Kootenai Covenant

Deadwood reservoir (2)
As constant as the morning sun

burning the mist off Snowshoe Peak,

the Kootenai keep their covenant

with Quilxka Nupika,

who charged them

“to guard and keep the land forever.”

When white men came

with guns and threats,

treaties and disease,

the Kootenai refused to sign,

their promises to the Supreme Creator

already sealed in their hearts.

As stewards of the earth,

they watched over deer and antelope,

glided in sturgeon-nosed canoes

through lakes and rivers; and

harvested roots and berries

provided by the Creator-Spirit.

The People of the Standing Arrow still

sit silently by the swinging bridge,

listening for the whispers of the ancestors

and the sacred stillness of God,

that they may faithfully bear

the standard of fealty forever.



About Judy Grigg Hansen
I write poetry and nonfiction, and I am passionate about the people, places, and wildflowers of Idaho and the Northwest.

2 Responses to Kootenai Covenant

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: