In honour of National Truth and Reconcilliation Day 2022.
July 24 2022: The Pope's Penitantial Visit to Canada
People ask me how I feel about the Pope's penitential visit to Canada. While I hope it brings comfort to many, for me it's a trigger. My brother and I were scooped up by the Canadian Government and dumped into the foster home from hell. Only one of us survived. No one ever said sorry. Some wounds never heal. #PopeInCanada
Featured Bio *PJ Yukon Poet Laureate
On Canada Day July 1st 1994 PJ Yukon (formerly pj johnson), the daughter of a Yukon trapper was formally invested and given the title Poet Laureate of the Yukon during a ceremony in Whitehorse where she became the first officially-invested poet laureate in Canada.
As an oral/visual artist from a Northern storytelling culture her poems, stories, plays and songs have been televised and performed at various venues across Canada and around the world. Her creative works have been published in books and journals globally; translated into several languages, and published widely.
Diagnosed with a learning disorder called ‘Nonverbal Learning Disorder’ or NVLD in 2005, PJ Yukon encourages people with a learning disability to realize they can still pursue their dreams.
Active in the arts for decades as an oral/visual storyteller, mentor, and performer at various venues across Canada, PJ Yukon is also an author, playwright, actor, musician, composer, teller of stories and Yukon ambassador. – If it’s creative she’s probably been there.
Her poem “it was the land” was recently published in McLean’s Magazine and featured at The Lawrence House Centre for the Arts in Ottawa and has been translated into several languages and published around the world. The poem is also available on YouTube performed by PJ Yukon featuring scenes of the Canadian North. https://youtu.be/9oZP7Xl69GQ
Known as the Yukon Raven Lady, in 1985 PJ led a successful campaign to have the Northern Raven declared the official symbol of the Yukon Territory. She is also a passionate animal rights advocate currently campaigning to protect the northern sled dogs.
On Canada Day July 1st 2022 PJ Yukon celebrated her 28th anniversary as Poet Laureate of the Yukon. She is the longest-serving Poet Laureate in Canada.
Her book “it’s howlin’ time!” about the life and times of a northern Canadian poet laureate is available at Mac’s Fireweed Books in Whitehorse. Her Official Website is located at: https://www.yukonpoetlaureate.com/
You can also join PJ Yukon on Facebook and on Twitter!
"I am the daughter of a Yukon trapper from a northern hunter/gathering culture who has chosen to adopt a meatless diet. A plant-based diet is much healthier, better for the planet, and does not harm animals."
- PJ Yukon Poet Laureate
My new poem "dogs are someone" promotes the recognition of all animals as sentient beings. In order to gain meaningful legislation to protect them animals must be recognized as someone rather than something under the law. We need more effective laws to protect our nonhuman brothers and sisters.
dogs are someone ©pjjohnsonYukon February 15th 2022
Pronouns: He/Him She/Her They/Them
dogs are someone
treat them like family
because they are
greet them like company
because they matter
connect with them
because they love to feel connected
share your joy with them
because they understand it
share your tears with them
because they care
thank them for enriching your life
because they do
because they are sentient beings
dance with them
because dogs love to play
sing to them
because the sound of your voice is magic
feed them well
because they deserve it
tell them you love them
because you can
allow them to run freely
because freedom makes the heart soar
talk to them
because sometimes dogs get lonely
walk with them
because footprints matter
respect their ways
because dogs will always be dogs
but most of all
because moments make memories
and memories can last forever
but your dog cannot
because one day
god will want them back
March 25 2022: Honoured to have had my poem "because i am a sled dog" translated into Farci (Persian) and featured on the “A Poetic Nowruz-2” program on Ottawa Persian Radio on March 20th 2022. My poem "because i am a sled dog" has been published and translated into several languages including English, Italian, Welsh, Polish, Bengali, and now Farci (Persian).
March 17 2022: My poem "because i am a sled dog" will be featured and translated into Farci (Persian) on the “A Poetic Nowruz-2” program on Ottawa Persian Radio March 20th at 4:00 PM ET. *"because i am a sled dog" has been published around the world and translated into several languages including English, Italian, Welsh, Polish, Bengali, and now Farci (Persian). https://persianradio.net/poets/
February 26 2022: So once again the Yukon Quest is over and once again American Iditarod musher Brent Sass won the race. Again. Apparently this is Brent’s second Quest victory this year, finishing first on the Yukon Quest 550 held in Alaska two weeks ago. I think this is his fourth or fifth time congratulating himself as winner. Honestly I don't know why they call it the Yukon Quest since most of the mushers are American. They should just rename the race the Yukon/Iditarod Death Race since the mushers are mainly American and at least 40 sled dogs have died in it.
As far as I know no dogs died in this year's shortened races – but then again you can never really tell because many deaths go unreported. Dogs get abandoned on the trail or succumb to injuries and end up in the sled bag or get culled after the race. We never hear what happened to the dogs that get dropped at the check stops - but one way or another the dogs end up paying. The dogs that are still with us can now go back to life on the end of a 4-foot chain. The life of a northern sled dog is dismal at best.
I might also note that Sass’s dogs were gouging their necks into the snow and rolling on their backs from harness burn at the finish line as handlers ran around shoving pieces of meat into their mouths so they look happy and don’t roll in the ice. That always happens. It’s also common to see dogs tearing at their boots because they are cinched on too tight or conversely, dogs with no boots who have just been forced to run barefoot over sharp ice for a few hundred miles.
So the usual scene at the finish line – exhausted dogs with ears wilted as the winner props them up at the finish line for that all-important photo op. They’re planning to return the race to a distance of one thousand miles again in 2023.
On the upside I met with our Yukon Member of Parliament Dr. Brendan Hanley this week to discuss animal rights and the lack of effective animal protection legislation here in the Yukon and across Canada. It was a short but productive meeting in which some important information was exchanged and there is a plan to arrange for a second meeting in the near future. Perhaps there’s some hope. I’d like to think so.
Dear Convoy Boys
February 4 2022 A convoy of questionable individuals are presently taking up residence on Wellington Street in front of the Canadian Parliament Buildings behaving deplorably and making life hell for Ottawa residents. This is my response to them.
*The above pictures of me were taken long ago. I used to drive semi-trucks. I drove from Faro Yukon all the way to the Mexican border. I also hauled flammables up and down the Alaska Highway. I was a proud professional and so were my colleagues. In fact I was one of the very first - if not THE FIRST certified female truck driver to hold a class 1A license in Canada. I took pride in my job and I have many fond memories. I have great respect for the people who drive night and day to keep our supply chain moving. I also have a message for the 'Convoy Boys'.
Dear Convoy Boys - You wave the Canadian flag but show no respect for our country or for the symbols of our beloved heroes. You freely desecrate all that we hold sacred and scream "My rights!" while denying our fellow citizens their basic rights as your circus costs millions. You take up residence on Wellington Street spewing noxious diesel exhaust into the atmosphere & blaring air horns all night holding citizens hostage. This is NOT a peaceful protest! You do not have the right to terrorize the citizens of Ottawa and your counterparts do not have the right to decide when a major artery is open for business. In doing that you are penalizing the professionals who just want to get the job done.
No one's messing with your 'freedom'. If you want to drive a rig and call yourself a professional then there are a few requirements: Possess a Class 1A License and vaccine certification and wear a mask while serving the public. The rules are really no different for you than for everybody else. It's really your choice. Nobody's forcing you or 'taking away your freedom'.
And by the way - why occupy the Hill when your quarrel seems to be with the Province of Ontario? Do you even know why you're there? You guys give truckers a bad name. You are an embarrassment. Please Go Home! Ottawa doesn't want you!
*The Ottawa Convoy is not supported by the CANADIAN TRUCKERS ASSOCIATION
January 10 2022:
It just doesn't get any better than this! Yukon Sundog - Taken January 7th 2022
January 2 2022: I recieved many honours and recognitions over the past year. It's always nice to know your work is appreciated.
Greetings and welcome to the year 2022!
As of the End of December 2021: The petition asking Facebook to remove the unsubstantiated ban that was placed on my website on September 1st 2020 is still in effect. *The below comment was recently made on that petition in support of this website. *Please take a moment to sign and share that petition at: https://bit.ly/3Eoaz7o