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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday July 15th 2024

Even though you can’t see us, we never left


From Bdote rise Wic’ahpi Oyate
From the sky to the waters, the Star people rise
From the birthplace of the people
38 plus 2, their spirits ride
September 22, 1862
Emancipation Proclamation
‘on this day…all people held as slaves
Shall be free…’

December 26, 1862
‘Anxious to not act with so much clemency…
nor with so much severity as to be real cruelty…
I ordered…’

38 plus 2 Dakota hung
From Mississippi Bluffs to Bde Maka Ska
Their warrior spirit’s ride
At Cloud Man’s Village, rest
Their people exiled
to the prairies of the west
38 plus 2, their spirits ride
East to west, now back again

In plain sight, in exile
Great-great-grandsons, soul weary, sit in Denny’s
brush black strands of hair
Off foreheads lined with prison worry
They don’t let on they can hear
38 plus 2, horse hooves clack
Journeying east to west
Great-great-granddaughters from Little Earth
Push great-great-great grandbaby in strollers across
the Martin Sabo Bridge, exiled, in plain sight,
Car-less, without a credit card for
An uber or a lyft, they stroll to shop at Hi-Lake
The breath of 38 plus 2, provide security
Riding on the wind, east to west
And back again

The city burns
Men and women warriors, exiled in plain sight, rise
Men and women sing
Spirit songs, the AIM song
38 plus 2, in the smoke you can see
From the sky to the waters the Star people rise

Look for a new book of poetry, ‘Anishinaabe Songs for the New Millennium’, in Spring, 2024 (University of Minnesota Press).

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