When they buried the children
What they didn’t know
They were lovingly embraced
By the land
Held and cradled by a mother’s heart
The trees wept for them, with the wind
They sang mourning songs, their mothers
didn’t know to sing
bending branches to touch the earth
around them. The Creator cried for them
the tears falling like rain.
Mother Earth held them
until they could be found.
Now our voices sing the mourning songs
with the trees. the wind. light sacred fire
ensure they are never forgotten as we sing
— abigail echo-hawk
This past Friday I took Wnuczki Charlie and Rowan to the impromptu memorial at Parliament Hill. Since the horrific discovery of 215 bodies of residential school children, people have been leaving shoes, stories, poems – including the one above, stuffies, and toys in remembrance. Rowan brought his Winnie the Pooh bear. Charlie left two toy cars.
I was surprised at how much they knew about this recent event and the residential school system. We talked about how this system was created by leaders who believed that this approach ‘was best’ and continued to be officially supported for a hundred fifty years. Which ‘best approaches’ of today will seem incredulous to our grandchildren?