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By Dr. Brigham

One would come the story foretold
Who will raise an eagle feather
At a sacred place
It will be when our people need help the most
Things will change for the better

The sacred place hidden
Buried under obscurity 
By hordes of newcomers
Meech Lake Accord—stopped by an eagle feather
The sequence is timeless

The eagle feather travels
From the north to the people
Changing from respectful and willing hands
To the one for whom it is intended
And so part one of the story unfolds

Denied love, peace, security
By those seeking it
The tears of the children salt the earth
Residential schools attack the spirit
Of all taken, yet some survive

YouTube Mt. Elgin Survivors Elijah Harper speaks of the dreamer
She sees his path—past and future

The death of an eagle
And so part two of the story unfolds

The children’s tears of times past
Ignite the spirit
Idle No More—they say with resolve
As the sun heals Turtle Island
A generation figures out 
What “put the screech to Meech” is about

Your spirit will soar again
Elijah Harper—says the Dreamer
Strength, Courage, Respect, and Love all matter
At the city of the hill
The eagle passed over as foretold by the Dreamer
The Turtle shook—and a legend was born


By Dr. Brigham

I was asked to recall the most profound convocation speaker that I have ever heard. Actually, there is only one---Ms. Rosa Parks.

The graduation ceremony was held in a stadium attended by several thousand students. We all saw the huge screens displaying images from the civil rights movement of the 1960s. After an impressive and iconic introduction, a small figure took the stage. She thanked the person making the introduction, and began her narrative.

"I'm Rosa Parks and I do remember the day credited to me as starting the civil rights movement. For me, it was an ordinary day. At the time I was young, working a low paying job as Black folks did back then. On that day, my feet hurt and my legs were tired, and I was making my way back home on the bus. There was an empty seat so I sat down, and I decided that no one was going to make me get up. Problem was the seat was in a section where Blacks were not allowed to sit. And the rest is history."

Then rhetorically, she asked "So what does this mean for you?" Quite simply Rosa said "that as you graduate and leave here, you will do things in your ordinary life that will be profound. And in doing those things, you will change the world."

The moment was transformative for me. It was set against the backdrop of an accumulation of classes, readings, research, analysis, discourse, and engagement. I started to see myself as making a difference. From then on, most things that I do, are because I think that I am making a difference. Rosa Parks said "you will change the world" and I believed her.