Prompt #1  A Métis excerpt from The Elders Are Watching by David Bouchard and Roy Henry Vickers

The only foe the huge forest fears/Is man, not fire, nor pest.

There are but a few who’ve come to know/To appreciate nature’s best.

They watch as you dig the ore from the ground./You’ve gone much too deep in the earth.

The pits and scars are not part of the dream/For their home, for the place of their birth.

They told me to tell you the time has come./They want you to know how they feel.

So listen carefully, look toward the sun./The Elders are watching.

They say you hunt for the thrill of the kill./First the buffalo,now the bear.

And that you know just how few there are left,/And yet you don’t seem to care.

They have no problem with fishing for sport./There are lots of fish in the sea.

It is for the few who will waste a catch,/For you, they are speaking through me.

Prompt #2  An Inuit excerpt from A Stranger at Home A True Story by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton

My sisters’eyes grew wide in the dim light as they strained to comprehend what I was telling them.  My brother Ernest sat on my lap and looked at the pictures.  My father translated for me, and they all marveled that I could now decipher the outsiders’ words.  Even my mother was impressed.  I could tell by the way she kept looking up from her sewing.

Just as I was getting to a good part, my father looked up from his seat at the table and told us it was time to go to sleep.  My mother tucked my sisters into the bed they shared and my brother got under the covers of my mother and father’s bed.  I crawled under the warm blankets beneath where my parents slept and gazed out at the glow of embers from my father’s pipe.  A heavy, ocean-like sleep settled over me and I drifted off to the dream time.

It wasn’t Banks Island, but it was home.  Even though I missed my friends at the school, nothing would ever make me go back.  I belonged here in this tent with my family.  I wasn’t able to hide away on a distant island, but maybe, just maybe, the dark walls would ward off the outsiders’ spell.