Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Trade



Chugging home in the boat
from work at Kakawis,
"basket of berries",
the Nuu chah nulth elder beside me pointed
to the long jut of land
that is Stubbs Island,
site of the first white settlement
in Tofino.


"They "traded" that land from us
for a barrel of molasses," she said,
then fell silent,
two hundred years of history
eloquent between us.




for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Trade/Barter. Stubbs Island was the first white settlement in Tofino, beginning in 1860/1861, though First Nations have lived here for ten thousand years. It is now privately owned, with beautiful gardens, and every May long weekend villagers are boated over and allowed to wander the grounds.


12 comments:

  1. Wow! Gosh. Leaves me speechless, too. So much said in so few words!

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  2. What can you say to that?? Not fair!!

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  3. Sherry, the second stanza really has moved me and I feel quite sad.
    How can we not put that right? But we won't...
    So much said in so few words indeed, so much said.
    Anna :o]

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  4. Incredible. We traded a few strings of beads for Manhattan island. We have much to account for but I doubt the bill will ever be paid.

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  5. This sad story can be told in so many countries. So many want to ignore the past and say "That's over and we are are all one now". Sadly that is not the case and a proper redress is required. However you are are a great voice for your native peoples Sherry.

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  6. Justice is not a concept that is widely practised on earth.Colonialism and empire built on the backs of the suffering and exploitation of others will be held to account in some form and at some stage I hope.

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  7. Oh my goodness Sherry... that takes me to the British who came as traders and stayed on as colonists for 200 years... the sad path of history begins with one fateful step.

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  8. It was a very bad deal...for the Original People.

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  9. Incredible poem! Sherry, packs a punch.

    much love...

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  10. Oh, it truly must have been paradise!! What a sad death of a beautiful commercial island! Beautiful writing,,,it brings out her feeling of loss so accurately, Sherry. Wow...

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  11. "They "traded" that land from us
    for a barrel of molasses," she said,
    then fell silent,

    The never-ending stories of the injustice on helpless communities against the onslaught of new settlers with guns

    Hank

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I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!