"There is a western soul in Jim's heart and his music reflects it. Sometimes he gets lost in that place where his music takes him, the fun is he takes us with him."
Donna Meyers, Past Owner, Memories Inn, Longview, AB
VIDEO in concert with Edmonton Professional Chamber Choir PROCORO CANADA
THE GATHER - words and music by Jim Reader
* an example of the visual impact with lyrics *
A POEM of insight into the massive lifestyle challenge faced by First Nations peoples:
The End of the Buffalo
(The Indigenous Boy)
by Jim Reader
Before the cows and ranchers came
The indigenous boy would hunt for small game
But he was a mite too young to go
With older folks on the hunt for Buffalo.
Oh, but at the village there was work to do
When the hunt was over-and-done
From buffalo they wasted nothing
The meat, the bones and even the tongue
The hide to keep them warm of course
Through winter’s many moons
The meat was their survival
From the bones they’d make their spoons.
The indigenous boy had learned to live
With winter’s snow and summer rains
And now was tough and ready
For the buffalo that roamed the plains.
But the buffalo’d been disappearing
The herds were few and rare
The reality was devastating
Indeed, the plains were bare.
So the life he learned and thought was his
Was swept away, like dust in the wind
What would they do with the buffalo gone
What would the future hinge upon
The choice was clear, life must go on.
The indigenous boy was now-a-man
And must adapt to live with the land
So Government and First Nations
Set Treaties to establish relations.
The challenge to move forward
Was having rights in a new world
Where culture was respected
and promises honoured.
But oh such intentions
Raised many more questions
There was much discontent
Imagine yourself my friend
Giving up, all that you know.
So the indigenous man
Now dreams like a child
That the Buffalo herds
they still run wild.
By the thousands they’d roam
on the wide open plains
But the dream’s just a memory
And that’s all that remains.