Pontiac’s speech to the whiteman


Fifth Estate # 368-369, Spring-Summer, 2005

Out of the blue sky, out of

the waters, out of the woods, of the deer,

the beaver, the bush, the bird flies, out

of my people, the blood, out of

so many moons in this place a man

cannot count them, out of

grace with the Great Spirit who

gave us this land, you seek

to push us.


At night, in my dreams,

already I smell you: I smell

your railroads, your sawmills,

my mother’s hair burning in the forest. I

smell these things in my dreams.

I see that Chrysler plant you intend

over the graves of my people. You

cannot fool me! I am the

land you seek, I am the supple

bowing of the branches, I am the leaves,

waving a warning to my young men,

I have the strength

of all the roots in the forest

under me, the fox and the bear

and the hawk and the badger

have given me their skills,

all things and creatures

in the forest have given me what is theirs

for I have given them my spirit, I have, since

the Great Spirit first placed us here, I have

trod with respect and care over

my mother’s flesh, over

this land.


All this! All this! All this!

you will have to push out, you white men,

you weak, pale-faced, rum drinking,

cowards, you who have not been able to

manage your own affairs in your own land,

you who come now to desecrate mine.

Ahhh, this is your last chance, you bastards,

get the fuck out NOW!


or forever be food

for the wrath of the forest people.


I know

in my dreams, I know your perverse

power, your guns and your

driven multitudes of paid and punished

warriors, and I know in my dreams,

against you my branches may break,

my leaves may be burned, my fur

singed and bleeding in the bitter cold

of your ways, and my heart bleeds, my roots

squirm and heave with these apprehensions,


but I hear, in my dreams I hear

over the clamor of your Fords, over

the cries of your powdery women in

your department stores over the

shriek of the mutilated forest itself, I hear


another tongue, my tongue

in another’s mouth, in my dreams I hear

the triumph of my forest speech

in another time, and it says, it

screams with a vengeance,


–Dave Sinclair 1968

“in Detroit–land of the Ottawas and Wyandottes”

Reprinted from the Warren-Forest Sun, April 19, 1968 and from FE #332, Summer 1989