kiwetinohk ohci

stop at the edge of everything –

bend down and stick your hands in the dirt.

grab a fist full of soil and pull it close: inhale.

this earth has been here

since before nicâpân set

one foot in front of the other.

southerners from the city keep calling these lands a wasteland

because in the south all they can see

is bountiful opportunity everywhere

but north of Hope.

i come from where frost explodes trees

where grandpa makes coffee on the campfire,

grounds spilling into fried eggs.

i come from hunting seasons

and midwinter snow drifts.

if you listened to me you would hear

that this place is where the world begins –

you can stand at the edge of the bluff

and see where muskrat danced.

the knowledge i have from surviving northern winters

has helped me in this city

but i would be lying if i said i didn’t

dream of whiskeyjacks and grandpa’s alarm clock

roaring the CBC at 6am.

if one more white environmentalist

tells me that

the north is a lost cause

i will show him

a lost cause

if you lay on your back along the sukunka

you can see every star

this is where nipapa

pointed and said:

“that’s the north star. if you’re ever lost

you can follow her home.”

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