Saturday, March 10, 2018

I am not a number

The following is a poem inspired by the text  I Am Not A Number by First Nations member Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer as well as research on the horrors of life in residential schools in the rarely discussed bleak years of Canadian history.

This is my story
But I am not a number 
I am a human 
Although  they thought I was a commodity 

They removed me from my family 
Took me to a residential school 
They called it assimilation 
Civilizing the savage 

I faced dreaded events 
Also witnessed the horror 
I saw clergy  who worshiped  Christ 
Sexually molesting my brothers and sisters 

It was cultural genocide
They took away our identity 
If we spoke our native language 
We faced severe punishment 

We underwent humiliation 
Beatings and  piercing of tongues
Isolation and  shaving of heads
That took our dignity away 

So this is my story 
This is what they  did to us 
It may not be in the history books  
But this is what truly happened

I am old now 
I am destitute and wasted 
I am a survivor  
But I am not a number 

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge 

1 comment:

Appreciate your constructive and meaningful comments

Find Us On Facebook