Poetry by Danya Peters

imageSome moving poetry that tackles emotional subject matter by Danya Peters. Danya a member of the Chawathil First Nation comes from Nle’kepmx and Sto:lo ancestry.


“I wrote one (a poem) called First Nations and it was just asking why they won’t let us live how we want and why they kept trying to bury our culture.”

First Nations

Look me in the eyes, I respect.
Listen to my words, there’s truth.
Let me speak my language, I won’t harm.

Let me roll my eyes, I’ll apologize.
Let me have my doubts, I’ll trust.
Let me raise my children, I can.

Let me hang my head, I make mistakes.
Let me feel sad, I’ll recover.
Let me drum and sing, I’ll heal.
Let me burn my sage, I’ll smudge.

Let me grow my hair, my spirit.
Let me walk away, I’m finished.
Let me live me my culture, I’ll survive.

Take me by the hand , I’m lost and
accept me for who I am, I’m human.
Take these oppressive bricks off my shoulders,
I belong.


“for all the Missing and Murdered Women from the Downtown east side because they deserve a voice”


I was born a woman
It was not by a pick of a draw.
It’s a gift from the creator
Being a woman is not a flaw

It doesn’t mean you are better than me,
You are only just a man.
It doesn’t make me any less than you
I can do everything you can.

Nature is really beyond my control,
Nor is it up to you.
So please don’t discriminate against me,
You could have been a woman too.

There are many types of us out there
Some women are good and some bad.
There are many types of men as well,
So we shouldn’t make you so mad.

Why do you take our valuable lives?
Because you think that we don’t deserve to live?
Why do you try and get rid of us
After all the things we give.

Without us, you could not have children,
And without us you could not love.
But you do not really seem to care,
Because power is all you think of.

Unfortunately there is not much that I can do,
But stand back and wait.
Because you will always have an opinion of me
And so far it has always been hate.

I can keep asking you questions,
But you probably cannot say why.
But, I am a woman, forever and it is
Not a reason for me to have to die.


Danya Peters, Chawathil First Nation

Next entry: “Us and Them” at the Cultch

Previous entry: Aboriginal Films at the VIFF part 2 “People of a Feather”