Happy Child in the Woods

Children of the forest
In the forest,near Vasey
some lumberjacks passed.
Removing trees,
the slashes amassed.
For indigenous peoples, the spider is a symbol of patience and endurance; representing intelligence and skillfulness.
A couple of artist
walked through the debris.
The slash,
all that was left of the tree.

And activists as they are
Peter and Sharon,
turned the waste
Into ART!
Spots to rest, reflect, and listen.
Remembering the children,
who once ran free.
Moving swiftly,
from tree to tree.
‘Trees are not simply the source of timber or pulp, but are a complicated, interdependent circle of life. ‘ Suzanne Simard, author of Finding the Mother Tree.
Colonization began, and,
their spirit removed.

Today, we mourn
the loss;
That came at such
a horrific cost.
Two grandmothers, braiding sweetgrass. Together.
Today, we remember,
acknowledge, repent.
So that we can
work together.
as we pass the feather.

We returned to this spot in the forest, a week later, and found these beautiful red dresses adorning the trees. To tell there story.

Red dresses. Representing missing indigenous women.

Canada Day 2021

Every Child Matters. Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Today, reflecting on the meaning of Canada Day, I am thinking about my parent’s decision to emigrate to this wonderful country almost 70 years ago.

I remember, as a small child, my aunt saying to me ‘Speak English, we came to Canada to be Canadians.’

I have always been very proud to call myself a Canadian. First as a Dutch Canadian, then somewhere along the line the word Dutch was dropped and I simply became a proud Canadian.

I saddens me deeply, as I become more educated about the true losses suffered by our Indigenous peoples. The loss of their homes, their economies, and most of all, the loss of their children. Through the hands of our churches, and, of our governments.

I am hoping that this Canada Day will be marked as the beginning of truly righting the wrongs that were committed. Righted, so the true healing may begin, and that we, and the world, can learn from the wrongs commited in our past.

On our Canada Day hike. Overlooking the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe including the Ojibway, Potawatomi, and Odawa of the Three Fires Confederacy

Every Child Matters

‘While the world gently weeps’ – George Harrison

In the summer of 2014, my family and I, along with my cousin from Kamloops, attended the 35th annual Kamloops Pow Wow. One of the largest celebrations of First Nations culture and heritage in Western Canada.

On our walk from the parking lot to the Pow Wow, we passed a large, grey, dark building. My cousin educated us on the original use of this structure, the Kamloops Indian Residental School. We could feel the cries and sadness that eminated from the building.

In sharp contrast to the beauty, the power, and strength, of the Pow Wow.

A small child stands at the top of the stairs at the bottom of Spirit Catcher, in Barrie, On., on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay, holding a sign that reads EVERY CHILD MATTERS.
This morning, at Springwater Provincial Park, I dropped some sacred tobacco onto the smoldering ashes of a sacred fire. I prayed for all of the abused children, and for those children suffering from abuse today.
Strength, power, beauty, and I hope, healing.