Constellation Prize

History of Indigenous Art in Canada | The Canadian Encyclopedia

The figure on the mountain knew
Far higher than the eagle flew
Beyond the sun and past the light
Were men who crossed the sky by night.
Soon after dusk their fires appeared
Then slowly, once a course was steered
Their caravan set out en masse
To make its empyreal pass.


Like beasts migrating on the plains
Like swarms that form to greet the rains
He found no word for the amount
Of travelers he sought to count.
A gallery would pass him by
Whose outlines seemed to signify
Proud emblems of a noble clan
Led by an even a greater man.


The bearing, always east to west
Suggested they were on a quest
Or maybe searching for a door
They’d passed through in a time before.
And so each night he danced and prayed
Around the fire he had made
In hope his kin might see its glow
Then show him all he wished to know.


So with the last beat from his breast
Great Spirit granted this request
And drew his outline in the sky
That men as he should never die

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