Art and Poetry

Indians were the first poets in the Americas, they named their children and everything else with great vision, sensitivity, and respect for nature.
Canada by the renowned Ojibwe artist  James Mishibinijima

Acryclic on Canvas 24″ x 40″
© James Mishibinijima (





As we zig zag the 

US and Canada border 

from Maine to Seattle 

and into Alaska 


We travel through Native lands 

families and friends separated 

long lines of cars and trucks 

on land and bridges 

close communities 



Passports to be shown 

sunglasses off 

those with a DUI 

cannot cross over 

even as passengers 

or ever again 

I heard it said 


Sometimes it’s a long trek 

other times not 

Reservations and Reserves 

two separate lands 

on one border 

or another 


Veteran Elders come 

to participate 

at Eagle Staff gatherings 

some well into their 90’s 


Regalia and bundles 

inside the car 

the border patrol 

depending who you get 

know better now 

to not go through them 


Officers with good training 

have learned to respect 

the ways and traditions 

different from theirs 


Indigenous men 

women and children 

come to participate 

in a pow wow 

a celebration 

a sacred circle 

on the other side


First Nations go south 

Native Americans go north 

First Alaskans go east 

Northern First Nations go west 


To participate and celebrate 

to give thanks for each other 

the earth 

the land and waters 

animals and trees 

stories from another time 


Everything done in a circle 

intricately sewn regalia 

headdresses, jingle dresses 

made with feathers, beads 

and the hide of buffalo 

caribou, deer, and seal 


Songs and traditions 

from long ago 

to say we are one 

in a circle


with no borders

Ziibinkokwe, Turtle Clan (Patricia LeBon Herb)





A turtle crawled up a rock on

Mackinaw Island

It faced east

It faced south

It faced west

It faced north

Then went back into







Ziibinkokwe, Turtle Clan (Patricia LeBon Herb)