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An image of many hands holding bitterroot with a graphic of a sound wave overlaid.

THE ʔASQANAKI PODCAST: "I DON'T KNOW WHEN IT WILL GET BETTER" — ON GRIEF AND BECOMING "OKAY" WITH CHRISTA COUTURE

Photo of hands and bitterroot credit: Dr. Christopher Horsethief 

 Background: an image of many hands holding bitterroot with a graphic of a sound wave and mountains overlaid. The text reads “The ʔasqanaki Podcast with Smokii Sumac Special Guest: Christa Couture smokiisumac.com/christa-couture”. Foreground: a photo of Christa Couture, a mixed Cree and Scandinavian woman who is looking into the camera and slightly smiling with her mouth closed. She has short dark hair and is wearing a black turtleneck.

Design: Krystal Strong
Photo credit: Jen Squires

Photo of hands and bitterroot credit: Dr. Christopher Horsethief 

In our final episode Smokii is joined by Cree/Scandinavian performing and recording artist, non-fiction writer, filmmaker Christa Couture. Smokii and Christa share their grief stories and Christa reads from her book How to Lose Everything Christa’s song "Hopeless Situation" is also featured on the episode.

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Content: Grief, Loss, Death of close relations including children, Amputation, Cancer, Birth, Adoption, and Adoption trauma,  Disability and combating ableism, Anger, Therapy, Gratitude, Struggling with hating parts of ourselves, “Holding the Complexity,” Divorce, Memoir, Grief symptoms (and a critique of the “5 stages”), allowing space for all kinds of feelings, challenging binary thinking, sorrow, numbness, Survivorship, Luck, Sadness, public versus private experiences, moving, patience, the pandemic, growing around our grief, and becoming “okay.” 

Episode Credits

Thank you to our guest, Christa Couture and to Michael Ayotte at the National Music Centre in Calgary, for recording the episode.

Thank you, also, to our team, Sound Designer, Audio Engineer and Editor Greyson Gritt of Minotan Music Inc. and Producer Krystal Strong of Osum Artist Management.

resources for episode

Guest Bio

A photo of Christa Couture, a mixed Cree and Scandinavian woman who is looking into the camera and slightly smiling with her mouth closed. She has short dark hair and is wearing a black turtleneck.

Photo credit: Jen Squires

Christa Couture is an award-winning performing and recording artist, non-fiction writer, filmmaker and broadcaster. She is also proudly Indigenous (mixed Cree and Scandinavian), queer, disabled, and a mom.

Over the course of her acclaimed career, Christa has become known, unenviably, as an expert in loss: singing, speaking and writing about the childhood cancer that led to the amputation of her left leg, abortion, and the tragic deaths of her two infant sons. When it came time to make her fourth album, 2016’s eclectic, upbeat and twangy Long Time Leaving, a more run-of-the-mill loss, divorce, provided inspiration.

Those years of loss are revisited in her debut non-fiction book How To Lose Everything, published September 2020 by Douglas & McIntyre. But Christa’s most recent recording Safe Harbour tells a different story. Safe Harbour’s six songs were written during a thankfully tragedy-free, joyful time in Christa’s life that saw her leave Vancouver, her home of 17 years, and relocate to Toronto to start anew. During this time, Christa took a step back from recording and performing music to write her memoir, take on a daytime radio host job, and welcome a third child.

“I don’t know when it will get better”

A found poem from the transcripts of our episode on The ʔasqanaki Podcast

I don't know when it will get better a found poem from the transcripts of our episode on T
The Canada Council for the Arts logo.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

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