Stark beauty of Koksoak River near Ungava Bay in Nunavik, Arctic Quebec.
Stark beauty of Koksoak River near Ungava Bay in Nunavik, Arctic Quebec.

Holy Father, sustainer of life, I seek your
Wisdom on banks of Koksoak River, to
Raise my concerns, as our language and
Culture gradually diminish, I cling to our
Old ways, to your guiding force.

In days before my eye sight dimmed, you
Guided us to animals for the hunt. Today,
We use float planes, flying over our lakes.
There is no soul, yet there is money to
Sustain ourselves with qallunaat hunters.

I ask our young men and women to pray
Over dead animals, to give reverence to
Animal spirits, but they hear me not, too
Proud to bend one knee. As life-lights
Leave their eyes, their spirits die in vain.

My solace is to walk edge of the treeline,
My symbol of change, retreating conifers,
Vanishing old ways, yet today I feel your
Presence on Ungava shores, I hear your
Voice whispering amongst these trees.

Here, Holy Breather, you restore my soul,
Providing reassurance that I, Jacopee, have
Served you and the people well, that young
People will revive our culture, language,
And press for self-governance.

Guide them I pray, to resist pressures from
Outside, resist those who will lead them
Astray, and that they may find my journals
And prayers, new age of awakening and
Spiritual revival of our people.

To scudding clouds, to darting seabirds, to
Barren-land caribou, to bones and souls of
Ancestors, this is my prayer, that we con-
Tinue to walk in your ways, to be protected
In your light, to hear and heed voices of
Ancient Ones, Holy Breather of Life, Amen.

For elder Jacopee, the treeline is a holy place where he can contemplate and pray, spiritual transition from concerns of worldly life to stark isolation, seeking divine guidance whilst wandering glacier-scarred gneiss rock and lichen-covered boulders. In Ungava Bay region, gneiss rock dates ~4 billion years BP, a wondrous place to seek divine.  For more on the treeline-timberline, see this link: 

For more on Jacopee and his spiritual writings, see this link:

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