the sixties scoop

From the 1970s to the 1980s, the Canadian Government has recently decreed, foster and adoptive parents scooped indigenous children from their homes and culture. The best explanation of what actually happened and why is found here: https://www.tvo.org/article/just-what-was-the-sixties-scoop.

It will take me a while…

… to be able to write about being misperceived in this way… in this way that the government has set up to take the blame from their shoulders. Does anyone involved know how hurtful this is to people who were addressing a great wrong to our Indigenous People, who had a long-felt burden to do something to join with our sisters and brothers?

From elder brother to younger bro:

(July 15, 2008)

My Brother

(July 15, 2008)

He enters, unannounced, unseen
like a vapour
My only visitor this first night
of my new hell

And he is there, quiet, rock-carved,
pock-marked, disconjugate-gazed
He is here in his unique abundance

If our world is predominantly
recto-linear, with some circles
and curves added
then he moves as a triangular
soul, wedging and slipping
through, never understood
nor staying too long, always
seeming out-of-place

And yet here he is on my first
night, welcomer of despair,
quiet comforter, carefully
wearing the t-shirt I gave
him at Easter

He looks worried, but does
not address the concern
He last sat with us the
morning after my surgery
at another hospital
and quietly was, then too

“This is a longer way to come”
“I have a bus pass now … I’m
on Welfare for the first
time” (quieter)

He hands me his pass, and
the picture shows a black
eye
“Oh, my brother and I had a
bit of a fight the night before”

But I am your brother, your
only brother
There is your other unknown, genetically-linked
loosely-parametered family

Do you fit anywhere, my triangular-
souled friend and brother?
You are, after all, just another
fuckin’ Injun no matter
where you are, here or
in the North

You leave the $9 per hour cook’s
job when the prejudice mounts
and just slip away
“He was just another fuckin’
Injun … better he’s gone”

So, you sit here with us in this
broom-closet of a room,
quietly listening to the mechanical
grind of the IV,
just being

And you look worried
your rock-cliffed face shows
uneasy eyes that move with concern
You are quick to smile as always
but dampened with quiet dis-ease

And yet, my brother, you are the
one who has suffered
You bear scars untold, you
hear the hatred around the
corner, you see the fear
as people regard you

It is I who admire you!
I look up to your strength and
internal stature!
I am humbled by the warmth
and truth in your triangular soul!

The mistiness you carry about
your granite-hewn countenance
is simply beauty
in its simplest rawest
form

In many ways, my dear brother,
you are for me the
archetype of
creation
living, breathing, sitting beside me
in this god-damned little room

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