Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Way Forward I

After the Vancouver Writer's Fest event on Granville Island, novelist and law professor Dr. Tracey Lindberg and Metis textile artist and poet Marilyn Dumont sit ready to sign books.

The panel presentation was full of laughter and ideas as these two Aboriginal women joined Wab Kinew to talk about ways to make a more positive future for the earliest occupants of Canada.

Tracey Lindberg's book, Birdie, was sold out, but I was lucky enough to get the effervescent Marilyn Dumont to sign my copy of The Pemmican Eaters. When she read from this collection, my favourite was "Letter to Sir John A. Macdonald."  The final lines are quoted below:

...John, that goddamned railroad never made this a great nation,
cause the railway shut down,
and this country is still quarreling over unity,
and Riel is dead
but he just keeps coming back
in all the Bill Wilsons yet to speak out of turn or favour
because you know well as I
that we were railroaded
by some steel tracks that didn't last
and some settlers who wouldn't settle
and its funny we're still here and callin ourselves halfbreed.

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