On reading Thomas King*

If ‘inconvenient’

best describes

our sentiment

toward the folks

whose precedence is

very well established;

then inconvenient too,

the vast reserves

of timber, ore and

latent power

inherent in

our quickly claimed

true, strong, and stormy north.

Free to those

whose understanding

comes from centuries

of story, song

and medicine

hard won, and harder

still to see


Indian.  First

Peoples, Native

daughters, sons

of wisdom, turtle

Island clan or

children of the dawn.

To you who bear

the burden of

tradition, and

our own uncomfortable

clothing pressed upon you

without warning

heed or thought.

To you

we owe both everything

and nothing, for

without you we were

doomed to fail

(though failure has

become our


Ottawa to Toronto – at altitude:

May 3/2015

*Thomas King: ‘The Inconvenient Indian:

a curious account of Native people in North America’

Doubleday Canada: 2012


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