Six Nations of the Grand River
She:kon, sken:nen. Nikaronhya’a yon’kyats. Kanienkeha’ka ne I:I, wakskaré:wake, ta:non Ohswekenron:on.
Hello, greeting/ peace/ well-being/ tranquility. My name is Nikaronhya’a which translates into something like “Little Blue Sky.” Mohawk is my nation, I am Bear Clan, and I am from Ohsweken or Six Nations of the Grand River.
The poem that I have wrote is entitled “(Re)-Conciliation.” Over the past couple years, the relationship between Indigenous nations and the Canadian government has been affected by a number of different occurrences in mainstream society. The apology given by Stephen Harper June 2008 was viewed differently among certain Indigenous groups. Myself, I felt like the apology amounted to very little in my eyes. Actions speak louder than words and this is the exact notion I am portraying in my writing piece.
After June 2008, Idle No More and other resistance movements were established widely across Canada. This goes to show that there is a lot more work to be done in our Indigenous communities and our relationship with the colonial state still needs to addressed and readdressed.
I chose to title this poem (Re)conciliation to get at the notion of our relationships actually staring with true conciliation and the need for working and reworking this relationship between these two parties. It is an ongoing process that takes more than just words and one-time discussions.