Breath whispering the talitha-cum,
the rise-up to every single child
hidden for so very long,
we pray for every survivor
of those precious ones found in unmarked graves
in Marieval Indian Residential School.
We pray for families shattered and grieving
and we pray for those responsible
to share this terrible
yet all-too-expected news.
We pray for those who lived
to escape the schools,
awash in their own memories,
that they may feel no survivors’ guilt,
and for those remembering
tales parents and grandparents told,
and the losses in family life,
and in passing on gifts of culture
and many stories.
We pray for ongoing searching
and the toll on those who find graves,
for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations,
for all people of Saskatchewan,
for all indigenous and Métis people in Canada,
perhaps unable even to move today
and especially for Cowessess First Nation.
Knowing that I am not one to know
how to pray, grieving, I pray.
I acknowledge this prayer is first prayed on the homelands of Abenaki people who have lived in the place now called New Hampshire more than 12,000 years, being part of the larger group of Indigenous people naming themselves Wabanaki, “People of the Dawn.”