In this webinar, we invite you to reframe the climate action discussion. Featuring Sierra Club BC Cultural Voice kQwa’st’not ~ charlene george and Sierra Club BC Executive Director Hannah Askew.
SCBC released the following statement in the words of SCBC’s Cultural Voice KQwa’st’not (charlene george)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 31, 2021
I invite you to read a poem full of grief & emotion that an elder voice has bravely shared….
His hope is that we not forget… if we forget there is a possibility that these hurtful inhuman actions will continue in small or big ways …
His hope is that the ‘secret’ is out … if we carry this secret & do not share, many ‘others’ (including the government of this day) will simply gloss over the genocidal behavior that this ‘nation now called canada’ is built on …
My hope is that by being a witness to this bravely shared telling, that you record this on your heart & mind … if we intend to move forward together into a future where ‘every child matters’ (every being matters ~ human & non-human) we need to start with open eyes & open hearts & open minds and be open to accepting our joint responsibility for the ongoing violence and harm.
My gratitude to ŚIEȽ Bud Napoleon (Cree Elder & SCBC board member) for sharing a deep part of himself with all of us so that we can approach understanding & be a witness………
I am “NOT” a poet, nor a song writer, but all morning my heart has been with those innocent kids that were found – so I decided to write, even though it might not rhyme, bear with me…..I just wanted to express some of my feelings:
“We were herded like sheep, or cows, like animals
Into a big truck, that was heading for the slaughter house
Our parents said “No” but the RCMP and Priests said “Go”
One last look at our parents and grandparents tear filled eyes,
Was all that we remembered……
From a child with freedom, to talk our language, to run and play
To a prison type camp of what ordered back then
Not to talk my mother language, and even our hair was cut short
Not able to eat wild game or fish, but foreign food that was far from our taste……
We were bullied, slapped, hit, strapped, even denied food and often went to bed hungry
It was more like a concentration camp than it was a school
Many tried to run away to freedom, to home of far away
Some made it but very few, but many died along the way
Oh how can this happen in a land of plenty, a land that is there supposedly there for the people
Many eyes were closed, many ears did not hear of what was happening, fear of the government and the RCMP
My little brothers and sisters, to you I cry for, to you I pray for
But the government, the RCMP, the Priests, the nuns someday will have to pay
Of the loved ones, who will never, ever get to come home
They say that you cannot hide from the truth, for the truth shall set you free…..now you are free…..but not forgotten…..”
(this note is from an indigenous perspective & the choice to write in indigenous english is intentional)
KQwa’st’not (charlene george), Cultural Voice | Sierra Club BC
kQwa’st’not~Charlene George is the cultural voice of Sierra Club BC.