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Archive for February, 2012

This song was written in January 2012 in honour of missing & murdered Indigenous women. The song was sung  at the Families of Sisters in Spirit 2nd Annual Day of Justice Rally (14 Feb 2012, noon, Parliament Hill). This is a demo recording. Please show your support of Families of Sisters in Spirit‘s inspiring work!

For Our Sisters in Spirit
By Julie Comber, Jan 2012

she is your mother, she is your daughter,
your sister, wife, cousin, granddaughter,
she is your aunt, niece, partner, your friend
what if she never came home again?

if she disappeared
imagine all your fears

and if she were found
wouldn’t you move the whole damn world,
just to go get her
and if she died,
wouldn’t you be tempted to get revenge,
even if you know better (x2)

if she cried
wouldn’t you notice?
needed help
wouldn’t you care?
wouldn’t you be there?

how to understand
cruelty by our fellow man
Our society is to blame
why do we allow this shame?

how many Indigenous women
will go missing before you listen?
how many Indigenous women
will be lost before you listen?

First Nations, Metis, Innu
Aboriginal, Inuit, me, you,
every human being
is a miracle, has a dream
no one should ever take a life away
and how are we each complicit every day?

we need change right now
stop asking when or how
The change begins when you dare to care
for women here, there, everywhere

she is your mother, she is your daughter,
your sister, wife, cousin, granddaughter,
she is your aunt, niece, partner, your friend
what if she never came home again?

if she disappeared
imagine all your fears

and if she were found
wouldn’t you move the whole damn world,
just to go get her
and if she died,
wouldn’t you be tempted to get revenge,
even if you know better (x2)

the change begins when you dare to care. (x2)

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I watch the Hiawa resin become a boiling liquid uniting tobacco and sage, nourishing a lovely orange flame. Nestled within the shell given to me on the South March Highlands by Charles. The local and Rupununi Medicines meld into an aromatic honouring of the Full Snow Moon and of the Land. It is now midnight. A year ago at this time, I was hoping to steal a few hours sleep before meeting with over 20 people, pre-dawn, to surround the cutting machine at the Beaver Pond Forest.

I have just attended a meeting about the South March Highlands (SMH). I like that the meeting is on the full moon. Those working to protect SMH noticed good things often happened for the Forest on the full moon. Good seeds were planted at the meeting, seeds that will grow up strong and help to save this beautiful Land.  The loss of the Beaver Pond Forest part of SMH was a heartbreaking defeat.  But there is much to Celebrate, too.

After the meeting, Martin kindly takes Kurtis and I to the work-site where we took Action a year ago.  Over the summer, the Forest was recovering.  But just over a month ago, the site was stumped.  I go deeper onto the Land than my friends, searching for something. All is still, brightly lit by the moon, and strange.  I follow the icy machine path through tall snow-topped piles of shredded wood that had once been stumps.  I realize I’m hoping, irrationally, to find the Five Trunked Tree.  I turn back to rejoin the others.  Such a beautiful, clear, full moon night, and our Sacred ground freshly wounded.  Again.

Kurtis is interested in trying a tree-sit, and I suggest he do it in solidarity with the proposed Occupation of the Land threatened by the Expansion of Highway A5, near Wakefield.  Which reminds me of Albert Dumont‘s Ceremony a few days before, in honour of the Tree “who’s seen 300 Winters”.  I bounced ideas off Albert that the Gatineau Hills and the South March Highlands were two high points, back 10,000 years ago when the Champlain Sea covered the Ottawa Valley. So I feel protecting one benefits both. And that we should build solidarity between these Movements.  My first visit to the 300 and 200 year old trees, I was delighted by the Tree Art – and all the ribbons. Reminded me of going out under the Dec 2010 full moon to tie the first wave of Prayer Ribbons on the Trees at the Beaver Pond Forest.

Resistance is Beautiful.

Each of us has unique gifts to give this world, and in these particular struggles, a unique and important role to play. Together, we form a wondrous web of light, a web of light that shines in defeat and in victory. A web that stretches from the Highlands to the Gatineau Hills to the Hiawa Trees on Surama Mountain, and beyond.  Let’s help each other shine bright!

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