The Fifth Day of Writemas

… my true love …. yadda yadda yadda

a GREAT poem from Shayla Elizabeth!


as you might have noticed, I’ve been sending shouts out to my dear friends in the Aboriginal Writers Collective. Shayla is one such dear friend, her bio reads as follows: storyteller/poet/emerging playwright/writer/sometime journalist/repatriated cross-cultural adoptee from the 60′s scoop/Ininew (Cree)–mixed blood/mother–mama/partner/lover.


chief miska muskwa

(on the occasion of the chief big bear monument unveiling)

mama, am I Cree?

yes   baby girl   you are of the People

to be Cree/Iniwe is a good thing

why mama

I will tell you

the stories tell of how Mother Earth was alone

when Great Spirit called her into being

which is how the sun and moon and stars then came to be

followed by the four-legged brothers and sisters

the winged ones  the ones that swim

the plant people    the tree people

grandfather     grandmother stone

but Mother Earth was still lonely

so she created the People    her children

(your ancestors   baby girl)

and all were happy

but then the Great Flood happened

where all the waters rose higher and higher

and it looked like all would be lost

even the People

so Giant Turtle was sent out

for the People to climb on his back

not to be swept away by the waters

that’s how our ancestors were saved

and came to live    here on Turtle Island     (baby girl)

the way of the people is a good way to live

kayusk ooma kapmachisik Ininowak

baby girl

like eating blueberries while you gather them

medicine picking with kookum in the warm sun

mopping up moose stew with just-baked bannock

hearing the drum     heartbeat of Mother Earth

call out at powwow

dancing    jingle    grass    fancy    traditional

expressing your joy to Mother Earth

for the Gift of being alive

this is living a balanced life     a good life       (baby girl)

but then the visitors came

they had forgotten what living a sacred life meant

all four quadrants of the medicine wheel

the physical    feeling    thinking

as well as the spiritual

because they had forgotten Mother Earth’s gift

they were scared of the People’s way

and tried to stop it       make it go away

but some of the People said no

this isn’t right     long before you were born    baby girl

like Chief Miska Muskwa   Chief Big Bear

whom we are honouring today      baby girl

he was put in jail for saying

the People’s way is good

and when he got out      he soon went on to

the spirit world

but his message isn’t forgotten

‘cuz that’s why we are here today     baby girl

I’m Iniwe and you’re Iniwe

the way of the People

is a good way to live

kayusk ooma kapmachisik Ininowak

baby girl

Katherena Vermette

One Response to “The Fifth Day of Writemas”

  1. Debbie Strange says:

    lovely – thanks for all your hard work with this project, Katherena – don’t know where you find the time, but it is much appreciated (you were missed at the awards night…)

    shine on,