Wally Mckay – June 30, 2017

Ooh Canada, Our Native Land, I was mere child of six years old when I was removed from my home,

Where I was cared for, embraced, care-free, loved and happy?

Ooh Canada, Our Native Land, only to be placed in a residential school, an institution hundreds of miles away,

Where I was intimidated, beaten, forbidden to my language and who I was, I was lonely, I cried.

Ooh Canada, Our Native Land, as a child in spite of your plan, I resolved to keep my tongue, to remain who I was, to embrace, to love and to be happy.

Ooh Canada, Our Native Land, your plan to take the Indian out of me, in the cloak of education.

The price of your education was too high, it was never free.


Ooh Canada, Our Native Land, the land of my father and grand-parents provided abundantly,

We were never in need, we were strong, healthy, thrived in own culture, we cared for each other.

Ooh Canada, Our Native Land, you deemed us not as a people, you said we were pagans, lazy, and people with no knowledge.

Ooh Canada, your fathers, grand-parents came here with no land, homeless, destitute and vengeance for what we did not understand.

Ooh Canada, you saw the beauty of our lands, its bounty and wealth untold.

Ooh Canada, you came with pencil in your hand to sign an agreement, in return my grandparents spoke from the heart to agree in the spirit of honour and trust.

Ooh Canada, you were not honourable to your pencil and, in return, we face our homelands raped, ravaged and now groaning.

From your pencil, we became poor, dependant, landless and a burden.

Ooh Canada, in spite of your dishonour, we remain true to our ancestors words from their hearts.

Ooh Canada, Our Native Land, today, I and family and people continue to walk the pathway of honour.

Ooh Canada, today you are said to be desired throughout the world while we ask why,

It is said, you have best medicine, why are we so sick,

It is said, you are wealthy while we languish in poverty,

It is said, you have opportunity while our young die violently and needlessly,

We struggle with walls you placed upon our lives,

It is said, you welcome the unfortunate from the globe, yet turn your eyes from our homelands,

Ooh Canada, it is time to look into the very heart of Canada.

Ooh Canada, Our Native Land, history is and will find you wanting. Your children will be burdened with trying to erase your failure from your pencil.

Ooh Canada, your tomorrows will see you trying to right the wrong, paste balm on the scars, say beautiful words with meaning we suspect, your actions peel as band aids they are.

Ooh Canada, Our Native Land, you said you respect and will honour Truth and Reconciliation, let it not be your pencil again!

I will rise one more time in the spirit of my father and grandparents, in honour, to see reconciliation at my children’s and grand- children’s terms, even to seven generations.

For reconciliation is not about words but healing, its it not about feeling relieved, reconciliation is about a journey to make good for all, it is a journey of understanding, it is a journey of hearts doing right!

OH Canada, on my Native land, today, I see my daughter with a master’s degree, I see my friends children with medical, science, law finance and other disciple degrees. I see our children equipping themselves to change the world.

OH Canada, I see my people who are doctors, lawyers, judges, scientists, law makers in your spheres.

OH Canada, I see my people revitalize their suppressed governments, enrich their traditions and cultures, in spite of barriers, resilience is in our spirit. We will overcome.

OH Canada, I hear the good winds, I will see clouds of our former warriors with smiles and contentment.

OH Canada, our people will rise and raise standards because Honour has its rewards.

 OOH Canada, on this day, 150 years of your sojourn in Canada, let not your future lament the next 150 years.