CLEAR CUTTING IS one of the most devastating situations for the Crees, especially those whose hunting grounds have been and are being clear cut. One of them is my dad.
In this essay I would like to talk mostly about clear cutting, my father’s hunting ground, how it’s affecting the Crees and how we can save the trees.
For too long now the white men have been cutting trees down in my dad’s hunting ground. Where the animals used to live, where the forest used to be, where my dad used to trap and hunt there is nothing left, but mud, roots of the trees that have been cut down, a gravel road, heavy machine tracks everywhere, and a land that is useless.
Before they started clear cutting the environment was healthy and beautiful. There were a lot of moose. The animals had plenty of food to eat. Now there’s nothing. No moose. No animals. No trees.
It’s not only affecting my dad. It’s affecting other people too; the Crees and the trappers. It’s affecting me, because that is where I learned the skills to survive in the environment. That’s where my dad taught me how to hunt, trap and fish. This is where I killed my first moose.
In the future I want to be able to teach my children the things
that my dad had taught me in that land. I want to be able to look back and show them where I first learned to hunt, fish and trap. If they don’t stop cutting soon I won’t be able to do that, because there will be nothing more to hunt or show.
But everyone of us can do our part by using the things that are made out of trees wisely. For example recycling used papers. We can stand together and fight this situation like we did against Hydro Quebec when they wanted to build dams on our rivers and flood our land.
I’m not only talking about my father’s hunting ground here. There are also other people who are facing the same situation as my dad and I believe one of them is Charlie Diamond.
Bob Moar and Charlie Diamond have been hunting in their hunting grounds for so long and I don’t think they’ll just sit back and watch their lands been destroyed. I certainly won’t.
The white men have been cutting way too many trees in their lands. We must stand together and fight this situation for our children, bur children’s children, and so on. I believe we can win. So they can have a place to hunt where their fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers used to hunt.
by Joseph Moar, age 18 years old Waskaganish