Little One

© Maria Dunn, 2015

Indigenous people who are Survivors of the Canadian government’s long-running residential school system (1883 – 1990s) have shown great courage in sharing with all Canadians, through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the abuses that they suffered as children in these schools. Thank you to these Survivors for their tremendous contribution towards understanding and reconciliation.


You are that little one
Sacred as the morning sun
In your mother’s arms
Your father’s heart the same
Taken from your family
By brutal, bared, bureaucracy
Instead of opening your mind
They shut you up in shame

You are that little one – hold on

What child denied her mother tongue
Underfed and preyed upon
Who among us could survive
A stripping to our soul?
In waves of rage that rock you now
Any other might have drowned
But you’re still here
Determined to be whole

You are that little one – hold on
You are beloved – hold on

How slow to open up our eyes
Say out loud “we spun those lies”
Sorry’s but a start upon the road
It’s not enough
Until we walk the path that shows
To every child who suffers so
Your life matters
You are truly loved


Maria Dunn vocal, acoustic guitar
Jeremiah McDade bansuri
Solon McDade upright bass
Eric Breton frame drum