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Aboriginal Arts & Stories - Echoes of Tamarack

Echoes of Tamarack

2007 - Writing Winner

Gummy sap seeps from its bark and tastes delicious on our tongues. Its roots are used to bind and tie together. Inner bark cleanses and purifies moving our inner worlds.

Read Candace Brunette's Echoes of Tamarack

Candace Brunette

Toronto, ON
Age 29

Author's Statement

Candace Brunette is a 29-year old woman of Omushkego Cree and French Canadian ancestry. She was born and raised in northern Ontario - a place where the stories of her ancestors continue to live beneath the landscape she calls home. Candace is an emerging Indigenous female artist - poet and playwright who aims to privilege the body in her writing process. Candace recently presented her second play a work-in-progress entitled 'Old Truck' at the Weesageechuk Festival in Toronto. She is also a graduate student at the University of Toronto where she is currently enroled in the Masters of Arts program in the Faculty of Education. Candace wishes to conduct her research in Aboriginal context focusing on decolonizing the body and somatic education (learning through the body).

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Echoes of Tamarack

The persistence of memory lies in survival.
In a moment where stillness and silence
give voice to warm soft winds blowing
whispering words that guide craftsman to listen.

Today locals exhibit tiny treasures
carefully laid out on portable folding tables
set up in anticipation for the 4 o’clock train.

Across the gravel road
water taxis transport people
boarding at the clay banks
bringing back and forth
from island to mainland.

The moisture in the air
releases vapors from its oily pores
woody musk like scents
surface in the wind

Aromas persuade us to notice
its burnt orange and russet brown tones
highlighted by the rays of the sun.

These swamp babies are gathered seasonally
when branches shed deciduous pine needles
revealing scaly egg like cones.

Gummy sap seeps from its bark
and tastes delicious on our tongues.
Its roots are used to bind and tie together.
Inner bark cleanses and purifies
moving our inner worlds.

These bunches of tamarack branches
are fused together
telling stories of survival
past and present
forming miniature bird like creatures
with no wings to fly.

Across the craft table
tourists admire them
imagining the pretend birds
as decoration in their lavish homes
soaring from their ceilings
nestled on their coffee tables.

They imagine them
even though yesterday
tamarack birds were used
as life size decoys to hunt.

Today
they still feed our families.

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