At the first international indigenous writers' conference in Ottawa, Canada, the Amikoonsuk drummers were the last people, the home people, to perform at the main conference - then we dispersed into our rhythms - I left to explore Manhattan while some of us travelled to the homeland of Kateri Damm, a poet who returned to Aotearoa in 1994 and who shared her stories with us Maori writers at Bruce Stewart's marae, Taputeranga, in Island Bay, Wellington.