• jenniferswallace

Looking back to go forward

Updated: Sep 23

Last year in 2021, 215 little ones were found not far beneath the ground by the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation. Ground penetrating radar revealed remains of these children who never made it home from residential school. It was the beginning of an uncovering and deep soul-searching. It wasn't really the beginning. Before this there was knowledge...it is not new. But the undeniable culpability, that became glaring and evident. This injustice that continues to affect our Canadian collective nation is something that cannot be ignored or buried. Here is what I wrote May 21st, 2021:


What's on my mind?

The ground cries out That something must be done Listen to these 215 little ones Their bones speak for thousands Who couldn’t speak Who never came home Little souls who cried at night Whose mothers wailed Were shut in the ground “We shall not sleep” says Flanders Fields We weep for unknown soldiers in the First World War who laid down their lives knowingly But throughout Canada her ground weeps where these babies were silently hidden Our ignorant sleep is over Indigenous Peoples already knew and know Their stolen lands, voices and babies Are crying out to be heard When people tell you they have faced discrimination and racism, Listen. Listen to the 215 little ones.


My stone placed in front of my school for Sept. 30th Day of Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day. I'm still working on this.


After writing my poem, I came across Abigail Echo-Hawk's words. Please seek out and listen to Indigenous voices on this, artists, writers, leaders....

Check out Abigail Echo-Hawk's poem here. Abigail Echo-Hawk's Facebook Page.

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