Reclaiming & Reframing Grave Concerns

August 6th, 2006
5th World Indigenous Conference:
Healing Our Spirit World Wide
Held at Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Opening ceremonies
On the sacred grounds of Nechi/Poundmakers
A First Nations healing & training centre
Once a feared residential school
Where unmarked graves of babies/children
Lie undisturbed beneath the “hairs of Mother Earth”
Indigenous people from around the world:
Maoris, Aborigines, Hawaiians, Sami’s, Cree, Blackfeet,
Métis, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Carrier, Sioux,
Many others, their allies & friends,
Shed tears for those precious little dears
Who will never be forgotten?
The truth is being told
A driving force of these conferences
A Cree Elder delivers the opening prayer
In his ancient language
Sacred smudge smoke drifts thru the crowd
Opening hearts, souls, and minds
Together in peace & love
As eyes open
The Elder directs our gaze to Father Sky:
Behold four Bald Eagles circling
One for each direction and a sign
All prayers will be answered
Indigenous guests shared their culture,
Resistance, pride, through song & dance
Creating a portal allowing visiting ancestors
To mingle with ancestors of the people
On which territories this coming together was held
Sweet grass, smudge, and song, filled the air
Blowing gently over unmarked graves
Of angels present on this sacred day
“suffer not the little children”.

Charles has been a social activist for 35 years. He can be reached at : aroha@shaw.ca. Read other articles by Charles.