Literature | They Don’t Like Indians


they stopped delivering our paper


my dad marched into their office

and demanded to know

whether it was because

they didn’t like Jews

they didn’t like Indians

or because he failed some punk kid

delivery-boy in his Grade 9 Art class

“If you don’t start delivering

our effing paper” my dad said,

maybe not in these words, but

in not-so-many words,

“I’m going to pull our advertising,

out of your god-damned paper”

finger pointed in the air.

We’re now getting our paper again

but I can only wonder,

for how long?

Missing and Murdered

There is a highway, in Canada

called the “Highway of Tears”,

so many Women

have Gone Missing

or been Murdered,

along the 800 kilometer stretch of road

they call it “The 

Highway Of Tears”,

582 Aboriginal Women, have

Gone Missing, or been Murdered

since 1980*

I can’t help wondering

How things would be different, if

582 White Women, went Missing

or were Murdered

Would it make a difference?

I can’t help wondering

Why the lives, of my Mom, Grandmother,

Sisters, Aunts, Daugh

ters, Nieces –

are Less important?

So Many Women,

have gone Missing

or been murdered

It Is Not Safe

to be a Woman, or an Aboriginal Woman

In THIS Country,

Because their lives, have less value.     


 *Sisters in Spirit

THE Rybovski’s

5 kids: Dave, Steve, Irene, Mary, & Ziggy

–they all survived the war–

their parents owned a dancing studio in Poland

they were the “Arthur Murray” of Lodz

(“who?”  I ask)

Irene was a dancer too,

I saw her dance once, at some social function.

She could really dance.

Dave, is the one with the numbers Tattooed on his arm

Steve, drove a cab in New York,

Said he would never have children

too afraid he’d go insane some day:

When he was a child

the Nazi’s used to  revive him

after they killed him








I wonder, what they were looking for?

Some secrets of the after-life?

I wonder what he saw when he died?

–the Nazi’s were meticulous in their records–

Is it awful that I want to know what they found?

I wonder if the records of his torture still exist

hidden away somewhere in some file.

only one or two

out of the whole batch of children they did this to


he was one of the lucky ones.

lucky guy


Nathan Adler is an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe)/Jewish writer and artist.  His painting “Flying Bird” is pictured at the top of  this page. Nathan was the first place winner of the 2010 Aboriginal Writing Challenge, he has had his writing published in Redwire magazine, Canada’s History magazine, and as a part of the Odemin Giizis Festival.  He is currently working as a glass artist, and is a member of Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation.  (He has a twin brother named Howard who also has a submission in this issue of Indigenous Shtetl).