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Proud To Be Red

Louis Oakes [Nikaneet Band]

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FEBRUARY 1976      v05 n02 p30  
Long ago before the white man came the Indian
    was a proud people.
They thought about the young and the old and did not
    throw them away when danger arose.
They lived in harmony with nature and lived in peace
    with it knowing the Manitou was watching them.
There was no alcohol then and poverty was nowhere and
    everybody helped one another like relatives.
They did not fight each other knowing what the risks
    were and helped each other instead.
There were no real laws in which people were killed for
    their wrong doing.
Then the white man came overseas and told us of peace
    with them and of improving our lives.
They then played us into little squats of land with their
    evil ways of thinking.
They made treaties with us, they got the land and we
    were supposed to be helped in terms of food, shelter,
     a living until the river stops flowing, until the sun
      stops shining.
Nowadays I look at the rivers and the sun and they are
    still flowing and shining and look at the treaties and
       where are the promises.
Nowadays alcohol has most of us beat and women are
    having half-breeds.
Broken promises and a broken nation of unhappy people
    and a proud nation.
But life must go on and no one knows
    how long it will last.

- By Louis Oakes [Nikaneet Band]

Proud to be Red
Saskatchewan Archives Photo.