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Rated: ASR · Poetry · Contest Entry · #2151102
PWW. Round 20. Team Canada. A young Metis girl and her siblings are taken from their home.
Home is close to heaven.
My family surrounds me,
My trwa brothers here,
Not perfection but near;
Ev'ry time pere leaves us be.
Mere does her best for us,
Cares for us all, no fuss,
And works harder than we see.

Pere went away to school;
Priests taught him white men rule.
Qu'Appelle took his rights and soul.
Mere thought she could fix him,
Cure his poison with hymn,
His demons swallowed him whole.
She sings us a sweet song,
Prays he has moved along,
Prays her babes will not enroll.

Home is where my heart lies,
Bound by culture with ties.
My home is humble and small.
Neighbours make up home too,
As plain as sky is blue
Like the prairie sky in fall.
Spread out but together,
All through stormy weather,
Community means us all.

Government comes again;
Was just a matter when.
We're to live with new fam'ly.
We are happiest here.
We look back, filled with fear;
They think mere can't care for me.
They think they know us best,
Foster us with the rest.
Is it because we're Metis?




Writer's notes:

Written in Balassi stanza  .

METIS (from the English Oxford Living Dictionaries  ):
(especially in western Canada) a person of mixed indigenous and Euro-American ancestry, in particular one of a group of such people who in the 19th century constituted the so-called Metis nation in the areas around the Red and Saskatchewan rivers."

MICHIF   is a Metis language with origins in French and Cree.
Mere: Mother
Pere: Father
Trwa: Three

SIXTIES SCOOP   refers to a period in Canadian history during the 1960s where large numbers of indigenous children were removed from their homes, and fostered or adopted by white families, usually without the consent of the families of the children.

The INDIAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SYSTEM   refers to the school system that forced indigenous families to send their children to schools where they lived full time, and the goal was full cultural assimilation with the dominant European society. Children were abused, and they were forced to abandon their cultural identities. The last government run school in Canada was not closed until nearly the end of the 20th century. The negative impacts of the system have lasted generations.

QU'APPELLE  , in this case, refers to the Qu'Appelle Indian Residential School, or the Qu'Appelle Indiustrial School, a Catholic-run school in Saskatchewan.
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