In heart-wrenching detail, Louise Halfe recalls the damage done by the residential schools to her parents, her family, and herself in her new poetry collection. Coming April 2016. Order your copy at www.coteaubooks.com.
"And on another time / after a women’s night sweat, / lying in the dry grass / I saw / my grandmother, my auntie, my mother / my sister, my daughter and me / faces walking in her celestial light." - Excerpt from Solstice – the flame by Louise Bernice Halfe. Photograph: Four generations. Louise's mother on the left, her grandmother holding her niece Dawn Half-Reid and her brother Peter Ivan Half.
"Have you heard a buffalo snort and paw? A bear grunt? / A goose honking from the lake? / Watched a horse flick its tail and dance? / Or seen an oriole flash orange in the trees? / Felt hornet’s sting? / She was all of these, that was my mother. / I knew her no other way." Photograph: Wedding of Louise Halfe's mother and father. November 4, 1939.
"This book is dedicated to my children, Usne Josiah Butt and Omeasoo Wahpasiw as well as my grandsons Josiah Kesic Butt and Alistair Aski Butt." - Dedication, from Burning in this Midnight Dream. Photograph: Josiah Kesic is holding the book, Alistair Aski is looking on.