By: Charlene Bearhead, Co-Chair of the Downie/Wenjack Fund and Leg 9 Participant


You’ve come here in search of me
And yet you hesitate.
You draw me in as close as you can
But only through the lens
Of your camera

You wonder at the appearance of my returned gaze
As if it is only you who can see
You look deep in my eyes to affirm your belief
But you plunge headlong
Into the blackwater depths of my soul
Shooting over the glacial slopes of your mind.

You grasp at the blackness to slow your descent
The cold arctic winds howl your name
Nothing seems real, you’re out of control
Fear gripping your heart and sucking your breath

You desperately kick out
Your quivering legs
Repelling yourself from the cliffs of your thoughts.

Force open your eyes and it’s suddenly clear,
It’s not I that you fear –
But yourself.

Your arctic adventure is not about me,
Or the sea
Or the ice
Or the whales.
You came to the arctic seeking me, the Nanuq
In my eyes and this place you’ve found self.