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Moon Rising - Cassia Tremblay

Updated: Jun 24

Moon rising over water

totems in the park

an eagle soaring highly

the soft call of signing lark


We choose to only notice beauty

see only what we see fit

I think you might agree

knowing only one dimension

while I’m preparing to live in three


There are different ways to learn

and I’ve read, and wrote, and talked

about indigeneity in shared society

But still I haven’t walked the walk


I could say that sage between fingers at the edge of juniper berries is prayer

because I’ve read it once before

But would that be responsible

or even true, or fair?


I could reflect on residential schooling

splitting culture at the seams

cascading to red dresses hung from trees

But that draws lines that are far straighter than the truth really seems


I could think about the sweat lodges my Wabanaki friends have run

or how they talk about a healing relationship with the sun

But that was on the east coast

and this is on the west

to paint with such broad strokes would be dangerous at best


I try not to make assumptions

about health, wealth or otherwise

another lived experience

isn’t mine to idealize


Open and accepting

seems the only way to be

to thank a new community

who is proving to be open and accepting of my colleagues and me



This poem was written as a reflective exercise in preparation for the First Nations Community Education Program, which is a participatory experience in cultural learning and community teachings. It probed my expectations, and their origins, prior to travelling to the northern Indigenous community of Lower Post.



Artist bio: As a final year UBC medical student, Cassia believes stories are essential to understanding and supporting the health of individuals and communities. 

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