… and know

That Haida Culture is not simply song and dance

graven images, language or even blood

It’s all of these things

and then…

awakening on Haida Gwaii,

it’s waiting for the herring to spawn

a feeling you get

when you bring a feed of cockles to the old people

or walking on barnacles

…or moss

It has something to do with bearing witness

when a falcon takes a seabird

and being there when salmon

are finishing their course…

along the way we eat some huckleberries

watch the kids grow up

and attend the funeral feasts

it’s knowing that we will stand when we must

and though reluctantly,

we will deal with the squabbles within

Indeed, it’s knowing the might of the South East wind

and utilizing the long nights of winter

absorbing the bird songs of spring

then finally,

to follow our ancestors

into the Great Beyond