The date and location of the Cree Nation Gathering are set—Sept. 13-16 in Old Nemaska Post.

“The setting is important,” said Deputy Grand Chief Kenny Blacksmith. “It’s getting away from your conventional conference structures. It will be something more traditional.”

Chiefs and regional Cree leaders met in Nemaska in mid-August to plan the details of the Gathering. The Gathering will start just a day after the provincial election, which is expected to be won by the Parti Québécois. Blacksmith said the Gathering is being held after the election so Crees will have a chance to weigh their future in a Quebec possibly led by a separatist government. “It will give us time to assess the results of the election and provide direction for the future,” he said.

The threat of Quebec separation will also be a big topic of discussion at the Annual General Assembly of the Grand Council/CRA, scheduled for Aug. 23-25.

“Sovereignty is one of the most fundamental issues facing the Crees,” said Blacksmith. He added that the Quebec election could set the course for the break-up of Canada. “We have an immense responsibility.”