FACEBOOK IS BANNING THE POET LAUREATE OF THE YUKON!

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Why this is important!

A critical voice to protect the Yukon sled dogs from unnecessary abuse, maimings and deaths is being silenced by Facebook!

We are calling on Facebook to remove its current, unwarranted and unsubstantiated ban on the website of pj johnson Poet Laureate of the Yukon™.

pj johnson, Canada’s longest-serving poet laureate, is a visual & oral storyteller, poet, author, composer, passionate animal rights advocate and Yukon ambassador celebrating the Canadian arts & artists worldwide. She uses her status to bring honour to her homeland while furthering her advocacy for abused sled dogs in the Canadian North.

Already facing enormous pushback from the Yukon's own commissioner and from sponsors and proponents of the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race—which has seen horrific injuries, deaths and killings of hundreds of sled dogs—Facebook has now aligned itself with pj's detractors.

On September 1st 2020, Facebook banned all URLs from pj johnson's official website. This includes links to her work as Poet Laureate of the Yukon and to information pertaining to learning disabilities such as NLD (Non-Verbal Learning Disorder), a visual learning disability from which pj suffers, and from sharing her journey as a writer, storyteller, mentor, and animal rights advocate. Facebook has not responded to the many requests made by pj or from her many friends and colleagues who have written to Facebook asking Facebook to detail and clarify any legitimate complaints that may have been made against her.

(Listen to pj reading "Because I am a Sled Dog" here.)

In no way does pj's website or her advocacy contravene Facebook's community standards. She does not send out spam. She is respectful and mindful to honour the rights of others, while working to instate rights for northern sled dogs, which, in the Yukon, are legally considered livestock and are consequently exploited and abused without fear of penalty.

Facebook's ban is not only impacting pj's ability to advocate for the sled dogs in a pivotal season, the added stress of this unfairly-imposed ban has also begun to affect her health.

Although pj is a celebrated Canadian author and poet, her work is mostly spoken word in the oral storytelling tradition.

"My first influence as a writer/storyteller was in my youth listening to the elders talk story," she explains, "as a person with a learning disability I have often said that in attempting to comprehend text, the words often swim around on the page like so many fish. But when the storyteller speaks I understand implicitly.”

By imposing this ban on her official website and publicly accusing her of contravening and violating community standards and creating spam without legitimate proof Facebook is slandering both her name and character.

Therefore, I am adding my voice, as a Commonwealth Writer's Prize-shortlisted, and Danuta Gleed runner-up author, and as the Managing Editor of WordCity Monthly, a global, online literary arts journal, to pj's cause.

Please join me in making sure that Facebook's ban on pj's website either ends swiftly or backfires spectacularly. Please sign and share this important petition and be sure to ­­­­ visit the official website of pj johnson Poet Laureate of the Yukon™ at: https://www.yukonpoetlaureate.com/ You are also welcome to visit her Facebook group Poets & Scribes Worldwide at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/400121743700394/

Sincerely and thank you,

Darcie Friesen Hossack

https://darciefriesenhossack.wordpress.com/