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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
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
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]
Saskatchewan Archives Photo.