Mixed Blood Girls
Photo by Sebastian Buzzalino
© Sebastian Buzzalino
Growing up as a mixed-race Secwépemc girl in the East Kootenays, Miesha Louie-Henry was continuously being questioned on her racial identity. Compliments on her ‘beautiful tan’ under the perception she is white only to remark she’s ‘too pretty to be an Indian’ when finding out her true cultural background. And this racial ambiguity that exists, walking in a sort of cultural limbo, never being fully accepted on either side and the lifelong journey to fully embrace one’s unique identity.
Miesha & The Spank’s new single Mixed Blood Girls being released on March 26th and included on their April 16th Singles EP is a fierce anthem for all the Mixed Blood Girls living this truth and Miesha’s first time confronting her own mixed identity through her music. Inspired after hearing Creole-Indigenous poet Raid Prud’homme read their poem ‘Mixed Blood Girls’ at her friend’s Smokii Sumac’s book launch, Miesha began to look at her own cultural upbringing and the intergenerational traumas endured by Indigenous people that have affected her to this day.
Like many others with mixed or Indigenous roots, Miesha was isolated from her Secwépemc culture in part due to her Grandmother’s childhood in residential schools and her father’s desire for her to assimilate into settler culture, an intentional product of the cultural genocide inflicted by the Canadian Government for the majority of the 20th century. As an adult, when trying to reconnect, she discovered that most of them are gone already as she laments in the lyrics, ‘Aunties, Uncles, all dead. Can’t find my cousins anywhere… What a fucked up feeling’
Miesha & The Spanks has intentionally avoided explicit language in their music for the past 5 years, however on this single Miesha explains that there was no other way to describe the feeling when someone discounts her own complex experience growing up mixed race than ‘What a fucked up feeling’.