We write this today, as we leave Eeyou Istchee. We first came to Chisasibi in July 1991. I proposed marriage to my wife that Summer, at Fort George Island. There are many strong emotions going through our hearts. We feel the sadness of leaving behind so much warmth and friendship, so much laughter and good humour. We are sad because we are leaving behind the safety and comfort of our home, Chisasibi.

At the same time, we feel some excitement. The excitement of discovering a new land, of learning new things, of being close to Tineke’s family.

Two days ago, while I was packing in my office and Tineke was packing at home, we spoke over the telephone. She told me that she was determined to come back to Chisasibi. It was a beautiful day; the children were safely playing outside, and were going to have supper with our friends; where else would we be happier?

But we both know that we do not always decide our path in life. God will show us the way. If our path brings us back to stay in Eeyou Istchee, we will all be happy.

If our path brings us to stay somewhere else, He must have a good reason for it.

Whatever God wants, we do pray to Him that he will allow us to come back often to Chisasibi, to see our friends, to spend some time in the land where our children were born and raised. To have Sikobahn at the Mitchuaps where they walked out. To gently be kissed on the cheeks by a Sisquash. To dance again with the Big River Dancers. And to renew our wedding vows under the Northern Lights of Fort George.

We pray to God that our children will continue to be able to go to the bush. We hope that one spring their children may also have a chance to walk out and be welcomed by Mother Earth. We pray that the land of

the Eeyou will still be there, healthy for our children and grandchildren.

We want to thank with all our hearts the people of Chisasibi who gave us a farewell that will forever be in our emotions. They are memories that forever will bring tears of joy to our family. July 5, 2001 was like our wedding at the Chisasibi arena, at Job’s Memorial Gardens. Who knows? Maybe some day we will be at the same place for another wedding, that of one of our children and one of your children! There are some

pretty cute boys and girls out there, and we would make good in-laws. Too bad that we cannot arrange marriages like in the good old days!

We hope to support the Cree Nation in becoming an autonomous, self-governing nation, in control of all its natural resources. This is the key to a healthy nation.

We say “see you later” and not “good-bye”. We received so much from you; we grew up with you. Please accept our invitation to come to Holland. It is a beautiful country, and we will be very pleased to give back a bit of the hospitality we received.

Your little brothers and sisters,

Robert, Tineke, Esmeralda Seekoon Neebish, Emilio, Roberto Badabaneshkum Harris-Mostert Chisasibi, July 26, 2001

Merellaan 77 3135 KR Vlaardingen The Netherlands Tel/fax 31 (10) 470 8236 rharrisgiraldo@hotmail.com