Poetry and art by Cass Minkus

52 percent of kids

In the Canadian foster care system Are Indigenous.

Personal interest, princesses with pigtails, Trophies collecting dust.

He can’t pronounce my name, He refuses to learn,

So instead, he just calls me Indian.

Prisoners of a system,

That had killed our ancestors before. No longer kept in cages,

but behind a white man’s door.

Abused. Raped. Broken.

We are the colonizers’ leftovers.

My sister cries – Blood on her thighs,

Calling for home and hold.

Please tell me why, After all this time,

Do you still demand our souls?

Residential schools, Filled with ghouls.

Thanksgiving was a genocide. Lying in wait, digging graves, For the babies who fucking died.

Chanting, screaming, crying. I’m just causing a disturbance.

Prayers are worse than silence.

Empty promises, lack of prominence, Meaningless penance and self-righteousness. You think you did something. You did nothing.

Prayers are worse than silence.

We are the colonizers’ leftovers. Children saved for another day.

It’s the way things go, bigger fish to fry, Letting the chips fall where they may.

Turning a blind eye Is ruining lives

Of the children you claim to love.

We’re in so much pain, swinging from his chain – Stop waiting for changes from above.

Activism for fame. Activism for gain.

If every child matters, Then make me believe it,

And protect the ones that remain.

I dream

Of a clear blue stream, Hearths burning red,

And green fields budding with clover…

Remember our faces, learn our names, We are the colonizers’ leftovers.