We heard the news. Congratulations, we believe, are in order. You’re one of the best and brightest of the Cree Nation and now we’ve heard you’re taking on a postition as one of the top advisors for the PQ.
Nobody knew. Not even the chiefs. We found out through the Moccasin telegraph (A.K.A. the grapevine). We didn’t receive the annoucement of your appointment from the Quebec government, although most of the relevant media in the north got the press release. So we got on the phone to Quebec City to ask some questions.
They are thrilled.
The government, it appears, has appointed you to help them build “consensus” between Crees and non-Natives living in the north. Basically, Quebec wants you to help them get Crees to sit down with the people of Radisson, Chibougamau, Chapais, Matagami and all the other small towns and come up with a common vision of how to develop forestry, mines, tourism, make Radisson a municipality and perhaps re-start the now “delayed” Great Whale project in our territory. They’re determined to get more development going in the north. And they want our “consensus” to do it.
But in the end, my friend, the government set it up, so that they get five votes and Crees get three.
Romeo, we are glad you are there. Perhaps, you can talk to these people in Quebec City and tell them about us, and convey to them who we really are. We wish you strength in doing that.
But don’t forget where you’re from and what we’ve gone through.
As you’re very well aware, we’re not ready. Our leadership, not our leaders, is weak, because it’s divided. We have no consensus yet.
And because of this, Quebec can walk all over us. And they know it.
In fact, they helped create it.
But the people are strong. And something is happening now that can prepare us. Eeyou Tabeytachesiw and Eeyou Weeshewowin are on the way. A Cree constitution and a real Cree National Government.
What we have now doesn’t work. It is a foreign system that was imposed on us. Everyone and no one is in charge.
With all the pressure in the past 20 years, we just never were given a chance to put Eeyou Weeshowewin into practice.
But we hear Romeo, that Quebec wants to move fast with its latest plans. They want to put the pressure on us to give them their “Consensus.”
We talked with one of the top bureaucrats in Quebec City. He said Quebec is willing to wait, a bit, that the Crees could have some time.
But not much time. It seemed like he was thinking in terms of months. We need a few years.
So tell your colleagues in Quebec City to be patient.