“how come we were never taught this in our schools?”

The oppressors never teach their children
About the oppressed, or their suffering.
Instead they claim that they brought technology,
Civilization, religion, as gifts
To the colonized, the marginalized,
The brutalized and the enslaved people.
You have to learn to look between the lines
At the imperfect feet of the statues,
And the nakedness of half-truths and lies.
Stolen land, stolen lives, streams of language
Dammed, diverted, stopped. Whole cultures broken
Into scattered fragments, gathering dust
In museums. Hiding between the cracks,
Waiting to emerge into the sunlight.

Yvonne Aburrow
9:22 am, 23 May 2022.


Inspired by the line “how come we were never taught this in our schools?” in WHEREAS by Layli Long Soldier

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Place names

Indigenous people frequently and correctly point out that Indigenous place names in North America are based on geographical features or things that happened in that place, whereas settler place names in North America are either named after the first person to settle there, or a place in Britain or Europe. This is true.

What’s more, the place names in Britain and Europe are named after geographical features, things that happened there, Pagan deities, and previous inhabitants’ names for the place. So it makes no sense to transplant them to a place with different geographical features (though I assume people did it for nostalgic reasons).

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Indigenous resources

In the wake of the awful discoveries of unmarked graves in residential schools, more and more Canadians want to learn the truth about the destruction of the cultures and languages of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, and the theft of their lands.

I have created a new resources page with links to websites where you can learn more about Indigenous culture and issues, and identified the key resources to get started on your learning journey.

If you only have time to interact with a few things on this list, check out the ones with a star next to them.🌟

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For the ones who did not come home

Thread a bead for me,
Not a rosary:
A bright bubble of blood
From that river in flood
Between the worlds.

Carve a flute for me,
To breathe a memory,
Thread a song from the air,
Where the land is bare
On that distant shore.

Hold a hand for me,
Dream a dream for me,
Of summer days I cannot see,
Woven beneath the oldest tree,
Beyond the door.

Light a fire for me,
Down by that inland sea
Where the stars drink the night
And a bright scarf of light
Dances in the sky.


By Yvonne Aburrow


©️Yvonne Aburrow, 2021. Repost only with clear written credit to me. Please include this copyleft notice and all the information below as well.

The imagery in this poem is Pagan imagery (the World Tree, the river between the worlds in The Ballad of Thomas the Rhymer, the land of the dead being over the ocean). The poem is dedicated to the children who did not come home from residential schools. I woke up this morning with the fragment of a dream in my head with beads being threaded on a string as some sort of remembrance ritual. The poem is an attempt to capture the dream.