‘I want my poetry to help others’: Jordan Redekop-Jones wins Indigenous Voices Award

Tue, Jul 2, 2024

For Jordan Redekop-Jones, a recent Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) graduate with a Bachelor of Arts, writing feels like breathing.

Her poem “On the Threshold, I Taste Lightning” won the 2024 Indigenous Voices Award in the unpublished poetry category. The award, presented annually since 2017, aims to support emerging Indigenous writers and artistic communities.

"It means so much to me, especially as I've been displaced from my home community and am currently reconnecting," says Redekop-Jones. "I'm excited to write more work like this, hoping to shed light on the struggles and triumphs in the mixed Indigenous community."

Jordan Redekop-Jones
Jordan Redekop-Jones has won the 2024 Indigenous Voices Award in the unpublished poetry category.

Redekop-Jones, who is mixed Indigenous and Anglo-Indian, knew little about her Indigenous ancestry growing up. She has recently started reconnecting with her heritage and finds writing a significant help.

"Writing has been healing in so many ways," says Redekop-Jones, who has been writing since elementary school. "It's hard, especially when you're mixed. You're fractioned in so many ways, and sometimes, I feel I don't quite fit into spaces that someone who's solely Indigenous might."

Not finding many poets with her background, Redekop-Jones wants to share her unique perspective. Her prize-winning poem reflects her feelings as someone with multiple histories and her path to finding peace through reconnecting. 

"I want my poetry to help others with mixed heritage feel more comfortable reconnecting with their roots and not to feel excluded," says Redekop-Jones. "The pressure to fit into one cultural identity can be isolating and overwhelming. I want those in a similar position to my own to know that they don’t need permission to tell their story in the way they see fit."

Redekop-Jones is working on her debut poetry collection and aims to publish it in the next few years. She also envisions teaching creative writing and English literature at the post-secondary level one day.

"I took several diasporic literature courses at KPU, and my instructors greatly inspired me. It was the first time I felt that my story mattered. Once I realized that, I knew I'd love to teach that particular subject in my own way, with the knowledge of my blended histories."

The Bachelor of Arts, Major in English program at KPU explores the diversity and influence of stories through language, literature, culture and film. The program deepens understanding of notable literary works, develops critical thinking skills, sharpens reading and writing abilities, and prepares students to respond creatively to various social and cultural issues.