(Bob Ruzicka)


In the time before Mackenzie’s birch canoes had found the sea

Muskox roamed the barren lands, the caribou ran free

Long before the whalers brought their blonde hair and their rum

No one heard of Jesus Christ and no one heard of guns


The Loucheux, Dogrib, Hareskin, Cree and coastal Eskimos

Left each other’s dead lying face down in the snow

Survival was the only goal that they could understand

Wandering like gypsies in a cold unfriendly land




For a land that’s rich and free as this could not be left alone

Strangers from a strange land came and claimed it for their own


First came the fair-skinned Scotsmen trading furs for Hudson ’s Bay

Then French and Belgian Fathers talking about the judgement day

Over land and over water came the wise men and the fools

Drawn by a land that never played by anybody’s rules

Insane dreams of instant wealth beneath the barren ground

The outstretched hands of dead men grasped for gold they never found




The built their towns and cities, built their hospitals and schools

Brought their clocks, their calendars, their strange laws and their rules

People left their hunting trails and came in off the land

To try and live a way of life they couldn’t understand

Degraded by their welfare and destroyed by alcohol

If you’re not one or the other, you’re not anything at all




For a people proud and free as this could not be left alone

Now they’re strangers in a strange land that they used to call their home


Copyright 1973 – TRO PUBLISHING