The silence from people holding their breath was deafening. We sent the first issue of The Nation not knowing there would be a second one. Our first issue came out in December 1993, since then we have brought you 100 issues, sometimes by the skin of our teeth. In the beginning it was a labour of love. We hadn’t paid ourselves for the first few months. All the founding members, and employees who followed, share a common goal of providing the best service possible to the Cree Nation. We are doing this because we know that news in the printed form is needed to compliment the Cree radio communications.

It was scary to put the first classified in to announce our daughter’s birth. We didn’t think people would respond. People held their breath for a while longer. We waited… We waited for a response. Nothing for a while. Then some classifieds trickled in. Soon the classifieds filled a half page, then a page. A whole page! Wow. Then people couldn’t hold their breath any longer. Then we got flooded. We were flooded with your stories. Stories that need to be told. Every poem has a story. Every classified has a story. The Cree Nation is full of stories that need to be told.

We had no idea what we were doing when we first started. On the job training, I believe, is what it’s called. We learned as we went along. There were some expensive lessons. We learned them well. We kept going when we thought all was lost. We managed not to miss an issue since we started. We are proud of that.

“Why do you do so many negative stories?!?” Many times I have heard that question. We have tried to “justify” ourselves many times in these pages. We have tried

to explain ourselves many times. I feel that the so-called “negative” stories are in fact positive. They are positive because of what they do. They foster a dialogue where there was none before.

We live in a quasi-communist system. Too many times I have heard of someone trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately the person doing the rightthinggoes against someone or an entity that has some degree of power over him. It is so easy for someone to be politically, socially and monetarily ostracized. There is not a lot room for dissent in the communities. One of ourgoals at The Nation is to introduce a level of dissent so that the issues can be discussed. Issues that used to be swept under the rug and allowed to fester. How many times have you heard about someone who is accountable to the people doing something they should not be doing? How many times have you wished someone did something about it? We are trying to do something. We are trying to do our part. Our part in being a strong Cree Nation. Otherwise we would just curl up and crawl into a hole. To do our work we need your continued support.

Each issue of The Nation is special, each one is unique. Each one brought joy. Each one brought laughter. Each one brought tears. Each one brought rage… That is good. Without any of those we are nothing.

I want to thank and congratulate the people who have helped bring you The Nation. Will, Alex, Catherine, Neil, Katerina, Linda, Brian, Rhonda, Deantha, Nian, Johanne, Yvon, Pierre, Stella, Nancy… I also want to thank you for allowing us to share your stories in The Na-

tion. Thank you and God bless.