Remnants

We are the remnants of great warrior nations

We are living reminders of bad dreams and broken treaties

We are descendants of a people robbed of ancestral lands

We are remnants because the government wanted to destroy us all

We are survivors after they broke up our families to break our spirit and take our land

We are still here after decades of battle and death

We are still sovereign

We are still Indian even if we were taken as children and assimilated

We lost our mothers and they lost us

We were little children abducted to boarding school and to white families who adopted us…

We live across America and Canada now

We wait to be repatriated

We wait for an apology that may never come

We wait for our naming ceremony

We wait to be recognized and welcomed back as tribal citizens*

We will reclaim our language and ceremonies

We have been given no other choice

We will wait and wait longer

We are remnants and descendants of the last great warriors

We still wait.

 

Trace Hentz also uses the penname Laramie Harlow. Remnants is from her second chapbook BECOMING. (ISBN: 978-0692285138)

*Adoptees have shared what they heard: “Now we’re too white, too loud, too brainwashed, too educated, ask too much, expect too much. You’re not Indian anymore, get it?”

An elder told me to pray a few Tsalgi words often.  “You didn’t lose your right or power to do that,” he said.  Ea Nigada Qusdi Idadadvhn. Translated: We are all related.

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