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I Am Canadian by Duke Redbird

This sixty line poem celebrates the peoples of Canada, and was presented to Queen Elizabeth at her Silver Jubilee in 1977. Ojibwa Elder Duke Redbird is a poet, writer, and entertainment reporter for CITY TV.

I’m a lobster fisherman in Newfoundland
I’m a clambake in P.E.I.
I’m a picnic, I’m a banquet
I’m mother’s homemade pie


I’m a few drafts in a Legion hall in Fredericton
I’m a kite-flyer in Moncton
I’m a nap on the porch after a hard day’s work is done


I’m a snowball fight in Truro, Nova Scotia
I’m small kids playing jacks and skipping rope
I’m a mother who lost a son in the last Great War
And I’m a bride with a brand new ring
And a chest of hope


I’m an Easterner
I’m a Westerner
I’m from the North
And I’m from the South
I’ve swam in two big oceans
And I’ve loved them both.


I'm a clown in Quebec during carnival
I'm a mass in the cathedral of St. Paul
I'm a hockey game in the forum
I'm Rocket Richard and Jean Beliveau


I'm a coach for little league Expos
I'm a babysitter for sleep defying rascals
I'm a canoe trip down the Ottawa
I'm a holiday on the Trent
I'm a mortgage, I'm a loan
I’m last week’s unpaid rent


I’m Yorkville after dark
I’m a walk in the park
I’m a Winnipeg gold-eye
I’m a hand-made trout fly
I’m a wheat-field and a sunset
Under a prairie-sky


I’m Sir John A. MacDonald
I’m Alexander Graham Bell
I’m a pow-wow dancer
And I’m Louis Riel


I’m the Calgary Stampede
I’m a feathered Sarcee
I’m Edmonton at night
I’m a bar-room fight


I’m a rigger, I’m a cat
I’m a ten-gallon hat
And an unnamed mountain in the interior of B.C.
I’m a maple tree and a totem pole
I’m sunshine showers
And fresh-cut flowers


I’m a ferry boat ride to the IslandI’m the Yukon
I’m the Northwest Territories
I’m the Arctic Ocean and the Beaufort Sea
I’m the Prairies, I’m the Great Lakes
I’m the Rockies, I’m the Laurentians


I am French
I am English
And I'm Métis
But more than this
Above all this
I am Canadian and proud to be free.



A proud poem by my friend, the Shaman, published in school books across the country and around the world. Frankly, I believe his poem was plagiarized by the ad agency for the beer company. If you recall it sounded similar. However, Duke left it alone as the decent human being he is. But if it was my poem... well now... I would still be a Canadian... but with my royalties I'd be on the road to red-rock Sedona, Arizona for winter, where I'd be sitting by a cactus and my tepee and writing more prose. Occasionally, I'd throw rocks at the coyote that would give me that beady-eyed look as if I was the thief of words.


Published on: 2008-08-09 (24989 reads)

submitted by: Canadaka

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