Monthly Archives: September 2023

Qu’appelle and ESL

(Cree - Kah-tep-was "The River That Calls")

They come today
from countries far away
to learn this country's 
names for river, lake and tree

There was a time
the natives of this land
sat in these same desks
in de-braided fear
learning to forget them

This poem references the experience of First Nations children who were systematically stripped of their culture and language in Canada’s residential schools. September 30th is set aside in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation and marked by the wearing of orange shirts in memory of one young girl’s experience.