tuktoyaktuk. I have visited the NWT Delta community of Tuktoyaktuk. It is stunning.
- I was a finalist in the Miss Teen Regina Pageant in 1979.
- Having admitted that - it reminds me that when I was young and over tired. Back then, all I needed to do - to perk up - was to order a double espresso. Now that I am aging - it takes more effort. But, I don’t turn to the beauty counter to get rid of bags under the eyes. I have a practical way of dealing with getting rid of that tired looking face. I make black tea. Usually Red Rose. I drink the tea, with milk and honey, then let the tea bags cool. It is the tannins in the tea that reduces puffiness.
- Saffy is the name of my Border Collie. My dog was named after the daughter character in the British TV series Absolutely Fabulous. A Border Collie is considered to be one of the most intelligent in the dog world. The character of Saffy in the British TV series is highly intelligent and conscientious. The mother character in that show - not so serious - kind of a goof really. You have to watch the show to know the dynamic. It makes me laugh. Maybe that same ebb and flow applies to me and this Saffy? And, for the record, the name Saffy is short for the spice Saffron.
- I have no fear of heights which is why - along with my three adult children - we are planning an interesting 2018 summer. I will rappel off the side of the Hill Tower in downtown Regina (a fundraiser for Saskatchewan Abilities Council). Hopefully my kids will join me for that. But even if they don’t - all of us will jump out of a plane over southern Saskatchewan this year. Sky diving has been on our list for some time. I’d also love to take another hot air balloon ride.
- I was a journalist from 1979 to 2008 (and beyond because I still freelance on occasion). As part of that, people often ask, “Who is the most famous person you’ve ever interviewed?” That would be Steven Spielberg. Granted, I interviewed him as part of a gaggle of reporters scrumming him and throwing out questions. It was in 1989 and Spielberg was being sued by a Calgary resident who claimed that Spielberg stole his idea for Ewoks.
- And speaking of meeting famous people - I can’t believe I treated Al Hackner like he was just some local dude - when we met in the early 1980’s. I was working as a radio reporter at CJWW in Saskatoon at the time. Hackner was in town on a a speaking tour. We were in a social setting and Hackner joined our group - having recognized our Sports Director who was also seated at our table. Al Hackner sat beside me - likely to find out where I am from. He’s Ojibwe. I am Cree/Dene. We always start a conversation by saying, “Where are you from?” He told me his name was Al Hackner and I shook his hand, “How nice to meet you Al. So, what do you do for a living?” Al Hackner answered, “I’m a curler.” To which I responded, “Oh, great. I curl too. But - how do you make a living?” A generous man, he exhibited grace and simply changed the subject. The fact is - I know nothing about sports - except for figure skating. It’s always been this way. So, imagine my reaction in 1985. Al Hackner’s curling team had reached the final in that year’s Brier. It was the last rock. Make or break. A near impossible shot was made by Al Hackner. The 1985 Brier Title went to his team. I watched the game on television along with hundreds of other cheering fans. The Iceman. He’s been inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame. To this day, I still can’t believe - I didn’t know who Al Hackner was. And, if I ever get the chance to sit with Al Hackner again - I won’t say anything. I will just listen.
- And speaking of curling - it truly is something I used to do. I wasn’t very good at it but I appreciated the precision of the game. But I can’t curl anymore. Honest to goodness - I physically cannot. It’s because I have a fake hip. Yes, really. I had hip replacement surgery when I was 48 and everyone, including my doctor, was shocked. I suffered from osteoporosis. And I am pretty sure I contracted that because I have likely been calcium deficient all my life. When I was a kid, my parents gave me powdered milk to drink. That stuff is foul so I rarely drank milk as a child. Many years later, I became pregnant with twins. Anyone who’s had a child knows - that when the fetus grows inside, it takes from the mother’s body - whatever it needs to grow. So imagine, I had two of them growing inside. I have a feeling they took from my bones - which is why I ended up with a condition like osteoporosis. Unusual for someone in their 40’s. But - I always consider it a good trade. I might beep now, each and every time I go through airport security - but I have these two beautiful children (and their older brother too - 3 Baby Bears in all.)
- In the mid 1970’s, I loved the Bay City Rollers. They were a pop rock group from Scotland. It was during this same time that the rock group KISS was also on the charts. The two musical styles couldn’t have been more different. I was an oddball during my years in Junior High. Maybe all my life, who knows?
- I recently watched the JUNOS on CBC TV. Part of the night was spent honouring the Bare Naked Ladies. Like everyone else - I sang along to the song "If I Had a Million Dollars". Which got me to thinking - if I had a million dollars - I would stop doing most of the art projects which I currently do. I would enrol in a Fine Arts program, likely at the University of Regina because it is the closest. And - I would FINALLY learn how to weld metal sculpture and how to make encaustic paintings. (Of course, I will always keep writing.)
Carol Rose Daniels is Cree/Dene with roots in Sandy Bay, northern Saskatchewan. She is a published novelist, poet, playwright, visual artist, and musician. She is the author of the award-winning novel Bearskin Diary (2015). A second novel, Narrows of Fear, is forthcoming in 2018. As a visual artist, her work has been exhibited in art galleries across Saskatchewan and Northern Canada. As a musician, a CD of women’s drum songs, in which Carol is featured, was recently nominated for a Prairie Music Award. Before pursuing her art on a full-time basis, Carol worked as a journalist for more than 30 years in television and radio at APTN, CTV, and CBC. She lives in Regina.