The Purity found in our Seasons and Newborn Babies

I go often to my forest healing circle, where the breath of purity and the vibrating energies present there always bring peace to my heart. And it will do so for all who go to such a place for the purpose of spiritual discovery. The forest circle offers much, willing to cleanse me of negative energies. I embrace it all, fully!

The purity of the trees, standing tall around me and the saplings just at the beginning of their life cycle. The purity of the things I see in my circle, growing and living on the skin of Mother Earth. The moss carpeting the black earth and the decaying remnants of trees fallen by storms long ago. The purity still alive in the leaves scattered on the forest floor (yes, I believe that the leaves from past autumns are ‘alive’ in their contribution to health and wellness of our beloved forests), offering safety through camouflage to the noble partridge. The purity of the ants, worms, caterpillars and slugs which live in all places of the forest welcoming them a life on the skin of Mother Earth (the soil would not be rich if not for them). The purity of the moths who seldom fail to visit when I sit in the centre of my circle, colourful and delightful, my spirit dances in harmony with them. The purity of the songs, birds sing from the branches of nearby trees. These things! All, are by my side, when I speak for any cause in the community, I put my energies towards. All these things mentioned here are the purest of what is pure, and what we honour, when we say the words “All my Relations”.

The placenta I took from CHEO after Carter, my great grandson was born is only a short distance from where I sit. I buried it there in ceremony over a year ago when Carter was born. Carter passed away on this day, July 9th, one year ago! I meditate on the purity of a human being. It is only real for the babies, the toddlers and the youngsters of all the peoples of the world! Carter in his innocence was as pure in spirit as all things sacred around me in the forest! Carter was stronger than any man who ever lived. He had more courage than any warrior who ever received honours for his brave deeds on any battlefield in the history of the world. Yet, he was what defines ‘love’ and would have been an honourable man had he lived into adulthood!

I go to this place of purity and I present myself to all life found there, as their impure relative. Not always, but often, I reflect on the wrongs of my past when I sit in the centre of my circle. The ugliness of my actions when I roamed the city streets and bars, in a state of intoxication. I renounce those days as wasted times. The many years of being fooled by an unjust society into believing that I needed alcohol in my life, came to end in the spring of 1988. Purity, at least to a degree came into the life of this Anishinabe Algonquin man’s after I flung the bottle from my troubled life!

I saw a soaring hawk today after leaving my healing place. It went from one end of the open sky to the other in 3 seconds. Oh the wind and the hawk, what a wonder they are when they work together. I thought, “How does the hawk put the brakes on?” But then, why would it need to? The hawk is free! Never should it ‘stop’ in its duties as a sacred messenger!

When I walk to my circle, it’s a downhill exercise, which means, when I return to my home, I have no choice but to walk uphill. The trail is narrow and steep. I rely on the young trees to assist me as I take steps forward and onward back to my house. I take hold of a poplar stem. “Please,” I say, “be kind and help an old man.” They always oblige me and I get home without falling on my face!

To be pure of heart, like that of the birds, fish and animals is something that human beings will never fully realize. All we can do is go to a place of purity and there, humbly make a request from them who are pure in spirit, to help us in any way they can.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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An Honorary Doctorate – My Heart Sings

Something I never even dared to dream, has happened. Many, if not all who knew me “back in the day” as the saying goes, would have ever believed that an Honorary Doctorate from Ottawa University might one day be presented to me at a grand ceremony honouring over 700 graduates in its ‘Education’ sector.

It is with a humble heart indeed that I write to heap a universe of gratitude on all who felt I was deserving of it. Imagine, a man with a Grade 7 education (received an official high school diploma from Hillcrest High School in December 2022)  getting such an honour! A rare occurrence to be sure!

At the Honouring Ceremony, after I had read the speech I prepared (see attached to this blog) I spoke words on the topic of oppression. I pointed to the fact that most settlers who immigrated to Canada in the 1800’s didn’t bring kindness in their hearts with them for the Indigenous Peoples living here. It was these settlers who created the ‘Indian Act’. The Indian Act signalled in a time of great misery and untold sorrow for the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people living on their traditional lands. I mentioned how a human being living under oppression, feels like they have suffered some kind of amputation, not a physical one, but one that impacts you spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I told the graduates about how the oppression of human beings by other human beings is something foreign to the human heart.

I implored the over 700 graduates present to renounce oppression wherever it is taking place on our dear planet. When I mentioned this request, someone in the audience shouted “Free Palestine”! It seems to me at this time that the only thing with the ability of “freeing Palestine” is the love and energy of Creator. We need to be reminded sometimes that all of us have a bit of Creator’s energy in our hearts. In my circle of friends I see it in abundance.

‘Oppression’: If ever it were to disappear from our world in my lifetime, I would be the happiest human being on the planet.

A friend, Lisa Howell, who works at Ottawa University and who was also part of the group who put my nomination forth, said to me, “Thank you for all you do.” My response was, “If my actions have done anything in bringing peace to anyone’s heart, then it was because I was inspired and motivated to do so by people like you.” The list is long!

If I am brave, it is because I remember the heartbeat of my mother. If I take a stance against tyranny and oppression, it is because I do not want anyone else to experience what I and other people of Indigenous bloodlines have endured in the past and even today, continue to live through oppression! Whenever human beings oppress the ‘rights’ of other human beings, rebellion and bloodshed will surely follow. It is impossible to count the millions upon millions of people who have died, either at the hands of oppressors, or been killed fighting to end oppression of their fellow countrymen. I condemn oppression, whether it is taking place in Canada, the Congo, Ireland, the Middle East or anywhere else on this planet. We all should. The love and energy of Creator instructs us to do so.

I want to extend a special migwech to Sylvia Smith (also supported my nomination), founder of ‘Project of Heart’ and Lindsey Barr, founder of ‘World Changing Kids’. I admire these brave women because they stand against racism and oppression! The world needs more human beings like them in it. In my heart of hearts, I know that it is women, like my beautiful granddaughter Kyrstin Dumont, who will lead the change in ending oppression in the world. Let us do all we can to help them make it happen.

I am attaching below the speech I wrote and delivered at the Honouring Ceremony. I hope you connect with its message.


I am at peace and I wish everyone well.

I began my life on worksites with only a Grade 7 education to assist me on the road to success. Success though, is something rarely achieved when the tremendous weight of racism and oppression is constantly present in mind, body and spirit. It leads you, oftentimes into a reckless lifestyle. I fell victim to severe addictions, mostly alcohol at the age of 15. I live every second of every day with back pain, so great that there are times, I can barely rise from a chair. Crushed and cracked vertebrae are not fun things to experience.

The lessons given me by ‘All My Relations’ have taught me that if I shun thoughts of self pity from my life’s trail, I will in the end, enjoy a good life! I prefer to soar on the blessings one receives through a hard work ethic rather than crawl day after day, in the slime of self pity.

The forest is the greatest teacher! The common garden snake as an example, has taught me to shed all negativity from my life. In the shedding of the old skin, it instructs me.”Get rid of it”. The snake teaches me to be gentle in my interactions with Mother Earth. In soft caress of the soil under it, the snake moves forward. What amazing teachers snakes are!

I am the father of daughters. When my daughters were teens, I would advise that they do all possible to find someone who is honourable to make their life with. “If you are living under the same roof as someone who is honourable,” I would tell them, “then this old dad of yours won’t worry too much about how you are being treated in your household.” The lessons I learned through the traditional teaching stories of my bloodline have always guided my councils with them.

I learned long ago through stories, many thousands of years old that things will go from bad to worse in the fast lane when one over-reacts to other people’s shortcomings or one’s own dysfunction. I learned through the spiritual force of the sharing circle, that if you hold by your side, anger, jealousy and vindictiveness, you greatly weaken the Nation you claim to love. 

I learned over many years that trees are the wisest of all gifts Creator gave to humankind. I know a place where at the top of a high gravel hill, there stands today, a great maple tree. Because of storms washing away the gravel under the tree, its roots are exposed. Only the roots on its side and those at the back of the tree hold it in place. One day in the future, the tree will no longer have the ability to stay where it has stood for several hundred years. It will topple over and its life will end. Not so for us. We as human beings possess the ability to bring into our lives what will assure we do not fall.

To bring my spiritual bundle into the forest and place it on the skin of Mother Earth in ceremony assures that for me, I will find peace and wellness more and more in all the remaining days of my life.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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The Eclipse and the Robin

A couple of days now have passed since an extraordinary event occurred. April 8, 2024, Mishòmis (grandfather) Sun and Kòkomis (grandmother) Moon had a date. They got together, not to idly pass the time of day over tea but to dedicate themselves to a conversation of extreme importance to them, to us and to All Our Relations. Mishòmis and Kòkomis had a lot to talk about with each other. Questions, such as “What have you been up to since our last meeting took place that helps to bring peace and wellness to Mother Earth?” Questions were posed and they were answered. Mishòmis and Kòkomis do their part to keep Mother Earth healthy and well. We too, are expected to help out as best we can!

The conversation Mishòmis and Kòkomis had was deep and profound. They did not want it interfered with nor interrupted by anyone or anything. Their’s was a sacred time. They do not get together very often. Let us leave them in peace when they gather for a visit.

On the day of the eclipse, I was awakened at 6 AM by the sound of Papichì (robin) singing outside my window. What spiritual joy filled my heart when I heard it! I had been anxiously awaiting the robins to make their way north, to finally grace my sanctuary with their presence. Papichì is one of my major spirit helpers/messengers! When I heard the song, I raced down the stairs (from my loft, where I had slept that night) and scooped sacred tobacco from my bundle and exited the house, tobacco in hand. The robin was sitting on the branch of Shingwàk, the pine. He flew from there towards a place spiritually special to me and again alighted onto the branch of a tree. As I laid my gift of tobacco down, Papichì sang the song given to him by Creator so long ago when the robin first drew his breath as a bird. I have adopted Papichì as a spiritual ally and even as a role model. The robin is independent, you won’t see him at a bird feeder!

What came to me after returning into the warmth (provided by a woodstove) of my home, I pondered the power of song. We, the Anishinabe, have songs for all occasions. My first elder, Walter Linklater, taught me an encouragement song way back in the early 1990’s. “The song is many thousands of years old,” said Walter back then. I fasted for 4 days and nights in a forest circle in recognition of the song and for those times I would sing it for family, friends, community and nations when I felt the spiritual nudge to do so. Another ‘elder’ for whom I had great respect for and who also came into my life in the early 1990’s was Bobby Woods. Lame Buffalo (Bobby) shared a traditional teaching story with me about never claiming anyone else’s song as your own without first getting permission. The story goes that a heron wanted to feast his creation story but had yet to be given a song to honour it by Creator. The heron had been invited to the bear lodge to be part of a celebration. There he heard the bear’s song which he immensely enjoyed. “Hey,” he thought, “I’ll sing the bear’s creation song and all will be well.” Not so fast. When he began to sing it, his feet caught on fire and he had to run to the lake to quench them. And there he is to this very day. There is a price to pay and it’s not pretty!

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Ceremony, a Natural Connection

The sun had yet to brighten the sky when I stood by the side of glorious trees. The energy of their caress, warm and reassuring, defeated that of a cold breeze making its way southward. I am confident that my prayer, though spoken in whispers, was heard clearly by All My Relations. Tobacco left my hand, an offering of gratitude to spirit for the goodness it promotes in our troubled world.

My daily ceremony begins with the skin of my feet touching the earth. It ends as the sacred tobacco from my bundle does likewise. When we stand near the trees and ponder the years they live and then reflect on the length of time the heart of a human being will last, we begin to understand why ceremony is necessary.

A great thing occurs when the physical communicates with the spiritual. A greater occurrence comes to pass however, when the spiritual communicates with the physical. Water spirit and that of a loving and supportive ancestor brought their healing gifts to my side after my accident (April 1991) and restored movement in my left arm. A nerve specialist had declared that my arm would never move again. The power of ceremony objected! My arm began to slowly return to the health it had known before life left it for a while.”Never give up, my friend, never give up.” Hear the words of an encouragement song, thousands of years old.

I bought a jacket a few months ago (see photo on FB). Never wore it anywhere but somehow it disappeared. I searched for it high and low but to no avail! I was sure that it was gone forever. One day, after weeks had passed since the mystery of the jacket began, I opened a closet in my home to retrieve a coat on the rack. As I pulled it free of the bar, something on the floor of the closet caught my eye. It was the arm of the missing jacket. Wow! The jacket had fallen from its hanger after I placed it there weeks ago. I had searched the bar of the closet (very crowded) but not the floor. The jacket was found! And I was happy as a lark!

In my view, too many people of this world have lost the natural connection they have with ceremony. They wonder about it. They search for it. They want it! “Where is it?” they ask themselves. It’s there, it’s waiting, look a little deeper, you’ll find it! I did and if I can find again my connection to ceremony after it had left me during all the years I lived in the grips of severe addiction, then cousin, so can you.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Spring in Anishinabe Algonquin Territory

The forest is alive at this time of year with energy and the extraordinary blessings sent to us by Creator. A wondrous passage of moon orbits occurs for those of us who regard spring as the starting whistle for new adventures and as an open door leading us to exploring new horizons. What spiritually fills the winds around us now, takes time to get used to, such is its power. As a great variety of bird nests are being constructed outdoors and as the sap of maples flows, our sleep can be broken, telling that our dreams will be strong in their spiritual messages. Please never doubt it!

Spring is when bricklayers (my trade, over 40 years) feel an itch in their fingers. They are eager once again, to skillfully temper mortar before scooping it up and rolling it off the steel of the trowel, forming the perfect mortar beds onto which a row of bricks will lay. Spring was always a happy time for me on the jobsite.

A few nights ago, during hours of sleeplessness I wrote these words:

The love for humanity
Living now in my heart
Is neither old nor young
It is not male
Nor is it female
It is aware that life for it
Will live only till
The last human heart
Of this world
Sends forth the warmth
Of its final heartbeat

Love, it is always present in the human heart. Its vibration is especially strong in spring. Some of us embrace its warmth and its love for humanity, while others shun it. So it will be until the end for humankind comes, some dark day in the fast approaching future. The words of the poem above were brought to me from somewhere far from Algonquin territory (Ottawa River watershed), this I know! From where? The places on this world now, are numerous! There are countries on Mother Earth, as these words are written, where unspeakable horrors are being heaped on innocent human beings. The innocent who perish now under the weight of oppression do not deserve what is happening to them. We as human beings must care about it and make a stand against it. Spring, the generous season, the one of rejuvenation and spiritual wonder demands it of us. Our definition (people of kind hearts) of what is humanity, is at stake.

Spring, it is a time of reflection and new beginnings. It is a time where expressions of love should be made daily for the emotional and spiritual benefit of our loved ones. Words of gratitude for the good things the kindness of others brings to us should be prominent when we pray in the days of spring season. It is a time when I, as a man, wash the feet of the woman I respect honour with cedar water. I do so as an act, demonstrating how humble I feel in her presence. Men should never forget that it is women who taught us about the sacredness of the heartbeat. It is women who are the true leaders. When men take the power of women away from them, then we can expect untold catastrophes to occur. Spring season teaches us these things.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Writing Workshop

Kwey dear readers,

I write to let you know that I wish all of you emotional rejuvenation and much spiritual enrichment during the time of the Sugar Moon (coming soon to a sky near you).

Also, I will be hosting a poetry and short story writing workshop on Sunday, March 17, 2024 from 5 pm to 7 pm at Westboro Books at 314 Richmond Road. See poster below.

This event is brought to you by A New Dawn. To learn more about A New Dawn go to

All the best,

South Wind

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Nuclear Waste in Algonquin Territory – I Pray NOT

“The Kichi Zibi (Ottawa River) is as much part of my identity as is the blood travelling through the vessels of my heart. The many places on the Kichi Zibi where spirits are active, reach deep into my soul with their healing energy when I go to its shore and make a request through a tobacco offering, for it do so.

When my physical life ends, my spirit will continue to live on in a sacred land where the waters of Kichi Zibi flow eternal, strong, pure and free and be ever present for me.”

The above words are for me, a spiritual reality as an Anishinabe Algonquin man. All Algonquins should feel the same way. Actually, if it was up to me, all good people living  within the perimeters of the Ottawa River watershed (Algonquin Territory) today, would feel as I do about the Kichi Zibi. No matter the colour of their skin, no matter where the beginnings of their bloodlines are, they have much to lose as a community and as a society, if some kind of catastrophe ever befalls the Kichi Zibi.

A nuclear waste dump in Anishinabe Algonquin Territory? I’ll tell you what I know about it.

18 years ago an ‘elder’ from Manitoba (I knew only slightly at the time) contacted me via a phone call and let me know that representatives of a nuclear waste organization were hoping to have a meeting with me. When I asked what it was about, the elder replied that he wasn’t sure but urged me to oblige the nuclear waste people with their meeting request. I did!

The meeting was in a suite of an Ottawa hotel. As I recall, there were three representatives of the nuclear waste group present in the room, two men and one woman. All of them unknown to me. They let me know it was their hope that I would endorse their plan of building a nuclear waste dump in Algonquin Territory.

Keep in mind that this was 18 years ago, shortly after I was first asked to attend the Kumik Lodge as a visiting elder. Also, at the time, I was already established in the territory as a human being who dedicated many hours of his life to activism. I suspect that these are likely the reasons why the nuclear waste people thought it important to have my support.

I let them know right away that not I, nor any other Algonquin, male or female, young or old, would ever endorse any plan to have a nuclear waste dump to be constructed on our traditional lands. They asked about gifts. “What gift,” they wanted to know, “might be given to leaders of the Algonquin Nation to persuade them to sign up with their plan?” – “No Chief will ever agree to nuclear waste being brought into our lands,” is what I told them.

To be truthful, I really don’t know much about nuclear energy. However, I do know what the word ‘waste’ is connected to. ‘Excrement’ is ‘waste’. It is poison! I don’t want excrement ending up in the Kichi Zibi. And I do not want nuclear waste in it either.

Fast forward 18 years and lo and behold, a nuclear waste dump is at this time, been given to go-ahead in Chalk River, Ontario, Algonquin Territory. The Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) are supporting it. A ceremony was held at the site not long ago. A man, (wearing a ribbon shirt) Dan Ross who identifies as an Algonquin elder, was there with representatives of the AOO (see photo). The AOO have even given the nuclear waste site a name: ‘Minwamon Building’.

The leadership at Pikwàkanagàn is supporting the plan for a major nuclear waste disposal site to be built in Anishinabe territory (Chalk River, ON). All other Bands who make up the Nation are against it. It makes my blood boil that one Algonquin community can decide to stand in support of a deal which can potentially, at some point in the future, kill the waters of Kichi Zibi. Did the Algonquin Nation give the Chief and Band Council of Pikwàkanagàn that kind of power? No, it did not! So where the hell do they get off doing it? The leadership at Pikwàkanagàn does not speak for me nor for all other Algonquins of our Nation. I wonder how the citizens of Pikwàkanagàn feel about what their Chief and Band Council are getting them into?

Chalk River is in an earthquake zone! It is very likely that there will come a time in the future when the earth will tremble violently around where the nuclear waste dump is, causing the walls of the storage place to crack. The waste will then surely make its way to the Kichi Zibi (only a kilometre away). Such a catastrophe might happen! If I’m wrong, tell me where I am!

Do they (nuclear waste people) know with all certainty that it will never happen? Fifty years from now? A hundred years from now? When it does and I believe it surely will, the people of our bloodlines living at that time in the future, will condemn us, their ancestors, for not stopping this project to be built.

I object to this project taking place. I condemn it! My spirit instructs me to do so as well. Can we even continue to call ourselves Anishinabe Algonquin if we do not at least vigorously protest the bringing of nuclear waste into our territory? The setter community needs to fight this, too.

Only our people who respect the notion that ‘water is life’ will not be OK with the nuclear waste dump being built on Algonquin Territory.

We should file a class action lawsuit against the Province of Ontario and the nuclear waste company for bringing poison near the Kichi Zibi.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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My Bloodline is Strong

Years ago, when I was still “working the trowel” (bricklaying), on a fine summer day I found myself repairing a chimney for a Pontiac County farmer. Soon after arriving on the jobsite, I noticed that the farmer had a dog who walked on three legs. The fourth leg was kept bent upwards about 6 inches off the ground by the otherwise fit-looking dog. I noticed too that when the dog was in a state of excitement such as at times when he chased after a squirrel or groundhog or when a strange car drove into the yard, the dog would, as if by some miracle, run towards the object of his curiosity on all four legs.

“What’s the story on the dog?” I asked the farmer. My employer explained that the dog had been hit by a car when he was young. The vet had tended to the dog’s injuries, a splint was applied. Over the period of time his broken bones healed, the dog “got used to walking on three legs,” said the farmer. After the leg was all healed up, the dog, who was now as fit as he had ever been, chose to continue to walk on three legs as he had been doing during the weeks of his recovery. The helpless mind, traumatic memories, surrounding influences, the inability to be sensible, whatever the case, make man or beast believe that he can never truly heal.

Thinking about the wretched 3-legged dog (he had 4 good ones but …) years later and realized I too had convinced myself emotionally and spiritually that I was crippled because of negative situations which had come into my life during my youthful years. “Alcohol”, dear, dear alcohol, how I convinced myself that I needed it in my life to relieve the pain of past sufferings. It made sense to me or so I thought that alcohol, the good medicine, was a friend I could rely on to see me through the day. How wrong I was!

I always had and always will have, the ability to cure myself of any circumstance bringing emotional distress into my life, it’s just that I was unaware of it when I had convinced myself otherwise. My mind is strong, it was never weak, but like the farm dog, I fooled myself into believing that I was an emotional cripple. A dog is a dog, a man is a man, Creator help me, if ever the day comes when I feel helpless, useless, worthless, dumb, and in the need of a mental crutch to lean on. Never! It just won’t happen, not to this kid. Nope! Not in a million years! My bloodline is strong.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Gaza: Over 7,000 Dead Children

Life “it is the flash of a firefly in the night” (Chief Crowfoot, as he lay dying in 1890)

It’s not a long life that we have. All too soon it will be “dust to dust, ashes to ashes” time, for all of us. In the short space of time we live, we should at least do our best to instill in the minds and hearts of our children, a true sense of what justice and fairness is all about. Isn’t it what the human heart expects of us?

As a human being whose culture directs its people to be sensible in how they live today, to assure that health and wellbeing will be a fact for our generations 7-fold from today, I do all I can to defend the right we all have to live in peace and in a dignified manner. To what degree would I go to defend my bloodline 7 generations from now? Let your actions now, signal to me that you plan to severely oppress their human rights at some point in the future and you’ll find out.

“If the Indians are starving, let them eat grass or their own dung,” so said a settler when told in the 1800’s that Indigenous Peoples had no food to eat. The innocent children in Gaza have no food, no water, no medicine, what are they to do?

I offer a view now of the world I see around me. It is an observation from an old man whose family lineage has faced prejudice and oppression on their traditional territory since even before Canada was a Confederation. My dad and his dad, my mom and her mom were people who never gave a thought (so it seems) to the idea of violent protest to put a stop to the oppressive laws and policies many governments heaped on them throughout their lives. They endured the pass system, the outlawing of their original spiritual beliefs, the right to vote and so on.

Not so for me. An oppressor would only push me so far before an ugly rebellious response came from me. I fight back! I believe in self-defence. I stand against oppression and will do what I feel needs to be done to put an end to it if my family suffered greatly in mind, body and spirit because of it. Rest assured however, that I would never harm the innocent, even if they were being used as human shields by my oppressor.

I saw film footage the other day of a little Palestinian girl about 3 years of age. She was sitting on rubble created from an exploded bomb. Her tiny body covered in dust, vibrated in a way I would never have imagined was possible. In between gasping breath, she shrieked in horror, her eyes wild and panic-stricken. It was a sight from the worst of nightmares!

Do I believe that Israel has a right to defend itself? Yes, I do. 

Do I believe that Hamas terrorists committed war crimes on October 7th. Yes, I do. 

Do I believe that Israel is committing war crimes in Gaza today? Yes, I do.

The son of an Israeli general recently said, “To stop terrorism, you must first stop oppression.” He is a man who believes Israel’s actions have gone way too far, now and in the past, in how they treat Palestinians. Do I believe that Israel is guilty of oppressing the people of Palestine? Yes, I do.

Do I believe that Palestinians have a right to defend themselves against oppression? Yes, I do.

Who is responsible for the terror of the 3-year-old Palestinian child? Who will Creator hold into account for the horrors the child witnessed before someone filmed her?

I know that Israel has the fourth mightiest military force on planet earth. I know that Palestine has no air force, or navy, nor do they even have bomb shelters to run to when bombs fall. I know that Stuart Seldowitz (a former advisor to Barack Obama) said, “killing 4,000 Palestinian children wasn’t enough” (that’s what the count was at the time he said it). Link: Ex-Obama Advisor Arrested Over Harassing Food Vendor, Islamophobic Rant In Manhattan

Children are being slaughtered. A blood bath, that of innocent children, is occurring before our very eyes. And we do nothing! The Holy Land at this time, is soaked in the blood of children. And yet there are people like Stuart Seldowitz who sleep well at night and are at peace with it.

The Hamas terrorists who attacked Israel on October 7th will not steal my soul but Benjamin Netanyahu will not claim it either. Powerful politicians in the western world have given their souls to Netanyahu and his war cabinet. When you stand in solidarity with a war monger, his sins become your sins. Let there be no doubt about it.

Please see Bernie Sanders’ latest statement on how he feels about Israel (link: Bernie Sanders, you are an awesome human being! Your good heart is most welcomed in my home now and forever will be.

Hamas terrorists! Netanyahu! They are cut from the same cloth. That’s how I see it.

If I was 20 years of age and an enemy country of the state of Israel had blown 7,000 Israeli children to bits, I would volunteer to join an army who was setting out to destroy who was guilty of doing so.

But what about Palestinian children? They are being slaughtered by Israeli bombs! What has the Nation of Palestine ever done that harmed Canada? What has the Nation of Palestine ever done to bring death and destruction to the USA? What has the Nation of Palestine ever done to Israel that her citizens should have their cities, towns, schools, hospitals levelled by Israeli bombs?

I saw film footage of a Palestinian family fleeing their bombed-out dwelling in a cart being pulled by a donkey. The Palestinians are an impoverished people who have been living under oppression for generations. 7,000 children slaughtered! Yet our political leaders remain silent. Silence = complicity! It’s pure insanity!

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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A proud Moment in my Life’s Clock has come to pass

My poetry is being studied and reflected upon by all Grade 11 students of the OCDSB (see below) as part of their Indigenous Studies Program. WOW! Poetry for me, is something solemnly/joyfully produced from the life experiences of a human being. It takes roots in the mind and oftentimes, the roots travel from there to the good heart of the person who will piece together a poem, capable of bringing emotional and spiritual wellness to those who read it.

When I was a child going to school in Pontiac County, I had the misfortune to have a mean-spirited teacher who failed me in Grade 4. She did all she possibly could “to kill the Indian in the child” as instructed to do so by Canada’s first prime minister.

There she was again when I went into Grade 5 (after repeating Grade 4). Guess what? Yup, she failed me again in Grade 5. I met up with her again in Grade 8. Wouldn’t you know it, she failed me again. I want you to be aware that when she wasn’t my teacher I did well. I only failed when she was in charge of the lessons in the classroom. In her eyes, I was dumb and did not possess the ability to learn.

I don’t know what she would say today about me being chosen English Poet Laureate of Ottawa (2021-2023) and now having my poetry being emotionally and psychologically absorbed by Grade 11 students as part of the Board’s High School Curriculum. Maybe some day in the Spirit Land she will tell me “Albert, I’m so very proud of you!”

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

Introductory Lesson: Albert Dumont Poetry


There is deep tradition and immense beauty steeped in poetry.  Poetry is one of the oldest forms of language and is rich in storytelling and tradition.  Poetry captures beauty in a moment, an experience or in one’s life.  It can capture the essence of being, identity and important messages and knowledge to share with generations to come. 

When reading poetry, it’s important to pace your reading, to read the poem aloud, pay close attention to the words used, their individual and collective meaning and most importantly, what is the poet trying to convey.  

Albert Dumont is an Algonquin poet, storyteller, speaker, traditional teacher and spiritual advisor.  He is Ottawa’s Poet Laureate.  Read, reflect and enjoy the poems from Albert’s anthology Sitting by Rapids. 

The following five poems are written by Albert Dumont. Each has questions to answer. You will submit answers to each question and one reflection. There is one dropbox at the end to submit your answers and reflection.

Albert Dumont’s “Sitting By the Rapids”

 where is the bird

  1. What effect does the repetition of the question “Where is the…” at the start of the first three verses have on the reader?  What is the poet trying to convey in repeating the question?
  2. Literary devices are prevalent in this poem.  Choose 2 examples of imagery and explain the importance of the use of sensory detail.  How does imagery help to convey the poet’s experience?
  3. What is meant by the following:
    1. My friend, the lake you search for/Is any of your territory….
    2. The trail leading to the circle/Is the only trail necessary
  4. What does the poem mean to you?  How does your knowledge of First Nations perspectives help you to understand this poem?

Record your answers to submit below.

To listen to Albert Dumont read his poem, press the arrow (play).

our young people

  1. How does the poem “our young people” voice the strength of First Nations people?  
  2. What is meant by the use of the simile “our young people…are like the dawning of a long anticipated spring?”
  3. How does the poet’s voice reveal determination for the future?

Record your answers to submit below.

To listen to Albert Dumont read his poem, press the arrow (play).

man of the blackberry moon

  1. The poet uses many examples of personification in nature to capture the importance of its identity.  What are two examples of personification and how do they contribute to the poet’s experience?
  2. What does the poet mean in the line for the balance in all things
  3. The symbol of the circle is prevalent in many of the poet’s poems.  What do you understand it to symbolize for the author?  Does the symbolism resonate with you and your life experience? Why, why not?
  4. What do you feel are the teachings of the blackberry moon? Does nature serve as a guide in your life? Reflect on your connection between the land, nature and your needs as a human.

Record your answers to submit below.

To listen to Albert Dumont read his poem, press the arrow (play).


  1. The poem Spring uses many active verbs to convey the meaning of the energy that nature has in one’s life.  Choose three active verbs and detail the contribution to the poem.
  2. Describe how Dumont establishes a distinctive voice in his poetry?  How does he modify language and tone skillfully to connect to the audience and convey purpose?
  3. Reflect on the final line of the poem The spirits of our sacred bundles, what does it mean to you?  What do you understand the poet is trying to convey to the audience?

Record your answers to submit below.

To listen to Albert Dumont read his poem, press the arrow (play).

leaf-bearing trees

  1. The first verse contrasts the second verse:
    1. What symbolism does the first verse convey?
    2. How does the second verse contrast to the first?
    3. How does the line I am as a leaf-bearing tree provide a transition.  What does the transition symbolize?
  1. What does the poet mean in the line, I am a leaf-bearing tree? What hope does this metaphor provide to the audience?
  2. Reflect back to the welcome video Albert shared at the start of the course. How does this poem of Albert’s connect to what was shared in the welcome video?

Record your answers to submit below.

To listen to Albert Dumont read his poem, press the arrow (play).

Reflection Questions about Albert Dumont’s poems:

  1. How does the poet use words to convey his voice?
  2. What questions would you ask Dumont about his approach to writing poetry?
  3. How has studying Dumont’s poetry help you build understanding of his Algonquin perspective? What key ideas stand out as important to the poet and how do they connect with your own learning about Algonquin perspectives?

Submit your answers to each set of questions and a reflection Albert Dumont Poetry Dropbox.

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