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    The Power of the Land by Dr. Duke Redbird

    June 21st is National Aboriginal Day. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples*

    At Fundraising Day 2017, the audience had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Duke Redbird’s original poem, The Power of the Land. We are delighted to share it with you in the spirit of the day:

    In every Nation, in every Clan,
    The Elders to a person.
    Whether woman or a man,
    Shared a common truth,
    One Truth to understand,
    That the spirit of the people
    Is equal
    To the Power of The Land.

    The Mother of us all
    The sacred Mother Earth,
    Is constant in her giving,
    And perpetual in her birth,
    In meadows and in fields,
    Where weeds and flowers grow,
    She conceives the summer showers,
    And spawns the winter snows.
    In forests and in mountains,
    She gives the birds that fly,
    Every type of wing,
    Then coaxes the wind to join,
    In harmony, when they begin to sing.

    In brooks and streams,
    And rivers as they flow,
    She generates the dreams
    And makes the fires glow.

    And in every creature,
    Whether large or small
    She buries gems of wisdom
    In them all,

    And in every grain of sand,
    She plants the knowledge,
    Of the Power of The Land.

    And those that honour,
    Her creations,

    And acknowledge her grand design,
    She gives the templates,
    Of the sacred,
    And the patterns of the divine.

    And then with certain knowledge,
    This to understand,
    That the spirit of the people,
    Is equal,
    To the Power of the Land.

    About the Dr. Duke Redbird

    Dr. Duke Redbird is an Indigenous intellectual, poet, painter, broadcaster, filmmaker and orator. He brings his breadth of cultural knowledge and artistic practice to the benefit of a global audience.

    Dr. Redbird is instrumental in the implementation of innovative multimedia technologies, bringing an Indigenous approach to arts education, that is rooted in his pioneering work at OCAD University. His legacy stretches far beyond his work in Canada. His art has been exhibited and his poetry has been published and translated in anthologies around the world.

    Duke has been described as a multifaceted artist, practicing across a number of disciplines including literature, painting, theatre, cinema and most recently rap poetry. A well-known broadcaster and television personality, he is in demand as a public speaker in university, community college and elementary school settings. He delivers a unique perspective from his heritage that is both a positive and optimistic alternative to how we view our universe in the 21st century. In 2005, Dr. Redbird was honored by the Indigenous community of Toronto and recognized as an Urban Elder and Wisdom Keeper. In this capacity, Duke’s presentation is a message of inspiration, hope and vision for the future.

    Presently, Dr. Redbird is an Advisor to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in the field of Indigenous Art & Culture; and the Curator of an inaugural art exhibition called Debwewin (Truth) of the Museum, Fine Art Collection and Archives of the TDSB. He is also an Advisor for the Board of Director’s of Toronto’s Jumblies Theatre and the Banff Centre for the Arts.

    *Introduction taken from Government of Canada: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada website.