Harold Macdonald's Muse









St Mary's First Nation




Harold Macdonald

The choices now are always very few

nor as great as retrospect demands;

just say that conquest does not claim the land -

a possibility no conqueror ever knew.


Then the choice was trading pans and pots

and rifles to replace the arrow and the bow

and, bye the bye, eliminate the buffalo

and end the nativesí independent lot.


And schools for skills and learning English speech

may now seem less than generous and wise

but then they were a hopeful enterprise

a choice, a do-able, a thing to teach.


Is now assimilation, again the norm

the only shelter from the human storm?


Midi: "People, We are here" by Black Lodge Singers of White Swan, Washington