Discovery passages

Giving a voice to the indigenous people of Alert Bay


  • Amy Barlow


This article explores how poet Garry Thomas Morse discusses the maltreatment of the Kwakwaka’wakw people of Alert Bay in his 2011 collection Discovery Passages. Alert Bay is a small village on Cormorant Island on northeast Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada; and has a history rooted deep in Indigenous heritage and practices. This article aims to unpack how Morse adopts the voices and tales of key figures throughout the periods of extreme repression, and details how their spirit was inspiringly strong throughout times of hardship and suffering.