‘I AM A HUMAN BEING’ Contest Winners

Well, the poetry contest I promoted (I am a Human Being) is over now and the winners have been selected. Deanna Young, who was the Poet Laureate for the City of Ottawa before my tenure as Laureate began, acted as judge. The poems submitted were amazing and so very much appreciated. The words of the poems were eloquently crafted and carefully put together. Powerful statements, strong perspectives of what it is to be a human being were produced. It made me very proud!

What I will ask of all the poets who took time out of their lives to write a poem about their human emotions, that they allow me to place their poems into a book which will be published at some point in the new year. I will personally edit the poems compiled from the book and will only proceed with publishing the poems after receiving full consent of the poet. A book will be produced and sold with 100% of the proceeds going towards promoting poetry as medicine and as a healer.

The winners are: 
1st Place: Mark Frutkin
2nd Place: Seané D’Argencourt Printup
3rd Places (5):
Danielle Printup
Cara Goodwin
Andrea Vasile
Chris Olson
Quiver Poucachiche-Racine

Please find below, the winning poems:

Mark Fruitkin:

I Am a Human Being
Everything is falling exactly
as it should this morning –
the shadow on the windowsill,
the sunlight on the same,
the present moment
falling precisely
between past and future,
the mountain
bringing together
heaven and earth,
each of us exactly
at the centre of the circle
of the horizon,
the love,
the need for love.

Seané D’Argencourt Printup:

Oh, Creator!
My good heart, it lives in the eyes of each child
Where we hug and squeeze and somewhere (not too far)
A sweetgrass breeze eases a weary spirit.

I pour the flour (smiling), tuniit on these hands, 
The oil fills the frying pan, bannock in the home
And in feeding family my good heart bursts.

When I go home, place this vessel beside my father,
And our good hearts to dust will become the soil for sage
And your granddaughter might pluck it, burn it, we hope.

Creator, qujannamiik for our breath,
Meegwetch for berry-stained smiles, filled to ripe with water
That carries this spirit home, to you. 

Danielle Printup:

i remember my dad telling me about the thunder-beings 
stories that connected me to the sky
he stands by the kitchen window, smoking and watching the storm 
i remember feeling so small existing within the vastness of those sounds
he says to me
there is nothing to be afraid of my girl
opening my heart to the unseen

my dad’s stories were filled with depth and beings that my young mind tried to imagine 
his words created worlds that made my little body feel so big and full 
i asked so many questions, not able to tangibly hold their truths 
there are things beyond our knowing, my girl
reminding me again and again
his stories gave me comfort through mystery
a ‘nish form of love that was shown to him

as my dad’s spirit makes its way home
i hold him and say
there is nothing to be afraid of

Cara Goodwin:

Beans 

When my brother was three or so he was always getting in trouble
for having emotions in public places, like grocery aisles

With fat tears rolling down his cheeks he’d say something like:
“I’m a human bean! A human bean, Dad!”

Dad, always recently returned from military service 
and never up-to-date on all the words we were learning 
would move us along

irritated, uncertain, cold 

no clue about little human beans 

What my brother meant was, I made a mistake
or I didn’t understand or I’m just small and the world is so big

Are you mad at me?

Dad this is the human condition

Dad, Dad, Dad

I hurt

Andrea Vasile:

I Am a Human Being

The light reflects
off a single strand of wampum string

The most exquisite blue
like the river that
brought you to me

Strong vivid clear water
shimmers, glints, and flows

Reaching, stretching outward
leading to another bigger

wave of brilliance
Giving back to its source
the light usurps the energy

takes you from me
Slowly fading
but never gone

Reflecting on the single wampum string
the brightness returns
along the river

And brings new light
to shine again

Inspired by “Dark String” by Gregg Staats on display at The National Gallery of Canada 

Chris Olson:

I’m a Human Being

up early, 
pre-dawn dog walk past the Mission
fellow pushing a cart stops me:
“I’m a human being…
and a teacher you know.”
He looked up into the sky, 
then back to me.
“Got a word for you… your homework:
find joy.”
I handed him some money – 
he pushed it back with both hands.
“Give that to the next saint you meet,
there’s one just up the street.”

He gave his cart a big inertia breaking push
turned the corner singing.

Quiver Poucachiche-Racine:

Anishinaabe is not just a name for my people, 
it represents who I am. 
The one who carries the arrows in his pouch. 
The one who picks medicine for his family.
The one who goes out at night to hunt for food in the wild.
We are Anishinaabe.
The people who walked on this land before time. 
We help each other when needed. 
We drum to the Creator to ask for guidance. 
Creator gave us the Red Road,
which most of us still follow.

Let us celebrate the winners and also express hearty expressions of thanksgiving to all the talented poets who presented their poems to the contest. I salute you for your skill with words and your big human heart.

I look forward to further collaborations with all of you.

All the best,


Albert Dumont

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La poésie de South Wind; maintenant en français

Souvent, la vie nous émerveille – telles que les surprises offertes par les collines du territoire Anishinabeg en cette saison automnale. 

Chacune des feuilles offre leur bénédiction de beauté et de grandeur à chaque être qui le constate. 

Nous observons un véritable festin, ces montagnes offrant leur coloris automnal, symbolisant le renouvellement spirituel ainsi que la guérison – qui permet de passer outre et d’oublier cette détresse qui nous afflige de temps à autre. Les couleurs de la terre sont un cadeau offert par Mère nature qui s’étire et s’endort tranquillement.

A vrai dire, comme êtres humains nous devrions toujours nous préparer à confronter et traiter les afflictions qui nous tombent dessus comme une pluie torrentielle. Nos être chers qui nous quittent. Les scènes de dépendances dont nous sommes témoins – l’intimidation, l’envie, la vengeance, la cruauté, sans les nommer toutes. Parfois, souvent, la paix d’esprit nous semble tellement éloignée qu’on pourrait la croire irréelle, comme un fil qui nous tient en vie, comme un rêve qui existe sur une autre planète. 

Il y a plusieurs années, j’ai écrit un livre intitulé ‘With the Wind and Men of Dust’. Les poèmes qui s’y trouvent ont été créés avec des messages qui touchent particulièrement certaines, voir plusieurs personnes. Rapidement, toutes les copies se sont envolées. 

Un éditeur français à Maniwaki, QC, La Note verte, a trouver bon de publier l’ouvrage en français. ‘Avec le vent et les hommes de poussière’ a été présenté vendredi, le 1er octobre, au Chateau Logue à Maniwaki, près de Kitigan Zibi. J’en suis très reconnaissant à Madeleine Lefebvre, l’éditrice, ainsi qu’à Geneviève Calvé qui a fait un travail remarquable et excellent en traduisant ma poésie. 

Dans ce recueil de poésie je m’exprime sur la dépendance, l’amour, la culture, l’amitié, et j’en passe. Je suis très fier de voir mon ouvrage traduit en français. Vous pouvez vous le procurer sur mon site Web au http://albertdumont.com/books/avec-le-vent-et-les-hommes- de-poussiere/ ou directement chez l’éditeur au https://lanoteverte.ca/produit/avec-le-vent-et-les-hommes-de-poussiere/.

J’adore cette vieille expression : “Écrivez vos tristesses sur le sable, inscrivez vos bénédictions dans la pierre”. Même si je vis avec une douleur chronique insupportable, je ne la condamne pas. Par la grâce de mes ancêtres je n’ai pas été tué ou plus grièvement blessé le 25 avril 1991. Si aujourd’hui je me trouvais en chaise roulante, paralysé des jambes ou pire, j’aurais raison de me plaindre. Lorsque j’ai eu mon accident, j’ai été béni de la protection de mes aînés spirituels. J’espère que vous parcourez la version française de mon livre.

En vous souhait tout ce qui est de meilleur, 

South Wind (Albert Dumont) 

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South Wind’s Poetry; now in French

Life oftentimes brings spectacular wonders into our lives such as those offered by the hills of Algonquin territory at this time of the year. The leaves, each and every one of them, play their part in sending forth blessings of beauty and grandeur for the enjoyment of all human beings who look upon them. We feast our eyes on the mountains of colour, a gigantic symbol of spiritual reinvigoration and healing medicines capable of conquering episodes of emotional distress for those of us who find themselves in such a state as time goes by. The stunning colour of the land truly is a healing gift to us by the season of autumn.

The realty too is that we as human beings must always be on the ready, prepared to confront and deal with the ugliness life pours down on us like torrential rain, every so often. The passing away of loved ones, the addiction issues we see around us, the bullying, the envy, the vendettas, the cruelty, the list goes on and on. Sometimes it seems that peace of mind and peace of spirit, is so far away from our grasp that it might as well be floating like a lifeline on a turbulent sea somewhere on a distant planet.

Many years ago, I wrote a book of poetry called ‘With the Wind and Men of Dust’. The poems in the book were created to bring emotional comfort into the lives of people who connected with the messages of the poems. The book sold out long ago.

A French publisher, La Note verte from Maniwaki, QC has seen it fit to republish ‘With the Wind and Men of Dust’ and make it available to their French speaking readers. ‘Avec le vent et les hommes de poussière’ was launched Friday, October 1st at the Chateau Logue in Maniwaki near Kitigan Zibi. I am grateful to Madeleine Lefebvre, the publisher and her team with a special acknowledgement to Geneviève Calvé who did such an excellent job in her translation of my poems.

In this book of poetry I write about recovery from addictions, love, identity, culture, friendship, family etc. etc. It makes me very proud to have my works translated into the French language. You can purchase a book through my website (http://albertdumont.com/books/avec-le-vent-et-les-hommes- de-poussiere/) or directly from the publisher (https://lanoteverte.ca/produit/avec-le-vent-et-les-hommes-de-poussiere/).

I love the old saying “Write your sorrows in sand and your blessings in stone”. Though I live with chronic pain which is at times almost unbearable, I do not condemn it. It is by the grace of my ancestors that I was not killed or more severely injured on April 25, 1991. If I was in a wheelchair now, paralyzed from the waist down (or worse), then I would have reason to complain. I was blessed to have the protection of my spirit helpers on the day of my accident. I hope you will check out the French version of my book.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Let’s Shut Down the John A. Macdonald Parkway on September 30, 2022

I give notice today, to the Government of Canada and to the National Capital Commission (NCC) that commencing September 30, 2022 (a year from now) I will lead a walk on the John A. Macdonald Parkway, going from the War Museum to Parkdale Ave. and then back again to the museum. The walk, protesting the parkway’s name, will become an annual event continuing until such a time in the future when Macdonald’s name is finally removed from the parkway.

Macdonald has the deaths of thousands of children tarnishing his wailing soul. He set out to commit genocide against Human Beings who had done no harm to him nor to his loved ones. He believed that by erasing the culture and spiritual purpose of this resource-rich country’s original inhabitants, he would forevermore be regarded as a hero to Canada’s future generations of white-skinned citizens. The people of Canada were in line with Macdonald’s plan of genocide for a long, long time. The British monarchy, happy as larks with what their man in one of the colonies was doing, even knighted him for his efforts! NO MORE! The first prime minister of Canada is finally being recognized for the monster he really was. Anyone who has anything to do with the deaths of thousands of children is not a human being in my definition of what a human being is. A human being, male or female, old or young, black, brown, red or white, protects children from those who would torment them to their deaths. Only a monster would go about his business as if all was well and good after being told (see Dr. Peter Bryce book ‘A National Crime’) that thousands of children were dying in Canada’s Residential Schools. He fired Dr. Peter Bryce from his job as Chief Medical Officer for bringing the news of the deaths to the Canadian public, so determined was he to continue in his plan of genocide. Macdonald’s heart might have pumped blood through his veins and kept him from collapsing onto the ground, dead as a door nail, but it was not a heart like the one beating in my body nor like that pounding in yours.

The walk, planned for September 30th, 2022, will need your support. Let’s work together towards getting at least a thousand people walking with us next year in memory of the children who didn’t survive Macdonald’s Residential Schools. Make a commitment to it. You have a year to prepare! All activists and defenders of justice are welcome to join us. You can join us in a motorized wheelchair, riding a bicycle, roller skates or with the power of your own feet. Come in your traditional attire (jingle dress, shawl dancer etc.), dance, bring your drum or rattle. Sing songs while you are walking if you wish to. All I ask is that you come with a good heart and with a vision that Macdonald’s name will be removed from the parkway because you took part in a walk.

I am 100% certain that the first prime minister of Canada will have his name removed from the parkway at some point. Will it be next year? Maybe not! It will occur however. Young Canadians in high schools get it, so do university and college students, only Stephen Harper and John Baird types do not.

In the meantime, let’s swamp Justin Trudeau and the NCC with letters demanding the name change. WRITE THAT LETTER!!

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Preparing for Orange Shirt Day 2022

There is little doubt that Orange Shirt Day (Sept. 30th, 2021) will be far different in its intensity than any other experienced by the Indigenous Peoples and Canadians in general than ever before. Past trauma is being relived, the hearts of our Nations are swollen with pain and sorrow! The number of unmarked graves of innocent Indigenous children who perished within the walls of John A. Macdonald’s Residential Schools grows in its tally with each passing week. Warren Kinsella, a former advisor to prime ministers and today a celebrated writer with The Sun newspaper chain predicts that by the end of the search for children graves, the count will be as high as 35,000. Bill Curry (Toronto Star) investigated deaths in Residential Schools many years ago and estimated that over 50,000 children died in the schools. Time is short for the making of plans which fully speak to how our collective hearts are processing all of this. Many people are hurting! Thankfully we, the Indigenous Peoples, need not look too far to find human beings, not of our culture or heritage, offering our communities sincere words of sympathy and actions supporting what we want to do in the way of bringing peace and healing for all who are in despair.

I believe that we should begin to plan now for Orange Shirt Day 2022. The good people living in unceded, never surrendered Algonquin Territory want to stand in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples at this time of reflection and contemplation. Our friends and allies of varying skin colours are eager to help us (Indigenous People) to realize whatever plans we make to honour all children who suffered untold miseries and death in “the place where our children went to die”.

I propose that a ‘grassroots’ movement occur! One where the ‘People’ do what they think is right in creating awareness for those Canadians who are ignorant of this country’s brutal and tragic past. To bring them with us to that time when Canada rounded up the most pure, the most innocent of human beings and took them to a place designed to destroy, emotionally and spiritually, children, whose only crime was to be born from people who had lived on these resource-rich lands for thousands of years. Many of the children who survived left the schools feeling as if they had been mentally crucified. A big number of them finished off their lives broken in spirit, never getting the opportunity to give purpose to their lives.

Pamela Naymark, a young married woman and mother of two youngsters, and I are working together to raise money through the sale of shirts (which I designed) to fund initiatives generated to assist in a day of remembrance (September 30, 2022) for the kids who died in the schools. Pamela hopes that this initiative will become a commemoration that has the potential to include activities to encourage advocacy and advance reconciliation.

To be very clear, no one, but no one is profiting from this venture. Not even a nickel from this initiative is going into anyone’s pocket. I myself am buying several shirts and will pay full price for them. We ask readers of this blog to reach out and give us (Pamela and I) your idea on how the money raised should be spent. Examples could be a play acted out by Algonquin band members or a poetry night where poems composed by Algonquins (and other Indigenous Peoples) speaking to how a child might have felt to be uprooted from their loving home and taken by force to one of Macdonald’s schools.

A new dawn is on the horizon! It is present and is being embraced by all Peoples who understand that the new day of healing is now upon us. Let us not give thoughts of turning our backs to it. Let us ask ourselves what the children who suffered and died at the schools would counsel us to do at this time.

To order your shirt contact Pamela Naymark at pnaymark@gmail.com.

They are available in youth and adult sizes. Languages: Algonquin, English and French. Suggested donation is $30. Anyone who wishes can donate more than the $30 price per shirt. Students and people who do not have the means to pay the full amount can contact Pamela to work something out.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Poetry Contest: I am a Human Being

As the English Poet Laureate for the City of Ottawa, I am announcing today the commencement of an extraordinary poetry contest. All poets residing within the perimeters of the City of Ottawa or living in any of the Algonquin communities recognized by the Government of Canada as having rights as “Status Indians” are welcome to submit their poems into the contest for the consideration of a juror. The poets will express in a poem, their definition of what it is to be a human being. The title of the poem “I am a Human Being” may describe what occurs in the human heart when ‘love’ between two people is realized or tell about the stamina, eloquence and beauty of the human spirit. The poem you compose can perhaps speak of experiences you encountered in your lifetime which promote emotional wellness for the downtrodden or point to what it is, creating love and unconditional support for family members and for the dearest of friends. If you believe that ‘water is life’ and that all living things have rights, then express how you feel about that in a poem as only a human being can. Ultimately, it is your choice to make. You, as a poet, will decide the contents of your poem, describing in your own words what it is to be a human being. Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to get involved in making Ottawa a greater city. Get out your paper and pen!

Submission guidelines:  
•  up to 20 lines of poetry (1 poem per participant)
•  submit poem in ‘word’ or ‘pages’ format (written in English)
•  submit to PoeticWaters@outlook.com
•  Deadline: September 15, 2021 midnight
•  Announcement of winners: October 1, 2021  
•  First prize is $300, second prize $200 and 5 runner-ups at $100 each.
Total prize money being offered $1,000!

The 100 best poems will be published in a book of poetry titled “I AM A HUMAN BEING”. The book will be sold with 100% of the proceeds going towards the promotion of poetry as a medicine and healer, not only for the citizens of Ottawa but for lovers of poetry wherever they are found.

Amazing wonders can come into your life as a poet. I urge you to write more poetry! Do it for healing’s sake. Do it as a special medicine. Let poetry become something of your medicine bag. Poetry can bring surprises into your life. It did for me!

Check out the poem I wrote to introduce the festivities for Canada Day. Here is the link: Canada Day 2021. I am so very proud of this special moment in my life! I believe Canadian Heritage took a bold stand in asking me, yes a poet but also a hardcore human rights activist, to compose a poem for this year’s Canada Day celebrations. It doesn’t pull any punches!

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Congratulations – Poetry Contest Winners

Algonquin poets were challenged to compose a poem titled “Why Poetry is Medicine for the Soul”

I am very pleased to announce the winners of the poetry contest I put forward on May 28, 2021. 

Celine Whiteduck took first prize

Stéphanie Meunier took second prize

I am extremely proud of these two emerging poets. All of us who embrace poetry as ‘Medicine for the Soul’ should encourage Celine and Stéphanie to keep writing.

Here are the winning poems:

My Truth
by Celine Whiteduck

The gentle whisper of words
that fall unto my pen 
and ever so gently unto
the page allows me 
to speak my truth

They share the emotions
that embody my heart
and my senses as they 
reach my mind to find 
the words

Each sense alive embraces
the beauty that surrounds
me and speaks to 
me ever so gently
so that I can embody
this truth

Each word expressing the
gentle flow of my connection
with the world around
me and shares the distinction 
between what is me 
and what is not me

The connection is where 
the true beauty lies
as the connection is 
my own lived experience 
uniquely my own truth

Words are the vehicle
that share my relationship 
to this time and space
The words allow the
connection to gently take 
shape and form and 
have a home 

Why poetry is medicine for the soul
by Stéphanie Meunier

Why poetry is medicine for the soul?
Because everything you lived needs to be told
A blank page is a friend who wants to hear your story
From the beginning till the end
Nice talking may be an art
But writing is the language of the heart

If you were filled with emotions and wrote it down
You might be surprised of what you’ve found
You have some treasures of nice memories inside you
Like gems that just waits for you to remember about them

Here is a poem I wrote:

Poetry: Medicine for the Soul
Albert Dumont ©

On words, reaching into
Our minds, hearts and spirits, we travel
Floating on their poetic stanzas
To the branches of the tallest pine trees
We see on the distant horizon

We imagine ourselves there, at peace
Sitting by the side of a majestic raven
We submerge ourselves into the untold generations
Of wisdom, kept well by the raven
And see that words can become as medicines
We can bring gently into our hearts
To chase forever away, the rage
Placed there, because of our neglect
Of the spiritual bundles
Left in our care by our ancestors

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind

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SJAM Parkway – Hit the Road!

Dear Friends,

I know that a vast number of Canada’s citizens will never condemn their first prime minister for any wrongs he is guilty of. To them he is a hero. He is a perfect human being who came along at the perfect time in history to build the greatest country on God’s green earth, so they believe! It never enters the mind of these Canadians that Indigenous lands are extremely resource-rich. The raping and pillaging of wealth does not call upon a genius to do. It’s more in line of what a bloodthirsty pirate would be good at. Macdonald is celebrated here in this life but in the Land of Spirits he is NOT regarded as a hero. A man who is responsible for the death of thousands of children does not get away with it. Macdonald had to account for his sins as all of us will do upon entering the place of Creator’s justice.

I am attaching a link to a radio interview I did with CBC Ottawa Morning regarding the renaming of the SJAM parkway: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-100-ottawa-morning/clip/15848172-ottawa-poet-laureate-behind-petition-rename-sir-john.  I ask that you promote it widely. We need more signatures! Do what is right and sign the petition (https://renametheparkway.ca/). The name of a cruel and mean-spirited man must be removed from the Parkway. Sign the petition!

South Wind

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Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway? Yes / No

The finger of blame, for the Indian Residential Schools, for the starvation tactics used against our First Nations relatives on the prairies, and for the inhumane Indian Act, point directly to one man, John A. Macdonald. Canada’s first prime minister has blood on his hands. The full number of children who died because of John A. Macdonald being born and then coming to our shores as an immigrant will never be truly revealed. We only know that there were many thousands of innocent children who died in the misery created by Macdonald only so the wealth of Indigenous lands could be raped and pillaged by governments and by businesses without them fearing protest from the First Nations People.

He was a hero to the British monarchy and knighted for his extermination policies against the Indigenous Peoples of this land. I can without any doubt declare that Macdonald is NOT celebrated where his soul lives today. He had to account for the deaths of children. No one, absolutely no one, escapes justice, not kings or queens, not presidents nor prime ministers, not priests nor popes. Creator keeps a close record!

I ask you to promote the petition (https://renametheparkway.ca/) to all your networks. We need your signatures!

Also, check out the interview I did (https://www.iheartradio.ca/580-cfra/audio-podcasts/cfra-live-i-don-t-know-how-anybody-can-see-him-as-a-hero-albert-dumont-kick-starts-petition-to-rename-the-sir-john-a-macdonald-parkway-1.15365004?mode=Article) with CFRA on Sunday morning. It really is worth the time to listen.

I am attaching below my poem ‘Sir John A. Macdonald’.

Sir John A. Macdonald
by Albert Dumont ©

We, the Anishinabe, search the lifeless eyes
Of the many portraits proudly painted for Canada
To honour a man Canadians believe
Was an emblem for ‘decency, righteousness and vision’
“A hero” they say, “a Nation Builder”
But the First Peoples look upon the face
Of Sir John A. Macdonald
And see the curse, responsible
For the deaths of thousands of our children

We see in Macdonald, a man, who saw
In the whiteness of his skin, a human being equal to God
Who believed his soul
Would never be in need of cleansing
And that the goodness offered daily on Turtle Island
By the ever-present Good Spirit, who teaches us
That no human being is greater than any other
Were teachings Macdonald accepted as only created for people
Lesser than men such as himself

We look at the evil Macdonald placed into ‘The Indian Act’
And other oppressive actions perpetrated by him, against us
And ask ourselves when in meditation, if the wailing spirits
Of the thousands of Indigenous children
Who died in Macdonald’s Residential Schools
Held sacred council with him in the eternal sky
Where true justice sears the soul of the guilty
After the scalding breath of death stopped forevermore
The beating of Macdonald’s spiritually hollow heart

With ceremonial tobacco by our side, we ask
Did Macdonald’s tears flow like the spring waters of the ‘Ottawa’
When the children who died in his Residential Schools
Recounted to him the last torturous hours of their lives
Away from culture, family and the unconditional love
Of a caring human being who could hold their hand
At the moment their last breath silently took them
Back to the peaceful waters of their ancestral lands

For thousands of years
Since our creation story was first told
We called ourselves ‘The First People’
‘The People’ and ‘The Human Beings’
But to Macdonald’s parliament we were only savages
Not worthy of receiving their respect and honour

Sir John A. Macdonald, a hero to the royals of Britain
Sir John A. Macdonald, who sacrificed his soul
So that the people of Canada
Would see him always as the greatest of all men
Where does he find himself today
What words of contrition does he relay
In that empty place, where for him
The darkness of a stormy night
Will never yield to a calm and re-assuring dawn

Oh but what if it had been you
The peoples of European ancestry
Who were the first human beings of Turtle Island
And here, you lived and thrived for thousands of years
Until one day, bronze-skinned people
Arrived on your welcoming and generous shores

Oh but what if the newcomers brought with them
To your tranquil and sacred lands
Ancient wars from their former homeland
And laid before you, countless pandemics of vile disease
And through the power of generations of your oppression
Could control even your very thoughts making you believe
That the light of God was for them, always present
Even guiding their cruel deeds against you

Imagine now that today, a dark-skinned man
Was being praised for destroying all that Creator gave to you
With bronze-skinned people believing he was a noble leader
Who built a great and fair nation where yours once stood
Would you join in singing an honour song in his memory
Or would you fight with all the strength of the sun
To pull his portraits and statues down

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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215 Dead Children; Kamloops

I have oftentimes imagined that the Centre Block on Parliament Hill is representative of the heart of the Canadian Nation. Like the human heart, from which comes our ability to be kind, brave, wise, generous, sharing and all of those other honourable traits that define us as human beings, so too, are the workings taking place in the Centre Block also capable of producing those very same things for our country, Canada. What is truly sad is that the human heart can also produce hatred and cruelty even to the point that innocent children will suffer because of it. The human heart and the Centre Block (the heart of the Nation) are really entities onto themselves. We, as human beings, will have to account for the wrongs we are guilty of, those hateful things we did that were against the teachings of the human heart will one day confront each and all of us. The Centre Block, the Nation’s heart, will never experience the spiritual reckoning as the evil among us certainly will. The Nation’s heart will never be truly accountable for the wrongs it has done. Governments will come and go. The heart of the Nation will keep a-pounding regardless of the sins of the past. The Canadian heart (the Centre Block) knows no shame. It feels no guilt. If it did, it would do what is right. Doing what is right, is condemning Canada’s former prime minister for the monster that he was. If Macdonald had a heart, it is difficult to believe that it was a human one.

The dreadful brutality of the Nation’s heart lays yet in the grave alongside the bodies of the 215 children discovered at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Its presence among the decaying bodies of innocent children stains the purity of their short lives. The spirits of the dead children call out to Canadians to finally see what the heart of their Nation is guilty of.

I find myself in wonder about the children in the grave at Kamloops. Without them, what became of the waters of their family lineage? To what degree would the sunrises and sunsets of their days have shaped and molded them? They were born as beautiful and innocent human beings. They died, only because the purity of their hearts conflicted with that of the heart of the Nation.

I wrote the following poem years ago:

Ninidjànis (My Child)
Dedicated to the children who suffered humiliation and death at the Residential Schools
by Albert Dumont ©

Your heritage, oh, noble child
Carried violently into the swirling winds
Of cultural genocide

All your innocence sacrificed
For the ransom of the civilized

Your song denied
Your spirit ravaged
Your mind crucified

Yet the surrogate did not weep
When your heart gave in, to conjured sleep
No tears, for the ward of the “savage” wild
Even though, thousands died

But God blessed you as special ones
In the Spirit Place beyond the sun

Where even the shadows of men who hate
Will never challenge to leave their weight
Where you complete the ancient plan
Of the Sacred treaty, made between God and man

If a mass grave containing 215 children as young as 3 years old was found in the grounds near Auschwitz or somewhere in Rwanda, I know that world leaders would be reacting differently than they are now. It is so because world leaders have never cared to have a relationship of respect and honour with their Indigenous populations. Indigenous children are not worth as much to the world as others are.

May all of our children who died in Canada’s Residential Schools rest in eternal peace and love.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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