o canada

this land rich with resources

oil, the blood, extracted

gold, the treasure, extracted

diamonds, a girl’s best friend, extracted

people came from far and wide

to disgrace you

O Canada

your rivers once ran free

your lakes once ran clear

your oceans once ran with the mighty salmon

now, the water is brown

backed up with waste

nuclear and sewage,

O Canada

people rise up

together they stand, united

like the many strands of hair

braided, they are one

people cry out in protest

a plea to use reason

and common sense

to stop the clear-cutting

to stop the destruction of sacred land

to stop the extracting of oil

to stop the contamination of the water

O Canada

the people are protesting

and are targeted by the police

who attack from horse back

and from behind black shields they pepper spray

and drag them down to prison

in plastic hand cuffs

because they are standing up for their human rights

the people are still protesting the dumping of mercury

in Grassy Narrows,

the tar sands extracting whatever they can in Alberta,

the streets in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal

Ottawa and all the places in between,

the people are rising, O Canada

men are taken for a ride by the RCMP

in the middle of the night

they are left on the side of the road

in the middle of winter

anyone who knows you, O Canada

knows that the winters are cold

frost bite freezes beneath the skin

and the men are carved in snow

O Canada, women are missing across the land

no one sees them, they are shadows that disappear

in the first ray of light, no one hears them

screaming, yelling, pleading for help, muffled by busy streets

aunties, sisters, mothers, daughters, and

grandmothers are missing, are murdered on your land

O Canada, is this the land of the true north and free?

O Canada, the water is contaminated

in Kashechewan, and the people broke out in a severe rash

like a wild fire spread across the community

and this happens in many first nations

water is a human right  a treaty right

and a treaty right a human right

O Canada!

there is a grandmother walking

around the great lakes

the rivers, the creeks

and people are joining her from the four directions

they are praying, they are protecting

the rights of Water

this human right for everyone

we are all treaty people

yet the people are gathering, O Canada

they are here to listen, O Canada

to share, O Canada

to witness stories, O Canada

of many living here in Canada,

O, we are here, Canada.