Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997

Nokomis

Grandmother

 

I’ve seen the photos

 

Black and white

No end in sight

 

They say the children had to pay


So far from family you’re swept away

 

For seven long years When you return

 

Your hair is cut short

Your eyes are unseeing

 

Speaking only in the white man’s tongue


You can no longer pronounce Nokomis

 

Colonized by white man’s tongue


The erasure of culture can come as swift as season change

 

Once August, full of courage, colours and laughter and joy.

 

Now, December, bitter and barren

 

I’ve seen the the photos