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The Indian Problem

Feel the blood of my ancestors pumping through my veins
Rising up against the suppression and oppression
Propaganda and policies meant to limit and restrain
Segregation and degradation and public manipulation.
They say without European intervention
our culture and our way of life would have stagnated and died.
So they shipped us off to reservations
Forcing displacement and disease, starvation and genocide.
They stole the children and fractured homes and families.
Try to brainwash them to be ashamed of their communities.
Brought up in residential schools, suffering from abuse and fear
lacking maternal love or paternal guidance, just abuse of power and shame
to assimilate the Native in God's name.
Beliefs and traditions, languages and customs forbidden
tried to teach to hate themselves for the blood which flowed through them.
called heathen and savages with no future, no hope, no ambition.
You introduce alcohol and drugs, disease and destruction,
sexual abuse, poverty and incarceration.
Prohibiting ceremonies, dances and spiritual expression,
at the risk of death or imprisonment.
Trying to quash the Native way of life.
You called it the "Indian Problem."
We feel the blood of the ancestors pumping through our veins
The elders and the leaders; rebels - men and women
Who fought against your agenda and regime
Holding onto our traditions and language and dignity
And ensuring the survival of our people in the face of adversity.
You hear it in the drums that resonate over the plains
In the songs and the heartbeats of our elders.
We are strong, we are proud and gaining strength
In reclaiming what was once ours,
healing our nations and teaching our children
That we are the First Nations and we are here to stay
despite all your intent.
Therein lies your "Indian Problem"

-© Copyright 2007 Greta Hogan [Moon Child]

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