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Poetry Indigenous


by (author) Carol Rose Daniels (GoldenEagle)

Inanna Publications
Initial publish date
Apr 2018
Indigenous, Canadian, Women Authors
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2018
    List Price

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Finalist for the 2019 Rasmussen, Rasmussen and Charowsky Indigenous Peoples' Writing Award

Hiraeth is about women supporting and lending strength and clarity to other women so they know that moving forward is always possible-- and always necessary. It documents a journey of struggle that pertains to a dark point in Canadian history that few talk about and of which even fewer seem aware. Poems speak to the 1960's "scoop up" of children and how this affected the lives of (one or thousands) of First Nations and Métis girls-- girls who later grew to be women with questions, women with wounds, women who felt like they had no place to call home. That is, until they allowed themselves to be open to the courage others have lived and shared. "Hiraeth" is a word that is Celtic in origin and it means looking for a place to belong that never existed. But this place does exist -- in the heart.

About the author

Carol Rose Daniels (GoldenEagle) is Cree/Dene with roots in Sandy Bay, northern Saskatchewan. She is a published novelist, poet, playwright, visual artist, and musician. She is the author of the award-winning novel Bearskin Diary (2015). A second novel, Narrows of Fear, is forthcoming in 2018. As a visual artist, her work has been exhibited in art galleries across Saskatchewan and Northern Canada. As a musician, a CD of women's drum songs, in which Carol is featured, was recently nominated for a Prairie Music Award. Before pursuing her art on a full-time basis, Carol worked as a journalist for more than 30 years in television and radio at APTN, CTV, and CBC. She lives in Regina.

Carol Rose Daniels (GoldenEagle)'s profile page


  • Short-listed, Saskatchewan Book Awards - Rasmussen, Rasmussen & Charowsky Indigenous Peoples' Writing Award

Excerpt: Hiraeth (by (author) Carol Rose Daniels (GoldenEagle))


pron. (here - eyeth)
(n.) a homesickness for a home to which
you cannot return, a home which maybe never was;
the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the
lost places of your past.

Unravelling Threads

Call yourself a mother?

could never bring yourself
to hold
this little brown hand
in public

always qualifying
with the words

she's adopted

spoken hurriedly

What will the neighbours think?

oh they better watch out
those Indians are nothing but trouble
will probably be hooker by the time she's 12
don't let your kids play with her
she probably has lice
they all do you know

no childhood should know
too many fist fights
trying to erase
the shameful word of squaw

while you sit on the sidelines

years later
I hear the drum
out of your reach
you have no control
it touches that beautiful part of my soul

a place where your cracks begin to show
and all the lies you told me have to go

I am brown
a Cree and proud
I sing strong
you cover your ears
to a truth
you do not want to hear

I am tired of pretending to be
someone I am not

I have found my spirit
and move forward
to the place I belong
away from your noise
and into the song

I shall dance

Grandmother Moon

Grandmother Moon speak to me
to help understand
things unseen
the sound of faerie voices
the Church calls it evil
it says the same about my people

like when I burn some sage
and say a prayer
get sent to confession
with rosary and veil

It is all so confusing
to be told I am wrong
the main reason
because I am brown

Grandmother Moon
help me to know
goodness and truth come from within
and that the Church is wrong
to call me a sinner

Stop all the noise
they plant in my head

they say our women are wicked
and so are our songs
they say everything about my people is wrong

I am
only five
too small to argue
too small to fight

Grandmother Moon help
nourish this spirit
before it is a shell
help me be brave and defiant
keep me well

keep me strong enough to walk alone
until such time
I can come home

I Am Proud

Perhaps it is just me but I can never figure out
why it is deplorable for a monias (white guy) to say mean things
but if a neechie (Indian guy) tells you a bald-faced lie
people believe and follow
as if it were gospel?

Like that Hoop Dancer who forbade me
and lied
you are never supposed to dance
because you grew up with the monias
you do not know how to show the proper respect
so you are not allowed to dance

It broke my heart and I cried
and what was my point of reference
on whether what he said was true
or just mean-spirited?
I didn't know any others... brown
I had been to only one pow wow

was so moved
called by the drum
something deep inside awoke and I cried then too
tears of joy...overwhelmed
as hundreds of the blessed moved

in harmony
in rhythm
with purpose and pride

so close to me
I could smell the smoke tan

I had no moccasins
but my dreams of belonging
at being told I am disrespectful
You aren't allowed to dance
you are too white even if your skin is brown

like I had a choice to be raised away from my own people?
they tore me from my Mother's arms the very day I was born
ever since I have been searching for a home

I found it here in this song
in the dance
only to be told...I am wrong

A few years later
sitting in prayer with Mooshum
feeding my spirit with smudge
he can feel a sadness within me

there is a pow wow tomorrow
Mooshum will raise his Eagle feather at Grand Entry

What is troubling you Little One?

The explanation had hidden herself...somewhere near my falsetto
reaching for the words
expressing my sorrow of what being a scooped kid means

I can never take part in the dance
I act too white
that is what I was told

Mooshum turns ashen
regaining his composure after reaching for an Eagle feather
amongst...sage...tobacco...and coloured cloths
he hands me the feather

If you want to dance
then dance
anyone can dance
come back to the Circle
make yourself an outfit
and always promise yourself this

That never again will you ask permission to be who you are


it is the colour of the dress I now wear

Editorial Reviews

"Hiraeth offers a generous, genuine, heartbreaking gift. Loving, defiant, dark, and triumphant, Carol Rose Daniels sings our homesick spirits out of harm's way. This collection is for all of us, but most especially for those taken, those found, and those still searching. Our nations need this book now more than ever. kinanaskomitin."
&mdashLisa Bird-Wilson, author of the award-winning Just Pretending

"Ripped from her culture as a child, Carol is haunted by the call of the drum. Full of heart and hard-won wisdom, these poems are a cry for a home that never was. Raised monias in an in-between world, Carol Rose Daniels comes to embrace her Nehiyaw roots."
--Lorri Neilsen Glenn, author of Following the River: Traces of Red River Women

"a fine offering from a woman whose life was deeply affected by the 1960's displacement of First Nations children and families. It is a poignant eposé of the invisible scars that remained on these young innocent hearts."
--Canadian Poetry Review

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