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Poem: Haida Gwaii

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I have travelled the world and been to every continent, and yet the one place in the world that etched its place in my heart forever was Haida Gwaii; The land of the Haida people and the most majestical place on earth. In between the British Columbia coast and the most treacherous ocean on the planet and more ship wrecks than people, there is Haida Gwaii.

Haida Gwaii

The mist shrouded you like a mystical wonder,

Your white peaks scraped the skies

Coasts carved by fierce force

Juan Perez wondered and left

The others left sorrow

White man traded you blankets in peace,

So they say,

as they wiped out your people with scorn and disease

Missionaries moved you away from culture that lay

So you would be saved

Only to have crosses carved on your graves

 Land of enchantment, reconciliation and hope

Destiny is weighted by the cultures that cope

Monster trees gobble the past

The spirits and treasures are all that last

Be it under the mosses, or the sacrilegious crosses

What comes from the earth goes go back to her,

Reconciling losses

The spirits are watching with unwavering stares,

as today’s Haida children sing, dance and care;

Stories alive and forged on the future

Cleaning up from the past of the evil preachers

For yesterday’s stories were of death and scorn,

Haida Gwaii of today is being reborn

As our boat roared, pulling away from the berth

My heart was heavy, to see the remains of history going back to the earth.

I could see the giant Sitka Spruce scraping the sky

Hearing the drums of the spirits saying good-bye

Haida Gwaii forever, and forever is now

The mist covered you once again, from the view of the bow

Carl Meadows,

June 20, 2010

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I was born June 13, 1967. I was raised in the town of Port Coquitlam, BC within metro Vancouver. I was a non-conventional boy winning awards for choreography, dance, and led many school performance numbers before grade 6. I also competed as a figure skater and was notorious for doing cart wheels on the ice. I was bullied all through my school years and ended up going to 3 different High Schools and didn't graduate from High School as a result. This was the era of no Gay Rights in Canada. I struggled with visibility, identity and self-esteem. I am one of the lucky survivors as most of my friends died of AIDS or committed suicide. I am a prolific Poet. I graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1993 and it was one of the proudest achievements in my lifetime as it defied all those folks who said I wasn't enough. It taught me that despite hardships, I could overcome insurmountable challenges. I am committed to making the world more compassionate and doing my part by celebrating LGBT contributions to the world. Every year my husband and I host a Fall Gala for 'Out in Schools' called the 'Carl and Les Fall Gala. Part of this vision is to make sure every student in BC has the opportunity to see their self worth through LGBTQ visibility, support and action to make the world safe for everyone. I am President for the Foundation of Hope whose vision is "a world where LGBT+ refugees can live safely and be themselves". We also support a Film Series at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival called "Migrant Voices" that raises awareness of issues surrounding Refugees, Immigrants, Asylum seekers and Migrants. In my professional life, I am a Registered Nurse and a Health Services Administrator in Health Care. I live with my husband and our dog Ted.

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