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Prairie Nation: An Ode to the New Prairie Nation

By Jane Abraham

A deep purple Canada! Is that our land and that our people?

Land that’s home to natives and newcomers, Europeans and Canadians, men and women

always intent on the presence of the snow and the water; the hills and the plains.

Like blood, water and dust, women and babies lie many miles apart.

We dry up in the winter months like sheep with bowls of water,

and flock together when the weather turns: warriors and nursing mothers.

May morning, when the air above the mountains is chilly,

I pull up my skirts and dash for a canoe under the Canadian flag.

I catch the sun on the watery-sharp rocks below as darkness descends.

Canadian was adopted in the bygone age of colonial posterity.

The first nations of every language still live on the land,

strewn with totem poles and foot bridges across waterways.

The black river flirts with the air on the Plains of Abraham.

Owing to the dramatic geographical fact that it flows far north,

such joint bond of minds can never be broken. I grieve for thee,

the nations of families in the lands ahead. Why so short,

so short-lived? Why so long by ours?

Gens de la Saskatchewan. Recognizing their land to be in all senses,

lovers of the land who stand up for their rights, for their interests.

Gens de la Saskatchewan: Each of the three nations made known by Wordsworth,

a man our ancestors respected as their ancestor, their man.

Gens de la Saskatchewan: Visiting the region before the 21st century,

I think of thoughtfulness, care, friendship, and love.

Gens de la Saskatchewan: Keep your eyes on the land, not on TV,

tailors and ninjas, who give us our defense today.

Gens de la Saskatchewan: Always be in the land that will be your home.

See the sunset from the river’s edge, smell the leaves blooming,

Watch the faraway ocean roll in with night’s end.

Gens de la Saskatchewan: Thank you, Canada, for bringing us this land,

and for being real to us as a brother nation and a friend in our homes.

Gens de la Saskatchewan: Time was once still; but now we turn the pages

and the newspaper, like undelivered letters of both our tongues.

Gens de la Saskatchewan: For we want to stand tall with love and joy,

because well we are proud of our people’s tradition and all of us know

that land is never worthless in our history.

We are only more young together, Canada, for our land is ours to hold.

Gens de la Saskatchewan: If you want to make the best out of this land,

make use of it as the spirit never backs down.

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