River of Tears

The Nechako River
(Dakelh for Big River)
Continues to be colonized
Controlled by corporate interests.
Aluminum smelter needed more water
So, the river was dammed,
Two week’s notice given
To the traditional people of the land.
Their ancestors and history
Became a sacred part of Big River,
Nechako does not give up her dead.
River flow controlled by a CEO,
A contentious river flows
Affecting the Salmon coming home.
The river of tears
Knows where the bodies are,
Protecting them forever more,
From the cruelty of man.
Big river flowed past residential schools,
little ones splashed, played, and bathed.
Their tears forever a part of its flow.
Murdered women, discarded,
In the dead of night by human predators,
Their tears retained, as souls were escorted home.
The spirit of the Nechako River
Witnessed many things
As it flowed to its destiny in Prince George.
Cut Banks stood as sentinels,
Beneath a full moon, and witnessed
As the Nechako and the Fraser married,
Became as one, to the ocean they went,
With them they took the souls, secrets,
And tears, of the dispossessed,
Offering them freedom at the mouth
Of the Pacific Ocean.
Only to return home,
Renewed, in spiritual form,
Behold the Salmon, and,
Be idle no more.

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