Tag Archives: Native

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.




A tough shot, 600 yards at least, running left to right
in the open sights of the 303. Aim to the top of the
third jump ahead, move the gun in a smooth arc
and squeeze slow

It was a kill
I saw it as great skill
a source of blood fed pride
and the deer… well it just died

The Indians used to see it as a kind of revolving door
the spirit of the animal would come back soon
enough in another body if you used the one
he had given up to you with gratitude

There are not many deer in these parts anymore

I wonder if they are trapped

waiting for the gratitude

Indians lost in whiskey

and we never knew