DOROTHY

by  Marilyn McAllister

A quiet woman

I took her to be withdrawn, resigned perhaps ...

but no,

Dorothy was a dancer, a singer, a fighter
giving voice to the pain and injustice

being frail

I imagined her cautious ... pensive perhaps,

but no,

she was strong, persuasive, determined
fighting for Native culture and identity

being naive ...

I hadn’t recognized her as a leader, a teacher ...

but yes!

Dorothy taught in universities, in shelters, in prisons
her presence a source of strength and inspiration

being modest

she never spoke of her accomplishments ...

instead,

she created a safe and sacred space
for those in need of healing

Having been given
‘The Order of Canada’ in 1978,
Dorothy Francis
pursued her work
in Human Rights, Prison Reform,
Missing Children ...
until her death in 1990