Nine Foot Wooden Poles
By Emiline H.
(Honourable Mention – Youth Category)
I took a step towards my family tipi, breathed out my fear, and stared at the number in the grass. Three hundred seven. What a great number.
Today is the day. The day where I stand proud and tall, presenting my heritage to people in the dark. This is a celebration. A celebration of a way of life. A celebration of a culture that could have disappeared. A celebration of Canada. “Yes, Ma’am. The eagle is the most sacred bird, as they fly the highest, close to the Creator.” My first visitor stopped by. She seemed to be very interested in the symbols and patterns embedded in the once-alive buffalo hide cover of the nine foot wooden poles. “Every mark tells a story. Here we see the great bear, the protector. His spirit lives on, in here.” I put my hand to my chest and closed my eyes, imagining the mighty grizzly that stands brave and strong. “In our hearts.”
Today is the day. The day where I stand proud and tall, presenting my heritage to people in the dark. There is a celebration, but more than just any festival. This is the Calgary Stampede.