A letter sent to Danny Doucet, the editor of the Montreal Journal by Ted Moses. The story concerned statements made by residents of Chibougamau. The story by Journal de Montreal’s article by Jean Maurice Dubbin is covered by the Nation on page 7.
I write in regard to the article in your newspaper on Friday, June 4th entitled “The Great North – The Drama of Two Solitudes”. The regrettable statements by Mayor Bubar of Chibougamau expressing resentment for the recreation facilities in the new Cree community of Ouje Bougoumou and those made by the citizen named “Pat” who was angry that the Crees are no longer the poor people they once were present a distorted picture of relations in the James Bay territory and are offensive and insulting to the Cree People.
The resource development and Cree community development brought by the Paix des Braves Agreement Is producing significant economic benefits for entrepreneurs in Chibougamau and in the entire region. We should not bemoan the fact that some Crees now drive new pick-up trucks; we should celebrate it, because It is a sign of regional economic growth.
The Cree Nation is at last beginning to realize benefits that were promised by Canada and Quebec when the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement was signed in 1975. A Paix des Braves-type implementation agreement with Canada will bring more of the promised benefits to all residents of the territory.
At the present time, while the Crees represent more than 30% of the regional labour force they are under 10% of the workers in mining, under 5% in forestry and also under 5% of the permanent workers in hydroelectric development As a result of our new agreement, through training and investment, we are now beginning to work alongside our Quebecois neighbours in these industries.
Most of the leaders in Quebec society are supportive of our efforts to bring investment into the Territory. I am certain that the comments of Mayor Bubar are not representative of the vast majority of the entrepreneurs and leaders in the James Bay Territory or in Quebec as a whole.
I believe that the James Bay Territory can only be developed if the Crees and Quebecois work together to promote development that is appropriate to the region and benefits alt of its citizens. We are just coming out of a period where the Crees were pushed aside by development and where inequality was the expected norm. We seek to build a future where there is social justice and a culture of partnership and mutual respect between our people and our Quebecois neighbors,
Grand Chief Dr. Ted Moses, O.Q