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Honor the Artist, a poem by Alanis Obomsawin

The artist is the voice of the country
For a long time, it seems
There was a war
Everything was afraid
Many of our people were sleeping
The land, waters, the air, and animals were troubled.

The artist kept on working.

The prophecies are now coming true
Our young are the seventh generation
Making a difference as they prepare
The grounds for the next seven generations to come.

The artist is inspired and stronger than ever
The children have a place in the world again.

Honor the artist.

The basket maker dyes her splints of ash in many colors
They hang on the line to dry
They curl and dance with the wind
There is magic in the air
The children can dream.

The basket maker braids the sweet grass
It's the hair of our Mother the Earth
There is a fragrance of comfort in the air
The children are strong.

She begins to weave her basket
A new song is heard
There is love in the air
The children feel affection from the Great Spirit.

The basket is round
It holds many sacred feelings
From the hands of the weaver
Beautiful children touch the basket
They receive a vision for the future.

Honor the artist.

Alanis Obomsawin
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
March 1, 1995