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To the Youth and Elders of James Bay and Barrière Lake, Temagami, Kahnesatake, Tyendenaga, Clayquot, mnemnemenemnenon

They say there was a time when the weather was always good
and no one got sick.
Animals were strong and plentiful.
Was it so because they believed it?

They say white man’s magic is stronger than Inuit magic.
They say the animals no longer have power.
They say the shamans have gone, have spirit no more.
They say there is power in money.

Don’t listen to them: money has power because we believe in it –
the power to kill and make people sad,
so why believe in it? It cannot buy back land and life.
Nothing can buy the days before the white man.

Maybe they think they are wise,
that they will use their money well, the ones who sell
and work for it, but
nobody governs money.

White magic is hollow. White drugs
fast and bright, killing sharp.
White ways made me sick
though I am white.

I’m not alone. You aren’t alone.
We split in two along mercenary ways,
ways of numbers, ways of excess
splitting and twisting and twisting again.

You can slow it. Stay true.
Women dream nightmares, animals cry out
water writhes, trees and oceans die.
Fill them with your voices and your drums.

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