Here’s hoping that the Holidays find you and yours well.

I also hope that in this season of caring and giving you had a chance to give of yourselves. It’s important to help others at this time of year.

Hopefully, you won’t be taking a page from the Parti Québécois when they passed Bill 99 at the beginning of December.

For those of you not in the know, Bill 99 is quite the piece of work. It’s is being hailed a “charter of collective rights” for Quebec. The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights says, “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality.”

The international community recognizes genocide as the taking of children from one identifiable group and assimilating them into another.

Yet in spite of this, Bill 99 would take the Crees, children and adults both, and designate them part of the Quebec “People.” In that reality we would be absorbed…. assimilated by the stroke of a pen. Genocide with a pen, a novel concept, that would see the Cree Nation reduced to impotence through no fault of our own. Our nationality grabbed by a thief in the night.

In that small way we further Quebec’s path to secession. As Grand Chief Dr. Ted Moses once said, “Is it possible for a mixed population of European origin to demand and exercise a right of self-determination, but for the same population to deny that the indigenous peoples have at least the same rights? The Quebec example clearly demonstrates a double standard based on race. In the separatists’ view, Québécois, whoever they are, have the right; Indians do not.”

Do we have a choice in becoming one of the Quebec “People?” It would seem not, at least for the moment. Hypocrisy seems too small a word to encompass what the Parti Québécois has done. Remember when, in the last sovereignist referendum, the Crees had a Cree referendum. Then the Inuit and Innu followed suit. In all cases 95 per cent or more decided to stay with Canada. A case of self – determination wiped out once more. Not only are we lumped in with many other unwilling participants but our referendums, Cree referendums, it seems are invalid unless recognized as being so by the Quebec government. Did I mention that it was a charter of collective rights? I have to wonder exactly who embodies the collective rights. Remember the days when Injuns weren’t allowed to raise money for court cases. Seems like the good old days are coming back.

Want to know something. I don’t want the good old days. They were the days of assimilation. I had hoped we were moving forward.

Bill 99, as Ted Moses said, is a double standard. Don’t claim rights that aren’t yours to claim unilaterally.

As Santa would say, “I know who’s been naughty and I know who’s been nice.” Let’s hope that there is some coal in certain stockings this year. Damn! Must have watched the Grinch or something this year. I know someone stole something and let’s hope that Bouchard’s heart will grow…. Naw, it will never happen, this is real life, not Doctor Seuss.